In our research for 11/12 century clothing, we found a lot of archetypical aspects. Long sleeves, pointy heads, high stockings, chainmail and armoury. Aspects that people know and associate with a somewhat romanticized view on this period. We didn’t want people to think instantly of the middle ages when seeing the film. Although some of the clothing aspect where accurate, we choose not to use them in our designs.
Working with layers allowed us to visualize a transition of the characters. The layers also communicate the passing of seasons and time.
To make the clothing look like it has been worn for a long time we bleached, sanded, scrubbed and cut the fabrics.
Back to project page
During the absence of her husband the woman has to work harder and take on more physical tasks as well. Her clothing is practical, thick and worn down. Her female figure is less visible by the layers of clothing. When the man returns her clothing and overall appearance becomes more beautiful and gracious. The green colours of her clothing makes her part of her home and environment.
When the man returns his clothing shows what he has gone through. He returns with trophies of war and all kinds of clothing and weaponry that he scrambled on his journey.
He doesn’t look like a man that has witnessed and done horrible things. His physical appearance contrasts his mental state, amplifying the dramatic effect of his transition as he suffers more and more from his post-traumatic stress disorder. This transition is shown in the layers of clothing. At first he looks like a hero in his bright blue tunic and the symbol of the Jerusalem cross on his chest like a military decoration. When the woman’s attempts of making contact is rejected, he wears a leather armoury as a metaphor for his enclosed mental state. In the final scene he reveals what he has become and wears a worn down shirt that bears the stains and tears of his psychical state.
The man’s return brings new colours in the film that stand out from the rest of the characters and environment. These colours refer to the new insights he gained during his travels. Gradually he becomes more in line with his environment and family. In the final scene the priest gives a red cross to the child, bringing back the memories that the man is trying to suppress.
The clothing of the priest only changes with the passing of the seasons. In contrast to the man, he is and remains a strong believer in the religious quest . The grey and brown long hanging garments give him a somewhat flat appearance of a young men that doesn’t have a lot of live experience. He conveys people to go on crusade but would go, or survive himself. To avoid doubt about his interference in the family, his clothing had to clarify that he is a priest.