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> Clothing Help For My Story, How to dress a mermaid
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Aaediwen 
Posted: 01-Jan-2004, 07:15 PM
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Ok, I'm no taylor. I need help with a dress in my story. My main character is a mermaid, who has the ability to, at will, assume a complete human form and walk among mankind. Easy enough, but then comes the question of her appearance as she emerges from the water. Normally this would be easy enough, and nudity would be the most natural course; that as she emerges from the water she's stark naked after the transformation. The problem with that is, when first she takes complete human form, she is carrying a book to her friend which he does not see until after she has been sitting yapping with him, and already left. If she's nude, then where does she hide it or why does he not see her carrying it? Strike that idea.

Some way, this lady needs to be clothed as she comes out of the sea to visit her friend, for practical purposes. The story is currently written that her scales morph into a biological dress. This gets her clothed, but then I have other issues. Supposedly her species has been crossbreading with humans for at least 1500 years (something I understand is common in siren folklore of this world, ex: "An Mhaighdean Mhara" (my source, Altan, "Best Of...", track 13)

Ok, if all of them have unremovable biological clothing when in human form, then how is this possible. Another idea down the tubes.

Currently, I'm thinking on the idea that as long as her culture has existed in a marine environment they have probably figured out how to use the marine flora to create textiles. I began studying this, and fount plenty of information on kelp and other marine plantlife, and I even found a image of what I believe to be what such material made from giant kelp would look like. Too dark. I need some ideas on a nice dress, made from natural materials, that won't cling to her when wet, as a lot of clothing tends to do. Preferable something that will shimmer and shine a little bit too when the sun hits it. Something magical in appearance yet something that if it turns human heads then it's because she's so good in it, not because it looks like it's from another world.(namely, the sea). Needs to gove no obvious clues that she might not be human.

Ideas please smile.gif How should this woman be dressed?


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Elspeth 
Posted: 02-Jan-2004, 03:09 PM
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What time period is she arriving in? How are others dressed?

As I understand it, you want her to blend in with humans correct? But with coloring and some shimmer that gives hint to her magical status. Is that what you are looking for?

Seaweeds come in a wide variety of colors besides green. I'm remembering some scarlet varieties.

What about shells? Tiny shells that have been beeded together could be part of the costume.

Can she morph naked, brining with her clothes made in her underwater world?
What about having the merpeople skinning and tanning fish hides to make a cloth like leather, but still having the multicolored shimmering effect of scales? A leatherish material wouldn't cling and the scales could give it the shimmer. That is if the merpeople aren't opposed to killing fish.

Keep talking and I'll keep tossing out questions if you like.


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Elspeth 
Posted: 02-Jan-2004, 03:16 PM
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PS...

When I envision a mermaid emerging from the sea, I see a statley woman who is flowing... Flowing hair, a textured, shimmering, deep green dress that forms to her in the right places and then flows away. I see a deep cut v-neck with a high collar in the back. The dress is tight through the bodice and waist and then flows freely past her hips, the hem to the floor, but irregular. I see full cut sleeves that are three quartered on top, and past the wrist below. Again, a molded flowing effect.
Dang, I wish I could draw for you what I see, but I haven't a program to do it.
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Aon_Daonna 
Posted: 02-Jan-2004, 05:01 PM
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Well, you said yesterday around ~1800~ ... its hard to have her come out of the water without being terribly obvious.
The first bathing fashion for men appeared in the 1830s but only for men... so you maybe better have her come out the water at a secluded spot where she can get dressed in all calm...

This is German Dress Style in the 1800s http://www.costumegallery.com/crino.htm

This is a link collection where you can find different ideas for dresses accessoirs and stuff.
http://www.costumes.org/history/100pages/r...egencylinks.htm


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Annabelle 
Posted: 02-Jan-2004, 06:07 PM
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I thought all mermaids only needed 2 very big shells.

But then what do I know?

Annabelle


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Aaediwen 
Posted: 02-Jan-2004, 09:46 PM
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ZodiacHolly

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Annabelle: =) Perhaps Sirenetta (Ariel to those who only know of Disney's version) only needs two shells.


Some wonderful ideas here =) much appreciated.


Elspeth:

What time period is she arriving in? How are others dressed?

Not really a set time period, but feels to me like the closest time on the calendar would be 1800's or something. It is indeed a fantasy world...

As I understand it, you want her to blend in with humans correct? But with coloring and some shimmer that gives hint to her magical status. Is that what you are looking for?

I don't want something that would be suspected, but at the same time, something . . . unique

Seaweeds come in a wide variety of colors besides green. I'm remembering some scarlet varieties.

I was thinking of that, found a few, including an opalescent one. Wonder what the practicality of actually making a really pretty dress, similar to what I see, would be.

What about shells? Tiny shells that have been beeded together could be part of the costume.

could incorporate that perhaps...

Can she morph naked, brining with her clothes made in her underwater world?

an option, and the way I'm starting to look at it, being able to morph naked would probably be best. Being able to morph naked, but be wearing something in the instance I have in mind... why have her have to take the extra time to get dressed when she's almost at her destination, perticularly if the clothes are of her world to begin with

What about having the merpeople skinning and tanning fish hides to make a cloth like leather, but still having the multicolored shimmering effect of scales? A leatherish material wouldn't cling and the scales could give it the shimmer. That is if the merpeople aren't opposed to killing fish.

great idea =) perhaps a couple of layers.. One layer of fish skins and one of whatever other material, made with some areas where the scales show through, or at least the sheen of them...


I see a statley woman who is flowing... Flowing hair

definately. Beauty beyond compare. My co-worker, today, described similar to the lovely elven ladies in the recent LOTR films... Of course the image is different, but that kind of fantastic beauty =)
It should be noted that by the actresses in the films being human, they potentially limit the scale that can be portrayed, versus the dream world in which I first saw Schiana. In addition, Tolkinian elves and the merfolk of my story are two radically different races of beings. Comparing them is wrong in many ways, but if it helps convey how stunning this lady is ... I have only dremt of her once, judging by the date on the file, on the night of Oct 14, 2003. I would like to see her in a dream again, for a couple of reasons actually... 1) she's just too pretty not to see, at least I have the mental images 2) where, for crying out loud, *are* her gills? 3) how many mermaids of this time does one get to meet in life? I could come up with other reasons too if I tried. Hey Shadows! any ideas on how I can see her again like this? The only place I have really ever gotten a look at her face is in mental images that formed when I was writing the scene that this transformation leadws into. Unfortunately, those are fragmented at this time, but I still have an idea of them, if not all of the details.

Ohh, did I mention that she is absolutely stunning?

a textured, shimmering, deep green dress

yup, although I generally think of a lighter green

that forms to her in the right places and then flows away.

yup yup


I see a deep cut v-neck with a high collar in the back. The dress is tight through the bodice and waist and then flows freely past her hips, the hem to the floor, but irregular. I see full cut sleeves that are three quartered on top, and past the wrist below. Again, a molded flowing effect.

interesting details =) I can't quite picture the high collar, definately something to mill with =)
Wonderful image =) thanks =)

Dang, I wish I could draw for you what I see, but I haven't a program to do it.

me too, sometimes.
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Aaediwen 
Posted: 02-Jan-2004, 10:40 PM
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hmmm, some sort of fish skin lining, on a dress with outer layers in some form of material that we see even now (cotton or similar type woven material) for a dress that still looks normal for topside, but won't stick to wet skin or scales and has a nice, pretty sheen to it... With some opalescent or similarly colored kelp material woven into it as well... And maybe small shells sewn into the hem for added rigidity and mass (perhaps to help control it in the water) But not too many, it still needs to drift and flow well when she's walking in it and it dry...
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Annabelle 
Posted: 15-Jan-2004, 12:27 AM
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Sir A, how many days is this fish going to be out of water?

A
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Aaediwen 
Posted: 15-Jan-2004, 10:19 PM
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ZodiacHolly

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however long she chooses really, but in the story as yet, she maxes out at about a week in one stretch (even then, on a boat with her friend; so who's to say she doesn't jump overboard on occasion) Some of her kind, have possibly lived their entire lives not even realizing they weren't human. After all, after the banishment of her clan, legends suggest that many went topside to live, and escape the persecution at the hands of the new order.
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