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Gormenghast


 The Gormenghast Collection: Fuchsia's Wardrobe
Fuchsia Groan in Full Royal Costume
Estelle Daniel, producer:
The main dress worn by the young Fuchsia is made of red velvet covered with stars. But when she is older, the fabric is much more complicated, made of four layers in all.... We made much use of the potential for wearing different layers, with Fuchsia wearing only part of her costume, in different scenes. So she was dressed in softer skirts in her own room, putting on the big dress when she went outside.

Close Up of Base of Fuchsia's Dress
Estelle Daniel, producer:
The base [of the dress] is just a terracotta-coloured winceyette, and then the other layers are built on top of that, including bits of a 1910 dress bought in an auction, which has the sheen of a pearlised finish. We cut it up and stitched it on, as if it were hand-embroidered.

Fuchsia's Royal Collar
Estelle Daniel, producer:
Fuchsia's collar was inspired by a painting of Elisabeth de Valois (1081-1131).

Fuchsia's Necklace
Estelle Daniel, producer:
We wanted everything to look very old, almost as if the costumes were works of art from a museum. In the book Fuchsia wears an ancient necklace of sandstone doves which was carved by the seventeenth Earl of Gormenghast....

Fuchsia in Her Multi-Layered Costume
Estelle Daniel, producer:
For us she was the princess painted by Velazquez, with something of the alabaster features of Botticelli's imagination. And of course she is Juliet on her balcony, and Ophelia drowning herself in the lake. Odile saw her as a supremely impractical girl, who would always wear a velvet frock even for a walk in the woods. She said, "I think if you were living in a world of the royal family, you would not regard these clothes as anything special. You would put on this bejeweled frock but not be fussed about it that much."

Neve McIntosh, actress:
I have to wear hefty dresses for this. My later ones are big corset jobs with big skirts and they are very heavy. You only notice it when it comes off and you feel you rise an inch or two, just because of the weight of all this material.

Fuchsia as a Young Girl
Estelle Daniel, producer:
At the start of the story [Fuchsia] is "a girl of about fifteen with long, rather wild black hair." By the end, she is a woman in her thirties. The difference is achieved by more than just flattening her chest at the start and boosting it at the end. The cut of her dresses, and the choice of the fabrics, defines her age as well.


Some text excerpts courtesy of HarperCollins Entertainment, The Art of Gormenghast by Estelle Daniel (2000)
 


 Costume Design:
Fuchsia | Lord Groan | Gertrude | Prunesquallors | Steerpike | Twins

 Analyze a Scene | Costume Design | Set Design | Producer's Diary

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