To Elfia - as the Party King of Mirkwood
Besides writing, I like to fire up my glue guns, craft costumes, and show my creations at festivals and fairs. Normally, these costumes are of my own design, and quite often, those designs get a name, a personality, and a background story. In other words, they grow into people, and I use them as characters in a State of Equilibrium. Cascade, Morgan's on-stage alter-ego, started out as a costume (which is probably why Morgan looks so much like me). Two other costumes, both inspired by the phoenix, formed the basis of an important secondary character (find a blog post about it here).
This year will be a little different. After a trip to Middle Earth - eh, New Zealand, and more specifically, the Weta Workshop (these people made all the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit props), I got inspired by something else.
Thranduil the fabulous.
Who doesn't love the elven king of Mirkwood? I really wanted to walk around in Thranduil's armour, it's one of the prettiest plates I've ever seen. Probably not the most practical, but luckily, I don't have to face an orc horde. Or annoying dwarves.
I'm cheap, so the armour is made of low-cost materials: cardboard and low-budget yoga mats, sometimes covered with car putty. Yoga mats usually have a ridged surface, but you can smooth those out with a hot iron. Use baking parchment paper to prevent the mat from melting to your hot iron. If you use wrinkled aluminium foil, the foam mat will get a leather-like texture, a technique I used to give the 'wings' their texture. Pretty awesome stuff to experiment with.
The battle tiara is pretty low-cost as well: iron wire wrapped in aluminium foil and held together with hot glue (even the gemstone is actually just a drop of hot glue).
I used silver spray paint as a base for everything (after using a primer), and used pearlescent acrylic paints in light and dark grey to make it look weathered without losing the metallic shine. A final layer of silver mod podge is supposed to protect the paint.
I'm also quite proud of the coat. I'm not a huge fan of sewing, and I have never made anything with sleeves before. Also, I did not have a pattern. Despite that, the coat turned out to be pretty neat. I think I'll even wear it on ordinary days.
Last but not least: glasses. Thranduil is the Party King of Mirkwood, after all. I'm convinced he secretly wants to use the Arkenstone as a disco ball.
I'll wear this outfit at Elfia, a huge fantasy festival at castle the Haar in Haarzuilens, the Netherlands. I'll go there on Sunday, 22nd of April. If you happen to go there as well, please don't be afraid to say hi. And if you cannot make it, then perhaps we will meet at Castlefest, which is in early August. I'm not sure if I'll dress up as Thranduil then, though; this costume is a little too warm for summer. I hope to see you there - and otherwise I'll make sure to take photos for you.
Want to know what Elfia looks like? Watch this video here - you can see my boyfriend and I as bird people at the beginning!
(The trailer says Arcen which is a different castle, but the actual footage was shot at Haarzuilens.)