Sunday, March 20, 2011

Marius Leitdorf: Planning

Helloooo! It's been a while, I'll warrant. Between museum courses, work-related insanity, and other personal projects, there's been next to no time for costumes. But the time is rapidly running out before Con in the middle of June, so it's time to get back at it! And what better place to start than with a planning post? (Read: Non-sensical ramblings about design...)

After months of deliberation, I've settled on two costumes this year. Giovanni, as introduced back in January, and Elector Count Marius Leitdorf from Warhammer. The good elector count is best known for being insane and he looks a little something like this:

Obscure costumes ftw. I was initially attracted to this guy because I have a sneaking suspicion he was based on Emperor Maximilian I, at least through his design and his tendency to fight useless wars. (Apart from costuming, Kaiser Max takes up the majority of my time...) I fell for the Empire in the Warhammer world since it's a shameless clone of the Holy Roman Empire of the early 16th century. So when I was doing initial designs for Marius after Christmas, I took the German influence and ran with it.

Do-able, most certainly. But I was most concerned about the breastplate and boots. In a pinch, I could use my 1480s cuirass from my transitional harness but the shiny silver wouldn't be right for Marius. He needs a lot of blacks, golds, and purples. So I let everything ferment in my brain for an extra month until Oliver Cromwell turned up with the answer.

Over the last week, my latent predilection for the English Civil War has been rearing its puritanical head. Something about the robust elegance of bucket boots and buffcoats seemed to suit Maximilian particularly well, so I doodled a few sketches of him as a Parliamentarian cavalryman (which he pulls off incredibly well).

Ignoring the anatomical gibble, I realized on Friday that the version on the right could work quite perfectly for Marius. A combination of the slashed sleeves and pants of the initial design with the shorter cuirass, sash, and bucket boots would suit him to a 't,' I think. The pauldrons would be added on as well. (It would also give me an extra reason to order a pair of those boots from the UK...) In that sense, he's going to end up looking like a landsknecht cavalier, which is totally, absolutely fine by me. A smaller cuirass like that could potentially be moulded out of leather - this would be the only tricky bit. I've already commissioned the exceptionally brilliant Alana Schmitt to do the weaponry.

After the fit of inspiration on Friday, the room-mate and I popped out to Fabricland. Wonder of wonders, the silk was on sale and this is what I found:

The ladies at the cutting table made WTF faces and asked me what I was making. I told them it was a costume for "an insane medieval guy." And they made further faces and muttered something about the bizzarity of buying silk for a costume.

The colours match better than this IRL. The yellow is for his sash, the striped fabric is for the pants, and the purple is for any extra flowly decorations, such as a favour tied around his arm (though I have no clue who might have given it to him... ugh).

Next Steps:

Pick some brains about moulding leather cuirasses.
Begin the doublet.
Order boots.

Update on Giovanni later this week.

PS Can you find the cat?


  1. Yayy! I didn't know you had a blog too! Total re-follow. XD