Unbowed, unbent, unbroken. There’s a lot about House Martell’s fearsome daughters that speaks to us and we will gladly take up this sartorial cause — luxurious prints and colours that speak of the desert, and a dangerous feminitity that hides a dagger and a poison up its elegant sleeve.
(How ready are we for the Sand Snakes to appear in Game of Thrones? We were ready yesterday.)
We’ve got less than a month until Katsucon and, if you’ve been following our Twitter account, you know that we’re slowly shifting into full blown costuming panic mode. As a coping mechanism, we’re going to start a little mini feature here on White Hot Room (that we’ll likely revive before Dragon*Con!) and give you an update and a behind the scenes look at our costuming process.
We’re teaming up this Katsucon for a few costume groups this year including the Sand Snakes from George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire books. We may not have seen any of them in the Game of Thrones television series yet but we are eagerly awaiting the introduction of their father Oberyn Martell! Bria is going to be Nymeria Sand (pictured above) and Lin is going to be Sarella Sand. We’ll be joined by our friends Erin and Abby as Obara and Tyene.
One of the first things I had to do was come up with a design for the costume which was harder than I anticipated since (at the time) we hadn’t seen any example of Doran fashion and nor was there any official art of her that really showed what her outfits looked like. Therefore, it came down to overanalyzing book passages and looking to the real world for inspiration. Of the real world, Indian fashion designs had the strongest influence. I spent months on and off before settling on a design and even then ended up changing things up until I was actually buying fabric but more on that later.
The design itself is three pieces: a midriff baring top, slim fitting pants, and an overskirt. I might be adding a scarf/cape of sorts if I have time given that this is now being worn for a winter convention. Pictured below are the pants and the not-quite-finished-and-held-up-with-pins wrap skirt.
Also incredibly important to me was fabric choice. Originally, I was going to use purple and cream as my main colors but the orange fabric I used for the top and pants just appeared before me in the store and felt like the perfect fit. It has this really nice shimmer to it and looks more yellow or more red depending on how the light hits it. It also seems to nicely match the shade of orange the costume designers used for House Martell in the show which is awesome. The brocade and the trims took a fair amount of searching. Shout out to Mood Fabrics for having these gorgeous trims though!
Once I had the materials and the design, creating the costume itself has certain been a process. I used a combination of existing patterns, altering ones I had, and doing enough frankensteining to others that I might as well have drafted them from scratch. In other words, it was a learning process. The biggest problem I’ve had with this costume though is with how fast the brocade likes to unravel. It may be a gorgeous fabric but wow can it be a right pain to deal with at times.
My current and final battle with this costume (aside from putting fastenings on the skirt and making it lay right) is the dagger. In the books, Nymeria keeps her daggers hidden but all of us in the group are going to have some sort of weapon and, well, what’s the fun in having something so sharp and pretty if you can’t show it off? In other words, I’m trying to rig up some sort of belt for the dagger with this gold chains I originally got a different version of the costume without messing with the overall look. My intended concession towards hiding the dagger will be to wear it behind me/in the small of my back. We’ll see how that works out though.
As for how the costume looks all together… well, you’ll just have to check back in a month and see the pictures of the whole group. ;)
We can’t all be one of the seven fierce Sand Snakes, the bastard daughters of Oberyn Martell, but we can certainly all accessorize like one! Gold is the metal of choice in Dorne. The Sand Snakes are fiercely proud both of being their father’s daughters and of their collective name so snake motifs and snake skin fabrics and textures are the name of the game here.
Gold Medusa Pendant + Gold Ice Snake Necklace + Cobra Triad Strand + Onxy Wana Bib
Snake Skin Cuff + Satya Snake Wrap Bangle + River Island Snake Bangles+ Gold Twist Snake Bracelet
Snake Skin Earrings + Betsey Johnson Crystal Snake Studs + Studded Snake Skin Belt + Jacquie Aiche Knuckle Ring
Calvin Klein Clutch + Tracy Reese Belt + Diane Von Furstenberg Belt + Mango Snake Print Scarf