Tauriel Costume Study I

Taurial - Film PosterSince the first images were revealed for The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, so many of us have been fascinated by Tauriel’s costume. Hours spent pouring over as many production and still frame photos to be found before opening day. As more evidence from photos and the film were made available, conclusions could be made about construction (based only on my own costuming and construction experience).  Since fixation on understanding seemingly innocuous detail is one of my weaknesses, my observations can be a bit weird, or even pointless.

However, on the chance that there are other like minded individuals, or perhaps there is value to the details studied, posting my findings/notes seemed like an interesting idea, just in case.  You are also all highly encouraged to view the many gorgeous, eye-candy worthy cosplay and recreations there are popping up in our geeky community.  These woman are seriously talented.

Note 1: Personal passions are more with sewing/tailoring in cloth, therefore, initial observations are concentrated on foundation items (gowns, shirts, bodices, etc.) and not so much on the leather/armour/weapon related details (boots, braces, props…)

Note 2: Now that the BluRay has been released, the plan is to get more appropriate screen captures to post.

Upon initially seeing Tauriel’s photos, it appears she has 2 basic costumes, with variations in accessories and add-ons from scene to scene. These 2 basic garments are referred to as the Spider Dress (green crinkle petal skirt gown first seen in the spider battle) and the Archer Dress (jewel-toned green suede dress seen the remainder of the film).

Spider Dress

Spider Dress

This costume can be seen in Tauriel’s first scene while battling spiders, as well as in more detail during the orc interrogation scene.  It has the following basic pieces:

  • dark green 2-piece ‘gown’ of crinkle taffeta(?)
    • sleeved top
    • ‘petal’ skirt
  • leather half-corset
  • matching bracers
  • optional scarf (not examined in this post)
  • probable brown leather pants underneath (shared with the second costume)
  • brown leather boots

As listed above, it’s my conclusion that this gown is in 2 pieces.  I’ll provide photographic support for this theory further on, but the basis for this assumption comes from the final ‘healing’ scene where it appears that the sleeved top for this gown serves as the undershirt for the Archer Dress. In all the clips examined, there is so far no evidence of the petal skirt showing underneath the Archer Dress near her legs.

Archer Dress

Archer DressHer second basic costume has more screen time in it’s various incarnations and I’m slightly torn as to it’s basic construction.  But here are the items identified so far:

  • Forest green tunic style fitted gown in suede(?) – possible 2-piece as well
  • Barely visible undershirt (top from Spider dress)
  • Leather bracers (different than the spider dress)
  • Leather belt
  • Optional molded leather bodice
  • Optional green hooded kirtle, in linen, wool or rough cotton
  • Brown leather pants
  • Brown leather boots, possible same as Spider Dress

I was greatly inspired by the kirtle costume as it is the most inline with where my own sense of costume styles lay. It is the construction of this costume in particular that i’m still torn on – whether it is one piece or two (contrary to popular opinion)

Examination of the high res production photo revealed no evidence of the archer skirt beneath the kirtle below the knees, and there is a very clear garment line at her waist, indicating the bottom edge of something underneath, perhaps the bodice portion of her Archer dress. On the other hand, upon initial viewing of the HD film on my computer, i could have sworn that in a few frames while she is running across the rocks searching for the dwarves after their escape, there is the appearance of something that could be the skirt portion of the dress underneath the skirt of the kirtle.

I will now pause this post here and get screen captures of what I’m talking about…

…to be continued…

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