Welcome to our weekly series, “Fashion of the Realm,” which we’ll present every Monday after a new episode of 'Game of Thrones' airs. Expect fashion recaps, interviews, plenty of pictures, and deep dives into the unique style — both on and off set — on everyone’s favorite bloody, naked show. (Until the characters get killed off, anyway.) Spoilers.
They should just stop having weddings in the Seven Kingdoms. Never, ever accept an invitation to stand up in one. But before the, uh, "purple" denouement of Joffrey and Margaery's wedding in last night's episode, it was actually quite a fashionable affair. I caught up with Michele Clapton, the show's head costume designer and Kevin Alexander, the hair designer, to get all the details on Margaery's incredibly detailed wedding look (and extra bonus secrets about Cersei and Sansa's wedding hairstyles).
How long did it take you to make Margaery's wedding dress?
Probably with all the elements, about five to six weeks. That is with one person cutting and making, and Michele Carragher on rose and thorn duty! I think that we had three fittings.
What was the inspiration?
Really just a play on her sigil and following the style that she has developed since her arrival at King's Landing. It had to be very different from Cersei's style and taste.
How did you craft all the roses?
They were hand rolled and stitched. And there were a lot! The thorns were also hand-made in leather.
Any symbolism in the dress?
The fabric is a linen silk mix and has leaves woven into it. This led beautifully into my idea of a creeping briar rose that, although pretty, will draw blood if you catch yourself on its thorns and can end up smothering its host. Pretty but dangerous!
Any issues fitting the wedding gown? Was it heavy? Natalie Dormer mentioned that she had to wear it for seven days.
The fittings went really well. It was a complicated construction, bias cut and then stretched onto a structured base to give support and to control the fall of the cloth around the waist. The rose-covered train was heavy and we boned the hem so that it wouldn't collapse in on itself. I don't think it was uncomfortable, but maybe a little heavy to walk in. We only had one of them so we always worried about food or coffee falling on it, but Natalie is brilliant and very careful.
What about that crown?
The idea of the briar rose is continued into the crown where it wraps around the Baratheon antlers [Joffrey's sigil]. This was to show her creeping influence, which is not lost on Cersei.
How did you dress the other women for the wedding (especially Cersei and Sansa) to compare with Margaery?
Many of the court are now dressed in Margaery's style to show the support she enjoys. A few older women still follow Cersei's style, which is another thorn in her side! Sansa is dressed very plainly, almost harking back to her mother's style. She really doesn't want to be there and certainly doesn't want to draw any attention from Joffrey. Even if she wanted to she couldn't follow Margaery's style without igniting the wrath of Cersei, yet she doesn't want to show support for Cersei by wearing her style. Cersei's dress is heavily embroidered with Lannister imagery -- it's a dress of weight and power.
Click through the slide show for information from Kevin Alexander about Margaery's hair, and all the rest of the wedding looks from the Purple Wedding.
Photos: Macall B. Polay/HBO