Although these are officially parts of costumes, we look at crowns, hats and head ornaments as a form of art too. By now, we have produced various headdresses like crowns, tiaras, circlets and hats, for elves, Christine from the Phantom of the Opera and some other musical characters.
|Head ornaments from the Hobbit
For our replica of the costume of elven king Thranduil from ‘the Hobbit, the Desolation of Smaug’ by Peter Jackson, we have made a crown that represents the forest that this character rules over and is a part of. Not an easy task, considering the fact that it consists of an intricate network of branches that has to fit the head exactly and gives Thranduil a royal and dangerous look. This is his Autumn crown, so it had to be decorated with leaves and berries in various Autumn colours.
What makes it more difficult is the fact that the crown seems to hang loose from the head, since it isn’t supported anywhere. That’s why we had Michel van Oostveen make us a customized, real hair wig; only such wig would do the rich crown and costume justice. The crown is sewn into the wig and has to be detached from it after every time it is worn, to tend to the wig. It is worth it though, since one can only appear as Thranduil in a perfect shape.
The frame consists of an iron wire base with aquarel tape, on top of which a two component clay wooden structure is built to represent, as well as possible, the multitude of twisted and pointy branches. Using different painting techniques, we painted the wood, the leaves and the berries in many colours to come as close to the original as possible. On a comparison picture, you can see the original crown on the left and ours on the right. We think that the result looks really well.
With Lindir’s costume (Elrond’s right hand from ‘the Hobbit, An Unexpected Journey’), we customized a wig too to fit a circlet that had to look very close to the original. This silver head ornament consists of a complex braid in silver, with markings on the surface. With the greatest prcicion, we replicated this braid with metal wire and clay. The result we sprayed silver and sewed into the wig. We think the result is very nice; what do you think?
|Ithilwen’s head jewels
For the beautiful elven character Ithilwen, the wife of king Thranduil of Mirkwood, we made several head jewels. Firstly, a matching moth head jewel to go with her moon- and moth dress , which can be put in the hair. The animal is decorated with silver chains and on the front a Swarovski pendant in the colour ‘Crystal AB’, that represents moonlight.
The moth is made of two component clay (among other things), which allows for fine detailing like the feather-shaped antennas, hairs on the body and vains in the wings. In the end the animal came to life by painting it in the same shades of grey, dark blue and mother of pearl that are used in the dress.
For her other costume, the light grey coat that looks like her husband’s, we made a matching crown and also a brooch and a necklace of the same nature as her crown, like Tranduil’s, made of a branch pattern, which is placed around the head in a sharp and dangerous manner and is decorated with flowers of the aster and elderberries, that ripe in Autumn. Like his crown, two spurs frame her face, but in her case the crown is closed and rest on the head, so it is easier to wear and doesn’t have to be attached to the hair. The basic colour of this weathered wood, made of clay, consists of shades of brown, red and purple. A pale wash makes the wood look fragile and dry, althouh it is very alive. It radiates power and danger, but also femininity and frailty.
|Head jewels of Elves and Fairy’s
For our Warrior Elf kostuum we made a circlet (next to a necklace), that looks as if it is made of metal painted gold. We were restricted to a certain existing design, so we tried to make a replica as close as possible. With its ornate curls and rich green and red flowers at each side of her head, this jewel completes the whole picture.
For our golden fairy costume, we designed a circlet (next to wings and a necklace). It is made of four strands of golden pearls and ends on the forehead in a golden butterfly ornament, filled by us with golden Swarovski simili rhinestones. It provides the costume with an extra fairytale touch.
For the good fairy costumes we designed for the theatre group on stilts called ‘Ingrallae’ we also designed head jewellery. These consist of a double strand of rocailles in various matching colours and pendants with cabochons in matching colours, hanging on the forehead. Thus the people who would wear the costumes would have a dreamy appearance.
|Crown of the Star Princess
For our replica of the Dutch verion of the Star Princess costume from the musical ‘the Phantom of the Opera’, we were asked to make a replica of the crown Christine wears when she dances in the costume during the scene ‘Masquerade’.
We attached a tiara to a second tiara and placed double stars on the structure, like those that can be found on the costume. On this, a glittered crescent moon was attached, decorated with some stars and moon beams, made of various beads, that can be found on the rest of the costume too. Everything is topped off with rhinestones, for an extra sparkly effect. We are quite proud of the result.
For our versions of vampire costumes, inspired by vampitres from the musical ‘Tanz der Vampire’, we also designed hats. For the green vampire dress with bat-like sleeves and train we lined a big hat with the green fabric we used in the dress. We made it look older with a painting technique and applied pieces of black lace for a sinister look. Along the rim of the hat, grey and black pieces of lace are protruding to give it a ragged look. The hat has been filled to the rim with enormous hand-made roses made of fabrics that are also used in the dress; green and grey viscose, black lace and various types of ribbon. A few feathers stick out of the hat, looking old and worn, like the vampires from the scene of ‘Ewigkeit’ (Eternity), who come crawling out of their graves looking dusty and worn. We think we have done this athmosphere justice with this costume.
This is also the case with the male costume we made with the same scene in the back of our heads and which we complemented with a tricorn. This hand-made hat with a brim that is folded three ways is lined with the same grey taffeta as the coat and is decorated with black and white lace ruffles, to give the hat a more worn look. The outer rim of the hat is decorated with golden lace that is also used on the costume and is trimmed with frayed golden ribbon. A few ragged feathers are sticking out of the hat to give the costume a feel of faded glory.
For our costume replica of Elphaba from the musical ‘Wicked’ we made two witch’s hats, looking as much like the asymmetrical and crooked original as possible. The character wears it with pride. The hat is lined with a black fabric with texture and hatband around the crown and the brim.
In the musical ‘Rudolf’, crown prince Rudolf of Habsburg’s mistress, that the musical evolves around, is wearing a yellowish green linen dress and a light green hat, trimmed with a green pompom fringe around the crown and a large bow, made of the fabric used for the dress. In the beautiful surroundings of Mayerling, the Austrian hunting lodges where the couple spent a lot of time and on the Roseninsel, a Bavarian island where Rudolf loved to visit his uncle Ludwig II., the dress and the hat really shine, like the pictures will show you.