Monday, May 4, 2009

Through the Opera Glasses - 15 - It's Authentic Historical Costumes For Me, Or Nothing

I'm a huge historical fan, both in books and in film & television. When I worked on my own student films, I was a real stickler for authenticity, even on my no-budget budget.

So it's almost physically painful when I watch a show based in an actual time period that tries to 'modern up' the look. Unfortunately, the costume designer for the first two seasons of BBC's Robin Hood did just that.

Frances Tempest was a big fan of making Lady Marian look like a 2000's chick.


What the heck is this? It does not evoke medieval to me in any way, shape or form.

This is about the best costume Ms. Tempest gave us for Lady Marian.

Robin Hood wasn't too bad - she kept his costume fairly simple.

The Sheriff of Nottingham didn't fare too badly - I always liked his ceremonial ermine costume.

But if there was something that made my teeth grind in frustration during every episode, it was this hideous swirling detail on Sir Guy's shoulders.

This was a fantastic scene between Lady Marian and Guy of Gisbourne - but there it is again! That shoulder swirl detailing. *clutching my head*

As long as it was covered up by his leather cloak, I could handle Guy's costume. The leather tunic wasn't bad if not for that 1980's rock star vibe.

But this season, Ms. Tempest was replaced as costume designer by Howard Burden.

Let the bells ring throughout the land!

See? It's not so hard to give a medieval woman a medieval gown.

Sir Guy's sister has arrived on the scene, along with a new look for Gisbourne.

Sir Guy is not the man he was when we last saw him in season 2.

It's fascinating to note that Guy has acquired a more armoured look, as he is an emotional wreck for season 3.

I love the simple tunic and leather wrist guards.

And he seems to have traded in those trademark leather pants for this pair of more textured pants. I like the rugged feel to this new look.

Thank you, Howard Burden for Sir Guy's magnificent new costume. Season 3 is now airing in the UK, and I'm still waiting to see it over here in Canada. But I've seen segments thanks to YouTube!

And no more teeth grinding for me.

Nikki says You look into so much detailing. :)

Kim Richardson says I love Robin Hood! It's been awhile since I've seen anything on it!

Ms Snarky Pants says I drive my poor hubby crazy when I pick movies apart. hehehe


Nikki said...

Interesting. You look into so much detailing. :)

P.S: Robin Hood was my first film ever. I went to the theater to watch it. I must have been six.

Anonymous said...

Great pictures! I love Robin Hood! It's been awhile since I've seen anything on it!

MsSnarkyPants said...

I'm totally okay with a movie if they go for a not at all historically accurate costume design. Like they did in A Knight's Tale. It's when they act like they're trying to be all historically accurate and then they throw something in that is just WRONG that bothers me.

I drive my poor hubby crazy when I pick movies apart. hehehe

Julia Smith said...

Nikki - I had no problem with the Kevin Costner film costumes. You'd be surprised by how much effort it takes for me to ignore costumes that suck!

Kim - I'm a rabid follower of Richard Armitage, AKA Sir Guy. I'm always cruising around for new info.

Ms Snarky Pants - My husband also doesn't mind if the costumes get moderned up.

Akelamalu said...

There's nothing worse than costumes that just don't fit the period is there? :(

Thomma Lyn said...

hehe, what a fun post! Anachronisms in historical films are pretty jarring, and they can be funny, in a groany sort of way. :)

Julia Smith said...

Akelamalu - I'm very unforgiving, that way.

Thomma Lyn - I hate being jarred out of my time period! Not that I have any strong feelings on the matter...

Travis said...

My dad is a stickler like that about authenticity with props, specifically with weapons. He has made me pay closer attention to those kinds of details as well.

sheila said...

You know? I've never thought much of it, but you're right! How weird! I guess I don't know that much about authentic costumes, but geez, now that you point it out it seems so obvious!