A version of this post appeared on Jennifer’s amazing site, The Bawdy Book Blog. Entitled, Die-Hard Fashion: Style in Wynne Channing’s I Am Forever, I talked about how I wanted the clothing to be part of the story; I wanted it to reflect the emotions of the characters or their evolution. I’ve been pinning images via Pinterest to create a style storyboard. Here are a number of images that I pinned and how they inspired the wardrobe in Book Two.
The vampire Monarchy is all about appearances so what they wear is super important. Dressing the Monarchy is an exercise in excess. They’re all about bling, glitz and glamour. They don’t dress for comfort so their wardrobes are creative and bold and out-there.
When Zee arrives at the Monarchy, Dresser Pavone (named after Montreal label, PAVONI — I love catching their fashion shows during Toronto fashion week) puts her in ridiculous clothing in bright colors (yellows and blues) and awkward shapes that make her stick out. Because that’s how she feels, especially since everyone is staring at her all of the time slack-jawed.
As Pavone gets to know her and as Zee feels more at ease with the Monarchy, her style changes and softens. It becomes more of a reflection of her humanity. But for her unveiling ceremony, she had to look “god-like.” I put Zee in head-to-toe gems. I wanted the other vampires to look upon her as this shining figure — I wanted them to bow in awe.
The Empress is power. She’s sleek. Sexy. She’s a beautiful poisonous snake (and I put her in a snakeskin suit for the final scene. When she first meets Zee, she wears a gauzy white dress to soften her look. But mostly, the Empress’s wardrobe is a reflection of the leader that she is. She wears metallics to symbolize armor. She also mixes sultry body-hugging and revealing silhouettes with more masculine pant-suits.
I dressed the maids in beige because the Monarchy would want them to be invisible. Their lower status means that they should not be seen. I saw them as beautiful ghosts. But I gave Brogan red hair because I wanted her to stand out a tiny bit to foreshadow her defiance and the bit of fire within her.
Outfitting everyone for the dramatic ballroom scene was fun. How would you dress for a royal party if you had infinite resources and needed to impress everyone?