May 5, 2011 | By: Unknown

The Costumes of Narnia

"When she had had her bath, and brushed her hair, (Jill) put on the clothes that had been laid out for her-- they were the kind that not only felt nice, but looked nice and smelt nice and made nice sounds when you moved as well." 

-The Silver Chair, by C.S. Lewis

I don't know about you, but the costumes in the Narnia films have always interested me. Maybe it's because I'm a girl and I have loved dress-up clothes since I was little! I also love sewing costumes (though I haven't finished many).

I love the clip of Anna Popplewell (Susan) spinning around in her coronation gown when she first tried it on! I know that's what I would do! :) My favorite costumes in the films are the Pevensies' costumes. Especially their Narnia clothes, and especially Susan's dresses: the Green Archery dress and Coronation dress from LWW, and her Farewell dress from PC. :)

The Costume Designer for the past three movies was Isis Mussenden, an American designer. She has done such a wonderful job on the films. I've heard complaints from Narnia fans about the directors, script, lighting, cameras, set, acting, etc. but never about the costumes! :) I love how much work she puts into making the English clothes accurate, and the Narnia clothes beautiful and comfortable. I know it was a lot of work to outfit all of the soldiers in LWW and PC (Thank goodness it was less in VDT), and to fit those kids who kept growing during LWW! :)

I also love looking at the original sketches and the pictures of what inspired those costumes. Did you know the White Witch's dress was inspired by frozen waterfalls? And that her crown is made to look like ice, and it melts slowly throughout the movie? Next time you watch one of the Narnia films, take notice of the costumes. Below is the featurette about Isis which is included on the LWW DVD.

Here are some great resources for studying the costumes of the Narnia films:
The Wardrobe Door (from Narnia Web)

I am working on sewing a replica (as close as I can get) of Susan's Green Archery Dress from LWW. :) I found a dark green wool blend, which is the perfect fabric! I am stopped on the sleeves right now, which I am researching to figure out how to do the slits. After the dress is done, I will do embroidery on the neckline and sleeves, and put lacing up the back. Then I'm hoping to make the underdress (yes, I'm convinced it is a full-length blue satiny dress underneath). If I have even more motivation, I would love to make the cape too. :) But all that is a lot of fabric.... :p

If you're interested, here are a couple of pages I've looked at to make this dress:


need2read said...

I love the costumes in the movies! They are so beautiful. I wish I could wear them myself!

Tianna S said...

Yes, me too! :) Thanks for checking out my blog! :D

none2many said...

Hi, I am making a dress from Prince Caspian and I've been trying to get on the Isis Mussenden's website you posted and it doesn’t go to the website. So before I try to figure the problem out could tell me if there's any good pictures of Susan’s red and yellow dress (in Prince Caspian at the end). If so is there some trick to get on the site?

TiannaJE said...

Hey! Sorry, she must have changed her website address. I corrected the link above. There aren't any pictures of that dress on her site, though. I'd look at The Wardrobe Door:

none2many said...

Ok, thanks. Oh, by the way I made the dress I was talking about. Here is the link to it.
Thanks again!!

TiannaJE said...

Wow, that's beautiful! You did an amazing job!

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