Forum

Share:
Notifications
Clear all

Narnia's New Look  

  RSS
The Rose-Tree Dryad
(@rose)
Secret Garden Agent Moderator

I've been thinking about how effective the costume design for the Lord of the Rings movies was... to this day, there is a style of dress that comes to mind when you think of LotR, trademarked by the trailing sleeves. I would love it if Netflix's adaptation inspires an idea of a Narnian dress; that the costumes of Narnia have a truly distinctive look instead of "run-of-the-mill medieval fantasy." (There are already so many of those!)

How would they achieve this? I'm not exactly sure. Giggle I do think there are a lot of cultural influences within Narnia for a costume designer to play with, beyond the familiar medieval attire:

  1. The Victorian fashion that King Frank and Queen Helen left behind.
  2. The ancient Greek people of Narnia (gods and nymphs).
  3. The "Nature" peoples of Narnia (wood and water gods, dryads and naiads).

As much as I love many of the costumes from the Walden movies, Netflix only drawing inspiration from the medieval ages of our world feels like a misstep. We know Mrs. Beaver has a sewing machine, for instance, which is a huge technological leap. The collapsible umbrella is a surprisingly old invention, but according to my research Nerd they weren't a typical medieval accessory for men in Europe and didn't become popular in England until after the 1700s, which gives Tumnus a more 1800s aesthetic. And if Disney's Cinderella taught me anything, it's that mice and birds can really put the finishing touches on a dress. Giggle

I recently ran across this ballgown (larger image here) from 1905-1910 that belonged to Queen Maud of Norway, and while I'm not saying that Narnia style should be like it specifically, I was really struck by it — I don't think I've seen anything quite like it before. I can definitely imagine Queen Helen wearing something like it at her coronation:

Twitter: Rose_the_Dryad

Quote
Posted : July 17, 2020 8:35 pm
Wanderer Between Worlds
(@wanderer)
NarniaWeb Nut
Posted by: @rose

I do think there are a lot of cultural influences within Narnia for a costume designer to play with, beyond the familiar medieval attire:

  1. The Victorian fashion that King Frank and Queen Helen left behind.
  2. The ancient Greek people of Narnia (gods and nymphs).
  3. The "Nature" peoples of Narnia (wood and water gods, dryads and naiads).

      I like this idea of incorporating different styles!  When I think of Narnian clothing, I think of comfort and practicality, elegance and simplicity (if memory serves correctly, I think that it is stated that Narnian clothes are more comfortable than Calormene ones).  There is an inherent lightness and joy imbued in Narnia, and I think that this should present in the clothing, too.  This would draw a sharp contrast when compared to the elaborate opulence of Calormene fashion or the crude garishness of Harfang’s attire or the somber heaviness of Telmarine dress.  (I personally view Archenland a having more a strictly medieval influence with maybe a touch of Eastern influence, given that they are closer to Calormen).  I imagine Narnian dress (for the humans, at least) to be light and flowing with draping (Greco-Roman influence) while having the silhouette, structure, and sleeves of Victorian/Edwardian fashion.  There could even medical influence with the occasional belt, tunic, longer sleeves, square necklines, and split skirts.  I think Narnia should also have multiple stylistic variations using these influences, as it would reflect the diversity of the Narnian populace.  I think the color palette should be earthy and vibrant but not gaudy or over saturated to the point of garishness.

Posted by: @rose

I recently ran across this ballgown (larger image here) from 1905-1910 that belonged to Queen   Maud of Norway, and while I'm not saying that Narnia style should be like it specifically, I was really struck by it — I don't think I've never really seen anything like it before. I can definitely imagine Queen Helen wearing something like it at her coronation:

     Queen Maud of Norway’s gown looks absolutely beautiful, and her coronation gown is in a similar style—both of which I could see Queen Helen wearing.  I especially like late-Victorian, early-Edwardian silhouette.  As for the mythological beings, I could see the naiads, dryads, and wood/water gods should having a wardrobe with heavy Greco-Roman influences. 

       I think that Netflix should portray a shift in Narnian fashion over time.  This would be a bold step and a bit of a risk, but I think that it would be another layer that would add to the world building and show the passage of time.  For example, in MN, show a wardrobe with heavy Victorian/Edwardian influence (perhaps with a bit of Medieval thrown in, too).  Then, when the Pevensies are crowned in LWW, a blend of Greco-Roman, Edwardian, and Medieval to show the rich blend of cultural influences at the peak of the Golden Age.  PC and VDT’s clothes could add Telmarine influences into the mix, as the Telmarines occupied Narnia for quite some time and would have had a large influence on Narnian fashion.  This influence could still be seen in SC (but it would be fading) and all but gone by LB.  

Edit: This picture of Edwardian tea gowns I could see being fairly easy to blend with Greco-Roman styles, as they don’t have over-the-top sleeves or wasp-waisted silhouettes I’ve seen in a lot of late-Victorian dress.  Then again, the style of the draping and layering combined with those particular shades of red and purple, I could also see incorporated in Calormene fashion.

This post was modified 9 months ago by Wanderer Between Worlds

"I am,” said Aslan. "But there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.”

ReplyQuote
Posted : July 18, 2020 12:11 pm
ValiantArcher
(@valiantarcher)
BC Head and G&B Mod Moderator

Interesting discussion! One of the first things that came to mind with the idea of mixing influences were some of the Ottoman-influenced European styles of the 18th and 19th centuries. Also coming to mind are some 1820s (I think) dresses with some Grecian influences, and at least one example from the early 20th century where they used Sari draping and fabric on an evening dress. There's a mixture of fabric, cut, drape, and style that can go into these influences. One thing to keep in mind would be what fabrics could actually be reasonably produced by the Narnians and what they would have to, say, trade or buy from Calormen or elsewhere.

I have a vague idea of using lots of embroidery and beading for the Calormene clothes, heavier fabrics (lots of wool?) for the Archenlanders in the mountains, and maybe lighter fabrics (some wool, linen, linsey-woolsy, a small amount of silks and velvets?) for the Narnians? The Telmarine influence is one that could be really interesting - if they came from South Pacific islands most recently before entering Narnia, you have some really neat opportunities to play with the patterns, fabrics, and style and to merge those with some of the pre-Telmarine Narnian styles. For example, introducing batik patterns or changing trouser and skirt styles to be looser and more flowing. I think the tricky part here would be integrating it in a way that was still Narnian - and that wouldn't be thrown out in VoDT by resorting back to LWW-era clothes (I mean, VoDT is a sea voyage and some of those styles would be very practical!). You want the clothes to portray something about culture, people, and geography, and a lot of times clothing choices give a very particular visual cue - but you don't want to associate, say, batik patterns strictly with Miraz and the conquering Telmars.

Yet such is oft the course of deeds that move the wheels of the world: small hands do them because they must, while the eyes of the great are elsewhere.

ReplyQuote
Posted : December 20, 2020 2:41 pm
Lu_valient
(@lu_valient)
NarniaWeb Nut

The Aesthetic or Pre-Raphaelite style of dress might be something to pull from. Especially as they pulled from older styles.


made by katherine

ReplyQuote
Posted : January 6, 2021 5:47 pm
The Rose-Tree Dryad
(@rose)
Secret Garden Agent Moderator
Posted by: @wanderer

This picture of Edwardian tea gowns I could see being fairly easy to blend with Greco-Roman styles, as they don’t have over-the-top sleeves or wasp-waisted silhouettes I’ve seen in a lot of late-Victorian dress.

I keep seeing Edwardian tea gowns come up in my searches as well, and I always think that with longer hemlines, some medieval elements, and more substantial fabrics, they'd be a really interesting look for Narnia!

I see what you mean about the two dresses you linked looking more Calormene in color, but one thought I had the other day was how I'd like for the Narnian clothing in the new adaptation to look festive there's so much festivity and jollification in Narnia, and I think that the Walden costumes (though very beautiful) had a color palette that was too muted. They shouldn't take it too far (I imagine Charn having bright colors, too, in a poisonous toad sort of way) but I think rich, bright, jubilant hues would suit the kingdom well.

(It would also help differentiate Narnian royalty from the nature peoples, too, who I suspect might wear more natural colors.)

Posted by: @valiantarcher

The Telmarine influence is one that could be really interesting - if they came from South Pacific islands most recently before entering Narnia, you have some really neat opportunities to play with the patterns, fabrics, and style and to merge those with some of the pre-Telmarine Narnian styles. For example, introducing batik patterns or changing trouser and skirt styles to be looser and more flowing.

Ooh, I really like this! Even something simple like a batik pattern on a hemline would be really neat.

An artist that I ran across the other day is Elisabeth Sonrel, and I was struck by a lot of the dresses in her Art Nouveau paintings...

Of the two, the first one seems much more Narnian to me, but what I like about both of them is that the garments themselves are very simple and comfortable, taking on a more complex or regal style/shape through accessories while still being easy to wear. They remind me of how Narnian clothes not only look nice, but feel nice, too.

Twitter: Rose_the_Dryad

ReplyQuote
Posted : January 11, 2021 7:37 pm
Geekicheep
(@geekicheep)
NarniaWeb Regular
Posted by: @wanderer

       I think that Netflix should portray a shift in Narnian fashion over time.  This would be a bold step and a bit of a risk, but I think that it would be another layer that would add to the world building and show the passage of time.

Yes, absolutely!  I'm no expert on fashion ("geek" is not exactly synonymous with "fashionista" after all 😀 ) but I know good worldbuilding when I see it.  I'm sure clothing changed even within the medieval times in our world; queens in the tenth century wouldn't be wearing the same gowns as queens in the thirteenth, would they?  Look how much castles changed during that time span!  And look at music in our world: Blues brought the sax, salsa (which in itself is a mix of older genres) brought the percussion, rock brought the guitar and now we have smooth jazz. 😀  I guess what I'm trying to say is that over time, as people of different backgrounds come together, or as people learn from their mistakes over time, or as people's tastes change over time, they try new things.  That same logic must apply to clothes too... doesn't it? 😀

Getting back to Narnia: In the early days, you really just have the things others have already mentioned (the king and queen, the dryads and dwarfs and other creatures that wear clothes, etc.).  But then the Telmarines take over - what does Telmarine clothing look like?  I don't know, but I'll bet some Old Narnians wore it to blend in.

EDIT: Yes, it totally does!  Look how kids used to dress in the 1960s vs. the 1980s vs. today! 😀

This post was modified 1 month ago by Geekicheep

Yes, I'm a mouse... I mean, a geek!

ReplyQuote
Posted : March 8, 2021 8:48 pm
Lu_valient
(@lu_valient)
NarniaWeb Nut

I've been thinking about evolution of fashion in Narnia a bit lately. I feel like every time the humans enter Narnia should be a turning point.

https://www.pinterest.com/hrn90/narnia/

This post was modified 4 weeks ago by Lu_valient


made by katherine

ReplyQuote
Posted : March 17, 2021 4:25 pm
Share: