Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Silk Spectre II Dress Diary-Part 3

We're getting down to the end of Silk Spectre construction, down to detail-work, mostly. You know me; when it comes to a reproduction, whether based on a film, a historical garment, or a portrait, I try to be as accurate as humanly possible. This includes discovering what fabric/materials were originally used (if I have to write to the costumer, I have, and will!), how the garment was constructed (seams, closures, trims, etc), and trying to obtain or make whatever accesories go along with it. I can be obsessive about accuracy; I have been known to spend months researching a single costume, and then months on the eventual execution (remember Giselle?) It's been fun tackling something that's pretty different from anything I've really done before, though not without it's share of hassles;)

On to more detail-y bits: the belt is a molded leather in matte silver, and the center-front is slightly domed. I found a v-shaped leather belt on eBay and got to work constructing a center-front piece in sculpy a few days ago.

The zipper pull is pretty badass; a little alien-looking skull that is obviously a reference to the "Spectre" part of Silk Spectre. I did some rough calculations based on scale, and decided the pull is about 1 1/4" long.

I grabbed my sculpy and started sculpting. I love sculpy; always easily sculpted, it holds a shape pretty well and bakes hard at relatively low temperatures (about 275 degrees at most elevations). It can be sanded afterwards, which I don't have to worry about for the zipper, but I will for the belt . . .

Here's the finished pull, just out of the oven. It will be painted silver and glued (probably with Liquid Nails) to the zipper. I'll do some antiquing too, to get the details to pop.

The center of the belt. This is not a great picture, I know, but the whole thing still needs to be sanded and painted before I spray-paint the entire belt.
Now, on to the perplexing problem of those fabulous boots . . .

As noted by several other costume-researchers, Malin actually wears three different sets of boots in the film: the ultra-high 4" boots shown here, lower heels for scenes where she must run, and flats for her fighting scenes. As I plan to do nothing more strenuous in the costume than stand for photos, I've decided higher is better;)

The chrome heel and toe proved easier to solve than I first thought it would be: A company called Pleaser has a series of footwear called Heat, and they include pumps, knee-high boots, and thigh-high boots, all with the chrome details. I purchased the pumps off of eBay, with plans to cut out the feet on my PVC socks and glue them onto the shoes.

Then, I discovered the thigh-high boots. Now, it's clear that the movie's costumer did not use these boots; they are not fitted enough at the knee, and have visible zippers up the sides.

However, I have noticed in several pictures that Malin has a horizontal seam mid-thigh, which seems to suggest she might have a PVC legging over a pair of thigh-high boots:

You can also see that she seems to have a stirrup on the legging that connects under the boots, making them more practical to switch out when she needed to wear different heels. You can tell by the change in the shine of the two different materials on the boot; the boot is clearly patent leather, and the stirrup legging over it is PVC rubber.

This is what I think: They used the Pleaser knee-high boots and cut them down to just above the ankle, then put a PVC stirrup over them with a placket at the top to finish off the seam at the garter. The horizontal seam mid-thigh is from the piece underneath, serving as placket.
What do I plan to do? I'm going to go ahead wiith my original plan. I already purchased the Pleaser pumps, so I'm going to cut out the feet on my PVC leggings and use Gorilla Glue and Spray Mount to attach them to the shoes, fitting it as smoothly to the shoes as I can and leaving the chrome toe exposed. I'll probably do a stirrup under the shoe for added stability, but I know there is still a probability that the glue may not hold given the stress the PVC will be under, holding it to the shoes. I will just have to roll the dice on that one, as I am not keen to dish out another $70 for the knee-high boots, just to cut them down!
More updates coming soon . . . .


OnYaddyMode said...

Do you have the pictures of the outcome? Did your plans work out?

Ginger said...