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Brian took these shots at San Diego Comic Con moments before I met George R. R. Martin in person. I was so nervous! XD
What to say about this costume... the character is Daenerys of House Targaryen, from the book series "A Song of Ice and Fire", which the TV Show "Game of Thrones" is based off of. I've been a fan of the books for about a decade now, and have planned to make a Dany costume since the first time I read the series. She is and has always been the character I love the most, and relate to the most.
Those who haven't read the books may not get my costume, but this is simply my personal interpretation of the character Daenerys, and I tried to be as accurate to the major descriptions as possible, such as the golden silver hair, silver bells and braids, purple eyes, the colors of the dragon, and costume materials/elements.
To explain a bit about the costume:
I always knew that I wanted to dress in Dany's iconic Qartheen traditional dress from "A Clash of Kings", 2nd book in the series, but for a long time debated how to pull off the look without it being offensive. Women in Qarth wore airy silk and/or lavish samite dresses baring one breast proudly, which reminds me of the breast baring fashion of the ancient culture of Minoa. Literally, breasts (aka WOMEN) were a symbol of wealth and power, not just sexual objects. Daenerys in the books (Minor spoiler! Skip if you want!) loses just about everything and puts all her stakes into the city and people of Qarth, who crown her and acknowledge her sovereignty. To pay respect to them, she dresses in the traditional gowns - a young girl near alone in the world brave enough to expose herself to a city full of strangers, and she does it with dignity and pride.
The feminist in me just loves that about her, and it's always left an impact on me.
So no matter what, I wanted to make the Qartheen gown.
I pulled inspiration from the books (obviously), the wedding gown in the TV show, various artworks of Daenerys and my own fantasy artwork style and costuming taste. I thought lavender would really suit the silvery golden hair and the silver accessories, and I wanted the gown to flow because Qarth would have been a sweltering place to live in, and also because summer cons bear similar climates. So a slight color changing chiffon it was! I made the gown in 2 layers so it wasn't see-through bwaha, and there was a bit of a debate which chest strap to omit O_o. I truly think that there is no universal rule which side to expose, so I went the right side - in line with Valyrian Resin's licensed Daenerys statue [link]
and the artwork of Dany on Wikipedia [link]
Also, I am right handed and holding the dragon was much easier with my primary hand.
So the dragon came about because I needed something to cover myself with, in order to be legal in public lol. I meant to sculpt a dragon but 2011 turned out to be INSANE so I bought a dragon statue and altered it with the help from Chris Donio and Brian Boling. Chris and Brian cut the beast apart and repositioned the legs and tail, re-sculpting the details and filling the piece for more durability. Thank you both for all the help! I painted the dragon and had to pick which of Daenerys' three to represent. Drogon, the black and red dragon, is the strongest of the three, but black shows every imperfection and would have looked odd on my very light costume. I thought green would complement the colors of the costume the best, so I made the dragon into Rhaegal!
I should add that the dragon was strapped onto me so I didn't have to use any hands to hold him, rather the cradling pose was for show. And as an extra extra precaution, I wore pasties.
As for the rest of the costume - I made a waist cincher after I found a silver dyed leather hide that still had the fur patches on it. I thought it was so interesting, luxurious yet raw looking that I had to spurge the $80 on the hide. Thank you, Kathy of God Save The Queen Fashions [link]
for letting me use her industrial machine to sew the leather.
I also wanted a belt and arm bands so I bought upholstery fabric and various trims and forced it all through my machine (breaking several needles along the way). I spent an evening decorating the pieces with beads and chains.
The wig was two wigs sewn together and it has a lace front for a more natural look. I braided a lattice work into it and sewed more beads and bells into it, so I jingle when I walk
The necklace is of Indian heritage because Daenerys as a newly crowned Queen received gifts from all different empires and cultures. Her accessories were diverse and I wanted something decorative on my neck.
For Dragoncon I plan to add more details to the costume, now that I've worn it once and see what's missing. It was an amazing experience to meet GRRM himself as well as the cast of "Game of Thrones" at SDCC. I will make a separate blog soon about the experience, but leave you for now with a shot of Emilia Clarke and me - Dany x 2! [link]
She was so kind and gracious to her fans and I really appreciated the opportunity to show her my costume. <3
More photos coming soon, sorry for the mega long description. XD
Other Deviations of this costume: