What could be more appropriate than a world where magic *is* quite literally, thread. 🧵🪄
Let us go forth & adventure!
2 – If you're new here, #threadtalk is about *costumes.*
My goal is to connect the show to a wider conversation about historical fabrics, techniques, & designs.
The focus is on the art of costuming. (I personally enjoyed the show, but have not read the books.)
3 – We begin with Egwene. What struck me most about her costumes were the use of linen & plaid, as well as that nifty hand-woven embroidery.
Linen is a curious choice, given the cold climate (brr!), but still a material that could be made on small, family plots of land.
4 – Plaid may not seem like it's fantasy film ready, but it is old, indeed! Woven plaids & tartans go back a long time.
Archaeology, astoundingly, has shown us that plaids go back at least 3,000 years, bits still preserved, like this form the Urumchi mummies found in 1979.
5 – I love the yellow lines woven into Egwene's skirt, echoing the golden embroidery on her shirt. The muted grey, blues & browns are all easily found in nature, ideal for Two Rivers, which make sense for dyes, etc.
This earthiness is a nice touch.
6 – For Rand, I feel like they designed his look around that red hair. The cerulean blue of his tunic is a bit decadent, but it's a gorgeous contrast that, well, makes him stand out even more.
But my favorite bits of his costume are his leather jacket & the fuzzy sweater!
7 – The jacket might look like it came straight out of an Urban Outfitters catalogue, but it is quite rustic & unfussy. Leatherwear typically is reserved, historically, for the working and military classes.
I like how it looks as if he's sewed up pieces of various animals.
8 – And the SWEATERS! I get very excited when I see knitwear in fantasy & medieval settings. Whether it's Nålebinding (which dates to 6500 BC; below, Egypt 4th C) or knitting, you bet Two Rivers folks would use wool from their flocks to keep warm & look rad. Bonus: it's portable.
9 – So let's talk Mat. Undeniably, my favorite character, his is the most understated wardrobe. Which makes total sense, given that he's quite poor. There is a threadbare quality to his jacket and shirt, but he still wears it with finesse.
10 – I think the contrast of Mat's jacket is also interesting. The lining is deeper green, and it peeps out of his lapels. Even though the jacket itself is rather minimal in terms of its size & shape, it is an interesting character commentary. Also he looks cold. Hair is 10/10.
11 – I am all in for Nynaeve. My gorgeous, green, woodland goddess. 💚
Her overcoat is probably my favorite piece in the series that isn't anything they put on Moiraine (more later). Everything about her wardrobe is practical, but it's also beautiful.
But she's got layers.
12 – There's a lot of similarities between her plainclothes and Egwene's, too. The skirt looks like it was woven by the same folks, the cut of the shirts very similar, and the belts and adornment.
The cut of her blouse is decidedly different, though, and I love that for her.
13 – Perrin! I get the feeling Perrin doesn't think a lot about what he's wearing, and that's okay. He's a smith, right? He's always dirty.
Makes sense that the leather jacket is literally the color of coal dust. The clasp is practical, and the fluffy cuffs are… cute?
14 – Which reminds me of an important point!
The lines of most of our main folks' clothes are not reminiscent of Western wear, but Asia. This robe here is from Tibet & this kind of closure is quite common (and ancient).
Pretty cool, huh? I'm a big fan of branching out.
15 – Let's move on to the Aes Sedai, shall we? Starting with Liandrin & her scarlet damask, because gods have mercy on me.
I love the deep scarlet for the Red Ajah. I love the elements of Liandrin's costume, in particular, that high collar and bodice.
And the lipstick. 💄
16 – But like many of the Aes Sedai, there's a hint of the modern about her, too. While we still see lines reminiscent of Asia and the Middle East here, the tailoring is more like a suit. And the tiled beadwork? Yes, please. Vicious, will cut you, and you'll thank her.
17 – Which brings me to Alanna Mosvani and her verdant majesty. Her costumes seem, to me, a loving melange of the decadence of India and the whimsy of late Victorian.
The chains–all the chains–make me a bit hot under the collar. I MEAN. So stunning.
18 – Speaking of chains and Victoriana, this battle ensemble took my breath away. The harness/jewelry bit? The hair wraps? That gold cuff? The silk? The blouse looks like it's out of an 1898 ensemble, and I'm totally cool with that.
19 – A moment. Because Lan.
Just. ::gestures wildly::
Though muted in colors, his design is straight from Japan. I love the use of dark wool with subtle echoes of color, and the circlet.
I like the circlet very much, I do.
20 – His surcoat reminds me of jinbaori, the sleeveless overcoat that Samurai wore over their armor. His is plain, but the lines are very similar. And given his history, his status, and his power, that totally makes sense. This jinbaori is from the 17th c & is quite elaborate.
21 – And Moiraine. Listen, I have a weakness for Rosamund Pike anyway, and this series did not assist in any way whatsoever.
This azure queen can go from traveling for years to rocking haute couture in a heartbeat. And those leather shoulders are out of this world.
22 – This gown almost did me in. The fact that she keeps her shoulder armor on, regardless of the dress, just… there's a lot there.
I can't call it a glow-up, since she's stunning every second she's on screen. The subtle shimmer and texture on this gown & the structured hips!
23 – This dress was the moment I knew I had to do a #threadtalk. It's rare that you see a character embody costume so much, & an actor who uses it as such a tool. She is Moiraine: power & strength, even if she would rather be in the woods w/Lan. (I mean, who wouldn't?)
24 – I definitely see a lot of Victorian influences here, again. I mean, this dress from 1881 has a very similar vibe. Not just in color!
25 – I thought the costumes for the show were wonderfully done. Clearly, this is not an exhaustive list! But I love seeing how they related to the characters. I'm very much looking forward to season 2. (Some scenes require little costuming, too)
26 – Big thanks to my patrons who helped pick this week's #threadtalk! You can, too, if you join. Just saying…
27 – Sources! For those who'd like to learn more.
28 – Thank you so much for joining me tonight! I'm working on some new topics, so looking forward to sharing more #threadtalk with you all soon.
Meanwhile, don't forget to find your own adventures.
29 – I have been corrected that Lan's costuming influence is from Korea. That was my first instinct, but I couldn't find an image that reminded me of what I saw. I'm always trying to read this stuff, and I can be incorrect. So just to correct that:
30 – And though for my historical threads, I do a TON of research… most of my fandom ones are on the fly reactions. Tonight was in real-time!