Friday, July 27, 2012

Marion Ravenwood (Cairo Market) - Shoes

Raiders of the Lost Ark has long been one of my favorite films, and Marion Ravenwood's wardrobe ranked high on my costume list as well.  This year I finally decided to put her Cairo market outfit on my tentative to-do list.  It has some great 1940s and cultural styling, and I love the high-waisted pants and the predominant red throughout.  

I've set myself a deadline of October 2012, because ideally I'll be wearing it to Mickey's Halloween Party at Disneyland this year.  No, Marion Ravenwood isn't Disney exactly - she's certainly no Disney princess - and yes, people generally dress as Disney characters for the event.  But Disneyland has the Indiana Jones Adventure ride, so as far as I'm concerned that's good enough.  And it'll be awesome to be in this costume while in line for and on that ride and running amok through Adventureland.  (If I end up going to the party on two different nights, I'm considering wearing a prototype version of my Rule 63 Han Solo under the same justification.)

Being that this costume is going to be constructed in a somewhat... nonlinear manner pending repairs to my sewing machine, I've decided to relate the construction by item rather than stage of overall progress.  The shoes are what I can do now so that's what I've started with, then the pants and shirt will each have their own posts later, and the finished result will have its own post as well.

There aren't really many images available that show Marion's market shoes.  Even screencaps don't really manage to catch them well.  The best image I could find is this:
This is darker but shows another view - namely the top - of the shoes:
They appear to be an espadrille/wedge with a natural "rope" lower and red fabric upper.  The toe strap and ankle strap appear to be separate pieces of fabric as well, rather than a slingback style.  Sitting down to watch the film, and just re-watching this scene over and over, verified this and gave me a better look.  To a certain degree, this is also what pretty much all cosplayers of this costume have gone with, which is never a sure things but is generally a good sign or at least a good back-up verification when trying to decide just what is going on with a costume.

I spent quite a bit of time looking for just the right shoes online, primarily on eBay, Payless Shoes, and the like.  I found some viable options, all of which were A) good for my budget but needed alteration, or B) mostly good as-is but a little pricey.  Then by chance I found these at a local thrift store:
On an unrelated note, this is the first costuming photo taken in the new apartment in the new city.  Yay!
The natural lower part wasn't quite right, being a flat woven "fabric" rather than looped "rope," and the upper was a slingback rather than two separate straps and needed a bit of alteration - bow removed and all-over red paint.  But they were a stupidly good price and fit fairly well and, most importantly, were comfortable.  They were something I felt I could realistically wear for hours on end while running and standing around at Disneyland.

The first step was removing the bows - easy enough -
followed by the first coat of paint:

The paint is Jacquard Textile Color in 106 True Red.  I've used this brand before in 110 Violet for my Daphne Blake shoes, but the base of those shoes was a tan suede, so I only needed one coat for full coverage.  The fabric of these shoes, being cotton-based, absorbed the paint differently, which also meant it didn't dry as quickly.  The paint was also a lighter shade to begin with so the pattern showed through on that basis alone as well.  It obviously needed at least a second coat if not a third.

To be sure the first coat was dry and wouldn't compromise further coats, I let the shoes sit for 24 hours (I also figured this was a good idea given the much more damp climate I live in now - no more desert quick-dry).

To be continued pending coat number two.

So three more coats later...  Yes, four coats total.  Each time a new coat was applied, it looked notably better that night right after painting.  But by the next night, it had soaked in and dried enough that the pattern was showing through more than it had seemed previously.  

This is after two or three coats (I took it two days after the first coat, but I don't remember if I was photographing the second coat before starting the third or photographing the third coat after finishing it):

Better than after just one coat, certainly, but the original pattern is still too visible for my taste.

For comparison, this is the same coat with the flash on:

The flash brightens the whole surface enough that while the blue on the sides still seeps through a bit, a lot more of the overall base is washed out.  With that in mind, I stopped after doing the fourth coat.  As far as appearances go, I think there's still too much pattern showing and I'd like to keep painting, but I'm worried about overdoing it with the layers and having the whole application get ruined.  So I'd rather stop now and hope the pattern isn't too obvious while I'm wearing the shoes than ruin what I've got.

Without getting drastic - I could cut away part of the side to make the straps more accurate - there's not much else to be altered, and I've already decided that I'm happy enough with them as-is.  They could be better, but the shirt I'm making won't be screen-accurate either.  So someday when I buy the authentic Romanian blouse, I'll probably get better shoes too, but for now I quite like these.

*All photos are property of their respective owners.
*My use and opinion of the products listed are by personal choice and local availability.  I am not paid to use or endorse them.

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