It is the TV series of the moment: we are talking about Games of Thrones, an exciting fantasy story, now at its last season, inspired by the cycle of novels A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin. An international success, with record ratings, which no doubt is due to the talent of directors and actors – but not only. In addition to the story, compelling and captivating, and characters, carefully studied in the minimal personality details, one of the strengths of the series is accuracy. Realism also passes through stage costumes, cleverly designed and embroidered without even leaving a simple seam to the case.
In fact, costume designer Michele Clapton was granted, for five consecutive years, nominations in “Outstanding Costumes for a Series” category, taking home two Emmys. Last year, however, she won in the “Outstanding Costume Design for a Period/Fantasy Mini-Series or Movie” for her work in the season finale. On TV, some details might escape, but a keen eye would still be able to capture the presence of specific trimmings and embroidery in which a true fan of Game of Thrones, might also find some spoilers. Yes, clothes speak. The costumes of all the characters are the fruit of a clever work, not just manual, but also conceptual, of costume embroiderer Michele Carragher. Women’s clothes are the ones that tell a story, which follow the character in her growth and give the viewer an anticipation about her evolution.
A prime example of this are Daenerys Targaryen’s costumes. The first dresses are simple, both in colour and silhouette, symbol of her daintiness and vulnerability. After becoming the “Mother of Dragons”, costumes change, textures that recalls the idea of dragon scales are created, a detail occurring many times over the seasons in different outfits. During the last season, the costume designer continued to develop the concept of the evolution of Daenerys, proposing rigid shape outfits, as evidenced by increasingly accentuated shoulders, hand in hand with the growing strength and power of the Queen. The clothes hues are darker, but the red trimming recalls the colours of the House Targaryen. In addition, Daenerys does not try to conceal trousers under her dresses, as a real conqueress would do.
Equally noteworthy, the details of Catelyn Stark’s costumes. Michele Carragher often used the fish shape, seal of the House of the character, either through decorative appliqués or embroidery on collars. The colours of the clothes are very important: warm blue and green, symbolizing the honesty of the Stark family.
Sansa is the character that mostly changes and grows over the course of the series. This is obviously reflected in her costumes. Initially, she wears kimono dresses with the typical embroidery of the women of King’s Landing. The following costumes are marked by the loss of hope and desire for freedom, as it can be perceived by the dragonfly embroidery on the dress. A big difference compared to recent costumes, dark, completed with chains, leather belts and fur trims, representing the final stage of her journey, that wants her more and more mature and aware.
The costumes created for Margaery Tyrell are complex and fascinating just like her. Apparently as beautiful as a rose, (symbol of her house), no one will be spared from her thorns. A striking example of meticulous and spectacular work, both from a manual and conceptual point of view, is her wedding gown, embellished with thorn and leaf branches applied around the waist, the slit instead, becomes a cascade of silvery delicate roses.
Also the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, Cersei Lannister, has undergone a transformation in terms of clothes, at the beginning of the series, she wore simple unrefined garments, which became increasingly rich in details, embroidery and prints with the growing of her insecurities. In the last two seasons, the clothes of the Queen preferred darker colours, symbolizing the gloomy and vindictive state of mind of the character.