Many times people ask me what inspires me to make my costumes the way that I do. Mostly I take my inspiration out of fantasy movies (like Lord of the Rings or the Labyrinth) or classic fairytale adaptations from Disney or other companies. My favorite costume movies are: La belle et la bete (the French adaptation), Disneys real life Cinderella (even when the movie was terrible the costumes of the stepmother are to die for!!!), Mirrow Mirrow (it’s a new interpretation of snow white) and many more. Also historical movies and series have so nice costumes like “The Dutchess” with Keira Knightley or Game of Thrones and the Tudors.
Next to movies I like to browse through the art of other artists. Deviantart.com is a good source if you use the search option and also Instagram or pinterest have nice ideas. I don’t like to copy an original costume from another artist (I think that’s somehow rude), I like to mix some ideas of them with my own to create a fully new design. I guess that’s the usual way for many designers.^^
That’s why I wouldn’t make an Anime, Movie or Game Character 100% accurate. I like to change the design a bit by adding some details for example.
But most of the time I am happy to let my creativity flow and create something unique and new.
Another page which is great, if you search for real historical costumes is fripperiesandfobs! There are so many beautiful gowns. I could spend hours on this page and would find a million new ideas in a short time.
Famous photographers are also a nice inspiration like von Wong or Amanda Diaz and Kirsty Mitchell.
And of course there are also other designers that inspire me for new costumes like JoEllen from fireflypath or Barbara from Royal Black. I also love the costumes Alexander Mc Queen created or the wedding- and couturedresses from Dior and Chanel.
On the other hand the materials that I use by itself can inspire me very much. Sometimes I see a fabric or a trim or just a specific color and I know instantly what I will make out of it. There are so many beautiful and amazing things in this world that we can take our inspiration out of!
So I guess as a result I can say: keep your eyes open for everything magical and let yourself inspire by the things you love the most! ❤
Sometimes somebody asks me how she/he can get so many costumes like I do. Well, the answer is very easy… I make them by myself. I’m into sewing since I was 16, so I have a bit experience now in costumemaking.
But what can you do if you don’t have a sewing machine or you can’t sew very well? Here are some tricks that I want to give you:
- Customize ready-made clothes! It’s really easy just to decor for example a ready made corset with needle and thread and some lace or pearls. You can buy really nice and good corsets on ebay. Just look out for “steal boned corsets” if you would like to wear your costume several times. Plastic boning is cheaper (and so are also the corsets) but they can easily break or peek through the fabric, which can be very uncomfortable to wear and ruin your corset. So better invest 30 to 50€/$ for a simple steel boned corset! You can also buy some second hand dresses and customize them by adding for example lace, flowers or some jewelry. If you can’t handle needle and thread you can also hotglue your decor. The gluegun will become your best friend! It’s the easiest and quickest way to attach something.
- Try to mix your existing costumes! You don’t need to buy every time a new costume… take a look at your wardrobe and try to create new outfits with clothes that you already own. The old black lacetop in your corner? Try to match it with an existing corset or belt. It’s really easy when your pieces have the same color.
- Ask your skilled friends. 😉 Maybe you have someone in your circle of friends who is able to sew. Maybe you can make something in return for them if they help you a make a costume for you. I have some friends who aren’t the best in sewing but gorgeous in painting. So they will paint my armorparts and I will sew for them. Just start to share your creativity and time!
- Rent yourself a costume. Many designers offer the option to rent costumes. You need to pay for them obviously… but on the other hand you won’t have the difficulties to make a costume by yourself. Just keep in mind to be careful with rented costumes! Nobody wants to get a dirty or even damaged dress back.
- Learn to sew (I know, I know…)! But if you would like to start with fantasy photoshoots it’s really helpful to know at least the basics of sewing and make some basic skirts or accessories by yourself. You can attend a sewing course or even ask your grandmother/friend/parents to show you the basics (if they know them of course 😉 ) You can also try it with internet courses or books. Just don’t be afraid to try it. 🙂 The most important stiches that you need are the basic stich (to sew the parts together) and the zig-zag stich (to prevent fraying). Get a sewing machine (maybe someone in your family has already one?) and start with something easy like a plain skirt and go further when you feel confident. Youtube is a great source to start with!
(picture by Hanny Honeymoon Photography)