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Halloween: Geek Costumes with Ivy Patricksdaughter

I had the pleasure of having an email interview with Ivy Patricksdaughter, the costume designer of Geek Costumes and a Lord of the Rings fan.  

Goldberry: You have beautiful Eowyn and Faramir costumes. Are they your favourite Tolkien characters? What draws you to this pair?   

Eowyn and Faramir by Ivy Patricksdaughter
Eowyn and Faramir by Ivy Patricksdaughter

Ivy Patricksdaughter: Thank you for both costumes. My favourite character from the book is Eowyn, yes. A strong woman, who refuses her condition as a princess and wants to fight for those she loves, no matter her sex or royal rank. And of course, I love Faramir because he’s brave, and dedicated to his family beyond his life, and he chose the life of a Ranger when he could have stayed comfy at home.

Shield Maiden of Rohan
Shield Maiden of Rohan

I must confess I really don’t like Miranda Otto playing Eowyn. I don’t believe her in this particular rôle. But she’s a great actress nonetheless, I don’t deny that. As for David Wenham playing Faramir, well, he’s just my favourite in all the LotR movies!

So that’s how I was drawn to this pair : me feeling very close the Eowyn’s character, and also loving Faramir’s costume (and my boyfriend loved it too, so there was no need to talk further about it).

GB: Why Galadriel?

Ivy Patricksdaughter as  The Lady of Light
Ivy Patricksdaughter as The Lady of Light

Ivy Patricksdaughter:Well, first I made these three costumes for an event in a theatre. I had my boyfriend as Faramir, a dear lady friend who looked perfect for Eowyn (its her you can see on the pictures), but I wanted a costume for me, too. With my very long light hair, the choice was easy. Moreover, I really like the inner power of this character, how fragile she can look on the outside, but you better not cross her ^^ And Cate Blanchett is such a powerful mind when she plays this Elven Queen !

 GB:  What materials did you use for Eowyn and Galadriel? How do you think the materials you use help create a character?

 Ivy Patricksdaughter: For Eowyn, I used velvet for the bodice, with steel bones inside to help give a proper shape for the waist. For her dress, I found a lovely cotton moiré, that has really light reflexion when the light falls on the fabric. For Galadriel, I used a really soft cotton, and organza ornated with silver threads.

The materials are really important, because they can give information about the character they dress: how rich, how proud, how strong, how important they can be. Sometimes, I have no choice because the ideal material is too expensive, but every time I can, I use the same material used for the original costume.

GB:  Many of your costumes are based on Medieval and Renaissance-era clothing. Why do you think this style of clothing has become so popular with fantasy writers and costume designers?  What about the style appeals to you as a costume maker?

Faramir, Ranger of the South
Faramir, Ranger of the South

 Ivy Patricksdaughter: For the popularity of this style of costume, I don’t really know… I can only guess that it reminds us about historical era we like to dream about, but the fantasy side of the costumes (making them non-historical, then), allows us to be more free in the creation, adding line more modern, of creating female characters more warrior-like… Our dreams can become true, whether we wish to be a princess of a fierce warrior, a powerful warlock or a charming prince, I guess we give room to magic in our lives, when the life we live in these days can be so grey and sad sometimes…

GB:  In addition to the Lord of the Rings costumes, you also feature Rapunzel and other characters from fantasy on your Facebook page: How do you choose which characters to create?

Ivy Patricksdaughter: Yes, I worked on so many different characters, and keep planning to.  I choose the characters I want to embody upon different criteria: the personality, the beauty of the costume, and often because of the hair (I really love redhead characters, especially if they have really long hair like me). But as for the costume I make for the clients, it’s only their choice, so they would have to answer your question themselves.

GB:  What fantasy worlds, other than Tolkien, do you enjoy?

Ivy Patricksdaughter: I really love all the books from the Valdemar histories, written by Mercedes Lackey. Alors the trilogy about Raven, the warrior, written by Holdstock and Wells. The Eragon saga has some good passages too (C. Paolini). All the books around Narnia are quite cool too (C.S. Lewis). I don’t remember them all, and I know I still have a lot to read, so I can keep learning and travelling!

Galadriel in Lothlorien
Galadriel in Lothlorien

GB: What are your favourite materials to work with? Are you a natural/original fiber purist for historical costumes, or do you prefer to work with natural and synthetic materials to get a particular look?

 Ivy Patricksdaughter: I must confess, I am in love with linen! But I also love to work with any natural material : cotton, wool, silk and even leather and fur. For the historical costumes, yes, I will always go for natural fabrics, but sometimes they are too expensive, depending on the pattern I have to chose, so I have no choice but to bu a synthetic one, but I always do so reluctantly.

 GB: What is your next costume project?

 Ivy Patricksdaughter: Do I really have to pick only one ? ^^

If we talk about the orders I make for customers, the next one will be for a couple, two character from the video game League of Legends.

If we talk about my personal projects, I still have to finish up Tauriel (from the Hobbit II), but for 2014, I wish to make Dark Phoenix (Marvel X-Men), Mara Jade (Star Wars extended universe), Morgause (tv-show Merlin) for a duet with a lady friend, a Mord-Sith (tv-show Legend of the Seeker) for a complete group with friends…

 GB:  What is your dream costume project?

Ivy Patricksdaughter: My dream about costumes would be to make all the costumes for a Shakespeare play, on a wooden stage, or for a movie. The Twelfth Night, the play he wrote I love the most!

Or maybe Cyrano, written by Edmond Rostand. I love him too !

Thank you Ivy Patricksdaughter of Geek Costumes for taking the time to talk with us! You can follow her and see more amazing costumes on Facebook.

About stormraven

“Goldberry Riverdaughter” has been her friends’ and families’ resident book nerd since reading the Tao of Pooh at age eight. Since then her literary exploration has lead her straight to Lord of the Rings where she’s made her home. In addition to a staff reporter for Legendarium, she also runs Hells Hobbits. She has a degree in History, as well as a new-found penchant for disassembling literary canon. She lives with her equally nerdy husband and two gigantic cats enjoying table top games & cosplay.