The Snow Queen

This was my final year project. I designed and made Costumes for The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen. I designed the costumes for theatre and ended up making costumes for Gerda and the Raven.

The costumes were inspired by Sami Culture and Victorian Fashion. I took influence from these sources as the story is based within the Arctic, around Lapland and Finland and this is the area that Sami people live. As the story of the Snow Queen was written within the Victorian era, I also wanted to take influence from Victorian fashion. I did this by looking at late Victorian silhouettes and using this to influence the shapes of my costumes.

It was very important to me that Gerda’s costume looked worn, as she has meant to have lived in it, so I broke the costumes down a lot after I had made them. I used recycled drinks cans within my embroidery. I reverse appliquéd the metal into the hems of Gerda’s dress and coat to imitate the silver work that is used in traditional Sami costume.

The shape of the Raven’s costume is inspired by traditional Sami capes called “Luhkka”. The shape of the ravens shoes is also taken from traditional Sami footwear, but my shoes have been made out of felt, instead of Reindeer skin, as they would be in Sami culture. The embroidery on the cape has been inspired by ravens. I laser cut lots of raven shapes out of a range of different fabrics and appliquéd these onto my cape. I then applied different embroidery techniques to the birds including trapunto quilting and couching on braids that I had made.