Lúthien's Magic Hair Cloak

MithLuin

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In Season 6 Episode 5, Lúthien will weave a cloak from her hair while imprisoned in Hirilorn. What should this magic cloak look like?

It is magic, so I suggest that it be much less stiff than you would expect fabric made from hair to be. It could be made from very fine, almost transparent wool. Or from silk. Something with a very good flow to it.

She will wrap herself in this garment to hide, and use it to put others to sleep. So, it should have a shadowy look to it.
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
In Season 6 Episode 5, Lúthien will weave a cloak from her hair while imprisoned in Hirilorn. What should this magic cloak look like?

It is magic, so I suggest that it be much less stiff than you would expect fabric made from hair to be. It could be made from very fine, almost transparent wool. Or from silk. Something with a very good flow to it.

She will wrap herself in this garment to hide, and use it to put others to sleep. So, it should have a shadowy look to it.
Why light effects in the cloak? For the same reason you put a star projector in a babies room - it can make the viewer sleepy if used right. And it can be a effective light source in a dark place. It would also enhance Luthien's dance moves.

I am thinking about the dance scene here, Rob Harding suggested some special effects for the cloak - with the use of modern e-textiles you will have the effect like starlight, movement, colour change in-situ with all its afterglows on the surrounding items and persons - only to be enhanced - if needed at all - by CGI.

It would also be a small "hommage" to the famous Blind Gardian cover with the "glowing" Luthien, even if more tastefull than that said cover, imho.

My original post:

Do we want Luthien's cloak to have some light fibers woven in? (Not in the one we show her weaving - in the ready one that she actually wears later.)

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Or is it warranted to open a "Luthien's cloak" thread in the Props section to discuss such matters?
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
This is very bright - one can be made much "dimmer" - I assume - and in a dark textile which far less light threads inwoven (maybe just some accents here and there) - and which a different coloured and even changing and programable light source - but it shows how bright it can be and how it behaves:

I do also imagine it could be used as a lining - with the graphite silk over it - this would diffuse the light and make it more shadowy and misterious.

I just assume we want to heep Me;lor's throne room dark except for the Silmarils - and this would make a nice interacion between them and Luthien being the "only offficial" light sources in the scene.
 
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MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
When Voldemort is resurrected/reborn in the 4th Harry Potter film, he is clothed in shadow that transitions to physical robes. They have very nice movement to them, and were apparently part of the reason the actor accepted the role - he saw the costume, and knew this would work. (The robes also fade from black to green as more of his horcruxes are destroyed.)


I am not sure of the material, but wanted to look at the CGI-to-fabric transformation in that scene. We don't want to do that with Lúthien, but I would be fine with her cloak getting wispy/shadowy around the edges when she's using it magically.

The Lorien cloaks in LotR were made of a very fine wool. There are scenes where you can see through them, and when they can be made to flutter in interesting ways.
Timestamp 1:51 in particular:

They really are quite beautiful in person:
They are grey, but appear greenish on film.

 

MithLuin

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Ah, if the idea is to enhance Lúthien's dance movements by illuminating her in a dark space, then I would suggest incorporating the light into the dress that she is wearing under her shadowy cloak. That will allow for flashes to peep out at times, recreating some of the shocking contrasts when she is uncloaked present in the story.

The cloak itself should remain shadowy, not lit up. It grants invisibility, allowing her to melt into shadows.
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
The Lorien cloaks in LotR were made of a very fine wool. There are scenes where you can see through them, and when they can be made to flutter in interesting ways.
Wool is diffficult to pretend to have been originally hair - it is undercoat down fiber - I do think silk is the best way to go - it is traditionally used for dancing veils for a reason - and can be believable in pretending to have been very-very silky hair once - as it is originaly a long fiber in itself.
 
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Odola

Well-Known Member
Ah, if the idea is to enhance Lúthien's dance movements by illuminating her in a dark space, then I would suggest incorporating the light into the dress that she is wearing under her shadowy cloak. That will allow for flashes to peep out at times, recreating some of the shocking contrasts when she is uncloaked present in the story.

The cloak itself should remain shadowy, not lit up. It grants invisibility, allowing her to melt into shadows.
Good idea also.

Edit: Could also work for all the "ghosts/spirits" in the story - let them have a lighted under-robe below a white version of their clothes - and then there is less CGI to make them look ghostly.
 
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MithLuin

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Yes, the movement of the fabric is going to be very important, as she is dancing in it.

Voldemort's robes have great movement. There are two details of construction that lend to this, beyond the fabric choice (which was fantastic).

One, is that there is a pleated portion at the back neck. This means that the robes are very full and drapey, hanging well.


The other is that they are unhemmed. The raw edge makes for a great light twirly motion to the garment.


A raw edge, unhemmed, on silk is going to be very rough looking, lots of loose fibers. That might not be a bad thing, but it might be rather distracting. One could burn the edges rather than hem them, though. (Note: I am not suggesting we show Lúthien doing this on screen!)

 
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Odola

Well-Known Member
Yes, the movement of the fabric is going to be very important, as she is dancing in it.

Voldemort's robes have great movement. There are two details of construction that lend to this, beyond the fabric choice (which was fantastic).

One, is that there is a pleated portion at the back neck. This means that the robes are very full and drapey, hanging well.


The other is that they are unhemmed. The raw edge makes for a great light twirly motion to the garment.


A raw edge, unhemmed, on silk is going to be very rough looking, lots of loose fibers. That might not be a bad thing, but it might be rather distracting. One could burn the edges rather than hem them, though. (Note: I am not suggesting we show Lúthien doing this on screen!)


The bottom hem? That depends which side of the woven piece you choose for it. If you make the side - the naturally edge closed when weaving - so you do rotate the woven piece 90 degrees - then you do not have any loose fibers? But for cloaks in most often practicable to weight the bottom hem (by sewing some weight into it) to prevent it from fluttering too much.
 
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MithLuin

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I am presuming a circular bottom hem on the cloak, so it will be a cut edge regardless of the direction of the fabric. And I agree that a cloak that is just meant to drape and hang can have a heavy hem (even weighted like drapes as you point out). But Lúthien's cloak is going to need to be very fluttery when she dances, not weighing her down. It will have to be a full enough cloak to wrap entirely around her, but have options to flip it back so that her entire front costume is revealed. There may be separate costume pieces for 'Lúthien standing around in her cloak' and 'Lúthien's magic cloak for dance sequences' for practical reasons.
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
I am presuming a circular bottom hem on the cloak, so it will be a cut edge regardless of the direction of the fabric. And I agree that a cloak that is just meant to drape and hang can have a heavy hem (even weighted like drapes as you point out). But Lúthien's cloak is going to need to be very fluttery when she dances, not weighing her down. It will have to be a full enough cloak to wrap entirely around her, but have options to flip it back so that her entire front costume is revealed. There may be separate costume pieces for 'Lúthien standing around in her cloak' and 'Lúthien's magic cloak for dance sequences' for practical reasons.
But that would mean she must have done some tailoring (diffficult without a big work table and cutout patterns) and cutting down what she has woven. There is a reason why togas, sarees, chitons, peploi, and stolas are untailored - when you cut that woven fabric you do release the power/ magic/ wholesomeness closed in within.

There may be separate costume pieces for 'Lúthien standing around in her cloak' and 'Lúthien's magic cloak for dance sequences' for practical reasons.
I do think there must be several versions - for when on foot, when riding, when dancing - different characteristics are required - and as it is a magic cloak it can adapt - which our verions cannot - so we have to have several of them.
 

MithLuin

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I am not super enamored of the silhouette of a rectangular cloak. If she can have a large standing loom in her treehouse, she can lay out the cloak pieces on the floor of the treehouse and sew them together. She is definitely going to be cutting a neck hole into this garment in some fashion! She also is not trying to contain the magic in the cloak - the whole point is that it bleeds out into everything the cloak touches.
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
I am not super enamored of the silhouette of a rectangular cloak. If she can have a large standing loom in her treehouse, she can lay out the cloak pieces on the floor of the treehouse and sew them together. She also is not trying to contain the magic in the cloak - the whole point is that it bleeds out into everything the cloak touches.
But I do understand she has the work hanging vertical down from a big branch the tree provided? As The Tolkien Professor thougt too little space up there even for a loom? Then how to spread out something this big - (for a cloack one either has a huge working table or just uses the (clean) floor...)

Edit: But then again, if it is magical - it can change the silhuette if required. I find showing Luthien tailoring is a bit much. It just might take some different shapes if required - I do find a bit of shapeshifting is not above it...
 
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MithLuin

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Yes, I have made multiple cloaks before, and used the floor each time.

It wasn't that there was too little space for a loom. As was discussed, it would look silly to transport a loom into the treehouse. And there are story reasons to want to involve the tree in this process.

Gandalf's cloaks in the Peter Jackson films are rectangular shaped...but they don't have a harsh rectangular hem. Rather, the edges are all rounded off and U-shaped. This cloak shape would not lend itself to dancing.

 

Odola

Well-Known Member
Yes, I have made multiple cloaks before, and used the floor each time.
:cool:

It wasn't that there was too little space for a loom.
As was discussed, it would look silly to transport a loom into the treehouse. And there are story reasons to want to involve the tree in this process.
Never got this point - about 5-7 long sticks in a bundle on Daeron's back like in a quiver. But whatever.

Gandalf's cloaks in the Peter Jackson films are rectangular shaped...but they don't have a harsh rectangular hem. Rather, the edges are all rounded off and U-shaped. This cloak shape would not lend itself to dancing.
Gandalf though is shown dancing in it with the hobbits while I do not remember to have seen Voldemort dancing?

Most dancing veils a rectangual and work fine, the same with the Bollywood sarees and veils. Beyond skirts (and Isis' Wings) I do not remember any other dance fabric that is actually cut in the round?
 
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Rob Harding

Active Member
Is there a reason looms are being discussed so much? I’m not sure if I’ve missed something but looms and weaving seem to come up in every thread atm. I feel like I’ve missed a major theme or metaphor or something. Sorry, but can someone remind me why we are talking about looms so much? Cos as far as I know, I didn’t think there was any context for looms? I feel lost
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
Is there a reason looms are being discussed so much? I’m not sure if I’ve missed something but looms and weaving seem to come up in every thread atm. I feel like I’ve missed a major theme or metaphor or something. Sorry, but can someone remind me why we are talking about looms so much? Cos as far as I know, I didn’t think there was any context for looms? I feel lost
Luthien is weaving her magical shadow cloak from her own hair while in the tree. And The Tolkien Professor agreed that Weaving Magic "is a thing" - in fairy tales generally and also in Tolkien specifically. :D So the weaving is in. And you seem to have missed one of my early posts in the beginning of the Magic thread - which The Tolkien Professor referred to as a "TED Talk".
 

MithLuin

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Staff member
To further clarify - Corey Olsen does not read the Silm Film message boards. I provide him with notes, synthesizing relevant discussion prior to each session. Sometimes, I paraphrase or summarize someone's ideas, or list out the different options we came up with on the boards. Other times, I provide block quotes from people's posts. And when I include a lengthy essay on a topic, I warn him by prefacing it with 'welcome to so-and-so's TED talk'. So, what he saw was an edited version of the post in the magic thread, with relevant information describing the concept art attached. (For full transparency)

Looms are relevant in exactly 2 places in Season 6. In episode 5, Lúthien uses a loom in her treehouse prison to weave her hair into a magical cloak. And in Episode 13, we will depict the interior of the Halls of Mandos, including the tapestries and loom of Vairë.

I agree that this discussion has spilled over onto a few too many threads, which becomes confusing. Now that the process of Lúthien making her magical cloak has been discussed on the podcast, it would probably be best to limit all further discussion of looms to the relevant thread in the Props forum, so that it will be easy to follow and find again.

This thread will continue to be for the costume design of Lúthien's magic cloak.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
A cloak behaves as a cross between a veil and a skirt. Generally, cloaks are removed before dancing, because they are a bit unwieldy. Since Lúthien will have to keep hers on through at least one extensive dance scene, it is up to us not to design something too unwieldy for her to dance in.

It is true that Gandalf can dance with the hobbits in his costume. However, there is nothing light/airy/flowing about the fabric of his robes in the scene where he dances. Nor is there meant to be. He is not showing off superb dancing skill in that scene. It is meant to show him having fun. He has to pick up his robes to avoid tripping on them, suggesting that his outfit is NOT designed for dancing.

Voldemort does not dance, but he does move fluidly, 'like smoke', and the fabric and costume design enhance the fluidity of his movements (even if that movement is just to point a wand). His sleeves and hems swirl about him every time he turns around.

I am suggesting that fluidity of movement is an important element to consider when designing Lúthien's magic cloak.
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
Other times, I provide block quotes from people's posts. And when I include a lengthy essay on a topic, I warn him by prefacing it with 'welcome to so-and-so's TED talk'.
Thanks for the clarification. I was not familiar with the term before and had to look it up actually during the show. Now I at least know how it came about. ;-)
 
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