Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Lagertha's Battledress: The Gathering Of Armor And Leather

This past weekend was a successful hunt for most of the materials needed to create my version of Lagertha's season two battledress.
It consists (from under to outer layers, and from what I can tell from the show + stills) of a long-sleeved woven shirt, slim brown suede leather trousers, a lower-calf-length fitted jerkin in a deep blue distressed leather and an outer haubergeon(?) of chainmaille with tooled leather insets.
Her jerkin is basically cut as a sleeveless dress, keyhole neck, likely laced up the center front or back, with the skirts left open at the center front and sides for riding.
This high resolution shot is a great image for details. Right click and 'view image' to zoom in:

The shirt looks like a kind of woven material, and historically would have been made of flax or hemp. Finding something similar will be a challenge. Not impossible, but I will settle for a handkerchief weight linen if availability dictates.
It was also this above photo that lead me to the conclusion that her blue leather skirts were indeed a full sleeveless dress worn under the chainmaille armor. You can see the same blue leather peeking out from under her outer armor neckline. It makes me glad that the full leather hide I found is HUGE and will give me plenty to work with. It's also a nice soft garment weight leather. So, while I'm expecting there to be an appropriate amount of layers for a protective outfit, it won't be so bulky that I can't move.

I also found some of the rivet studs/nailheads in a size and color combo similar to those trimming the neck and hem on the long blue leather jerkin.

For her trousers, I did a quick search on Etsy and found the perfect pair in a rich brown suede. They even have similar leather cross stitching up the outside of the legs to match the leather bits on the armor. I'm probably going to remove most of the polyester lining so they will breathe a little more, and wear cotton boyshorts underneath.

I also found some tooling leather to make the leather insets for the outer chainmaille armor.
Tooling is the design carved and/or stamped into the leather itself, after it's been soaked. At least I think that's the process. I'm learning how to do a lot of this as I go ;-)

Below is a photo Katheryn Winnick snapped as a sneak peek (she's the actress that portrays Lagertha in the series), of the armor in one of its final fittings & design phases. You can see the changes they made with the sleeves, probably to make them more comfortable or for mobility, and they hadn't yet stained the leather portions to the dark brown color they are in the show.
Maybe it's just me, but it almost looks like a molded plastic instead of tooled leather. Whatever the costume department did either way, it turned out fantastic:

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