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View Full Version : Today in nonsense: Scoring Dru's costumes



ghoststar
31-12-18, 05:19 PM
The white Regency-esque gown. I really like this one, because she actually pulls off the shape, the white drives home the whole newlywed vibe of these crazy, 120-years-married kids, and it takes on a retrospective significance as a sign of the purity-obsessed virgin nun that Angel turned back in the 1860s. OTOH, she and Spike probably didn’t pack THAT many copies in the trunk of their car when they rode into Sunnydale, and she wears it for half a season straight, so it probably stinks. I guess the punk-rock vampire couple can pull off bad hygiene if anyone can. 8/10.

The white satin gown. Honestly, I’m not sure if this is a gown in the “formal event” sense or the “sleep tight!” one. Maybe it’s supposed to show some1940s influence? IDK. It doesn’t look bad, just unremarkable for someone as gloriously bizarre as Dru. 5/10.
The black Regency-esque gown. Drusilla wears this one to get healed by her sire’s life force, as one does, and then to rescue her lover from a collapsed pipe organ. We don’t see much of it. I’m pretty sure that its structural resemblance to her first dress is intentional, that they’re trying to show us the predator that was at first hidden by her frailty, but it’s surprisingly boring on her. You’d think that floating black chiffon would be right up Dru’s alley, so I’m not sure what about it bothers me. Is it just too obvious? Is the fit wrong? (It does look more floppy than floating to me.) Either way, it’s not one of her biggest successes. 3/10.

The unstructured crimson gown. This one is PERFECT. Between the rich color, the shining texture, and the perfect flow of the fabric, she looks like she’s dressed in a river of blood. And it shimmies with her when she dances to “Transylvanian Concubine.” AND SHE ONLY WEARS IT IN ONE EPISODE. WHY??? 10/10.

The tight-bodiced, fitted, two-toned red gown. Not bad, not bad. To me, it’s a little more boring– not to mention, less comfy-looking– than the glorious blood dress, and she should probably get another dress between “Innocence” and “Becoming,” but I’m impressed by the matching boots. 6/10.

The 1860s Victorian gown. Let’s be real, this one’s super bland, but it’s meant to be. The pattern, neckline, and hoop shape all look good for the time frame. Although it’s more of a day dress than an evening gown (even though she’s out at night), I’m sure plenty of women didn’t have special dresses for balls or the opera– especially if they were sheltered and prudish. 6/10, mostly for accuracy.

The black-and-white gown. Another fine choice. It suits Juliet Landau’s figure, the long scarf adds a weird Drusilla touch, and the color combination is emblematic of both Drusilla’s personality extremes and the choice faced by Spike. 7/10.

TriBel
31-12-18, 05:43 PM
and she wears it for half a season straight, so it probably stinks.

Not to be pedantic but do vampires sweat? I'd be more concerned about getting the blood stains out. :p

ghoststar
31-12-18, 07:10 PM
Not to be pedantic but do vampires sweat? I'd be more concerned about getting the blood stains out. :p

They definitely sweat. Not that it makes much sense for them to, since they're room temperature (you'd think that, if they reflexively sweat during exertion or emotional stress, they'd also produce body heat), but we Spike gets sweaty while fighting demons ("Grave"), Angel sweats copiously both while being tortured ("What's My Line, Part 2") and as a result of intense dreams ("Amends"). Although, since most of the smell of sweat is produced by microbial life adapted to human hosts, I suppose it's possible that vampire sweat doesn't smell like the human kind.

Double Dutchess
01-01-19, 12:11 AM
since most of the smell of sweat is produced by microbial life adapted to human hosts, I suppose it's possible that vampire sweat doesn't smell like the human kind.

Oh, good one! I'll keep that as my head canon.

I largely agree with your ratings on Drusilla's dresses, though I think I'd rather her dress from Crush a bit higher. I love that one. And what about her outfits on AtS?

ghoststar
01-01-19, 04:22 AM
Oh, good one! I'll keep that as my head canon.

I largely agree with your ratings on Drusilla's dresses, though I think I'd rather her dress from Crush a bit higher. I love that one. And what about her outfits on AtS?

I can’t recall all of her outfits on AtS, but her flashback costumes tend to be quite good for the show’s budget and era. (I did a whole series of historical-costuming posts, complete with reference pictures and reputable sources, on Tumblr; unfortunately since the inmates running that asylum have for some reason decided that my page is too perverted to include in search results, I’m having a hard time finding them, let alone getting them to post on a site with a text-based format.) As I noted above, the outfit that she wears when Angel first finds her in “Dear Boy” is a solid choice for 1865: If I saw it out of context, it’d instantly ping as 1858-65 on my costume radar. You can see it in the oval hoop shape, the paisley print (a British adaptation of a traditional Indian design motif), and the green color. It’s no coincidence that it looks like a less-swanky version of the bright green silk that Darla wears in the covent scene of the same episode: The 1860s lie in between the excitement over the new synthetic dyes (beginning with Perkin’s mauve in 1854) and the upper classes’ late-Victorian rejection of excessive color as tacky. “Arsenic green”* was particularly fashionable, showing up in women’s clothing for all but the lowliest occasions, as well as in household decorations like wallpaper. Her bonnet and “undersleeves” are also appropriate for the era, although I’m not sure how many women would’ve continuing wearing them at night, when the standard of modesty was a lot less exacting than in the day. Of course, given Angel’s conflicted attitudes toward sex, I guess anyone he’d suspect of being “a saint” would have to be a prude.

Her “FFL”/“Darla” crossover outfits are a mixed bag. The early-1880s outfits are an understandable miss. They should have roughly the same shape as Cecily’s gown, as this was the “natural form” era, but instead, they look very 1890s to me. Since she’s in deep shadow when she wears them, the costumers probably read that their pieces of the scripts and chose to use the money elsewhere. They try to hide her 1880 outfit with a capelet... which, with its black-on-silver color scheme and its, well, being a capelet, looks perfect for 1910.

The 1881 mine-shaft costume is just as anachronistic, but you can tell that the costumers actually knew what they were doing, even if they couldn’t fund it. Why else would Drusilla, the doll-loving woman-child, have the mid-calf skirt and loose hair that mark her as the adolescent girl to Darla’s adult?

By contrast, her 1900 outfit is terrific. It’s either an aesthetic dress or a tea gown; the tea gown is basically the mainstreamed daughter of the artsy aesthetic dress, but I can’t reliably tell them apart. Depending on the consumer and designer’s preferences, they might have light boning built in, be worn over a relatively-loose corset, or have no structure at all. While the Aesthetic Dress movement developed out of a dissatisfaction with the excessive frippery of Victorian clothing, aesthetic dresses and tea towns were still luxury items, worn by the queens of the art world (aesthetic dress) or as loungewear by the superrich (tea gowns). They weren’t something that ordinary women commissioned to work around the house, on the fields, or in the shop. Hallmarks of the dresses were excellent handiwork, smocking for decoration and elasticity, and flowing lines, the latter two of which resulted in exhorbitant fabric usage.

Drusilla’s gown is dead-on. I wouldn’t even be surprised if it was a copy of an extant piece from the House of Worth or another high-flying fashion company. The filled-in neckline, light yellow color, float-y fabric, dense smocking, and sash are all things I’ve seen in tea gowns and aesthetic dresses from 1895-1910. She’s obviously done a mix-and-match thing with her coat and shoes— and it’s a goodmix-and-match on the costumer’s part. If you look closely in the shot where Spike carries her through the streets, she’s wearing Qing-dynasty men’s shoes, or possibly women’s shoes not intended for court usage.**



*Yes, some of the dyeing processes involved actual arsenic, and yes, some of the consumers got arsenic poisoning. On the other hand, this was not a novel problem. Master dyers in Venice were already using arsenic to brighten their highly sought-after insect reds in the Renaissance.

**Drusilla could have gotten her feet into Qing-style women’s shoes, because the Qing were Manchus, a foreign ethnic group that had invaded a few centuries earlier and forbidden their own people from engaging in the Han practice of footbinding. However, upper-class Qing women adopted a custom that was fairly impractical itself: The wearing of high, small platforms, built into the sole of the shoe. When worn with a long dress, they gave the illusion, or at least symbol, of tiny feet— but they were not practical for doing housework. Most Manchus being relatively high up—in various ways— in the Chinese hierarchy, they could afford to mince around on itsy bitsy fake feet. I would guess, though, that at least a few Manchu women commissioned smallish men’s-style shoes for informal occasions.)

flow
01-01-19, 09:12 PM
I Need the visuals, so forgive me for hijacking your thread and spamming it with pics:

https://i.imgur.com/m1B5S8h.jpg
the two-toned red gown

https://i.imgur.com/WZ1Jr5f.jpg
the 1860 Victorian gown?

https://i.imgur.com/fMeXcYS.png
the white Regency-esque gown?

https://i.imgur.com/veLpnsG.png
the crimson gown

https://i.imgur.com/P6EWhvk.jpg
the black and white gown

https://i.imgur.com/E9iIE4B.png
the black Regency-esque gown

flow

- - - Updated - - -

I am not sure, I got them all right and I couldn`t find a picture of the white satin gown (unless it`s the third one, but then I haven`t found the white Regeny-esque one).

flow

ghoststar
01-01-19, 10:03 PM
I Need the visuals, so forgive me for hijacking your thread and spamming it with pics:

https://i.imgur.com/m1B5S8h.jpg
the two-toned red gown

https://i.imgur.com/WZ1Jr5f.jpg
the 1860 Victorian gown?

https://i.imgur.com/fMeXcYS.png
the white Regency-esque gown?

https://i.imgur.com/veLpnsG.png
the crimson gown

https://i.imgur.com/P6EWhvk.jpg
the black and white gown

https://i.imgur.com/E9iIE4B.png
the black Regency-esque gown

flow

- - - Updated - - -

I am not sure, I got them all right and I couldn`t find a picture of the white satin gown (unless it`s the third one, but then I haven`t found the white Regeny-esque one).

flow

The crimson gown I was referring to was different— Dru wears it while dancing to “Transylvanian Concubine” in “Surprise.” It doesn’t have a separate skirt and bodice. The others are what I was talking about, though.

I was referring to the third one as white satin, although it’s only got a satin-y bodice. (Assuming you count polyester.) I couldn’t come up with a clearer description for it at the time.

flow
01-01-19, 10:29 PM
ghoststar:
The crimson gown I was referring to was different— Dru wears it while dancing to “Transylvanian Concubine” in “Surprise.” It doesn’t have a separate skirt and bodice.

https://i.imgur.com/8YiTKdP.jpg
This one? That`s a beautiful dress. I only just noticed, how stunning Juliet Landau looks in red.

flow

Priceless
01-01-19, 11:20 PM
I've just watched that episode and Juliet Landau does look stunning in the red.

ghoststar
02-01-19, 12:07 AM
Yep. It definitely suits her (although it’s pretty enough to look good on most people). Plus, what a statement piece for a vampire.

Priceless
02-01-19, 07:54 AM
Yep. It definitely suits her (although it’s pretty enough to look good on most people). Plus, what a statement piece for a vampire.

She's all in red and Spike is all in black, accept for his wheelchair, which is red and black. It's all so perfectly dressed.