Sunday, 24 June 2012

Costumes from The Last Emperor

Prop store have some costumes from The Last Emperor (1987). I thought I'd post the photos for study before they sell and get taken down. I'll play spot the costume and update this post with some screencaps when I watch the film this week.

The costumes were designed and bought by James Acheson,. Many of these pieces are antique. They are from the private collection that was kept by the producer Jeremy Thomas (who single handedly raised the $25million budget for the movie) after filming. Prop Store sorted and catalogued the incredible inventory under the guidance and in collaboration with Jim Acheson.

"A High Consort's Vintage Navy Blue Informal Robe. This beautifully crafted piece appears to have been worn by one of the Emperor's High Consorts at various points, including when Reginald Johnston (Peter O'Toole) confronts the Lord Chamberlain to allow Pu Yi to wear a set of much needed spectacles, something the High Consorts do not agree with at all. The robe was made during the Qing Dynasty, placing it over one hundred years old. The navy blue silk garment is lined with pale blue silk, and features an extensive gold couched wave border at the bottom, the sleeve bands and collar are finely embroidered with multicoloured flowers and butterflies, and the main body displays elaborate roundels depicting traditional Chinese domestic scenes. It fastens at the front using contemporary metal knot buttons added by the production and remains in superb condition for its age."

More beneath the cut...

"Chen Pao Shen's (Victor Wong) Surcoat. Created from mulberry coloured silk damask with faint floral design lined in pale blue silk, it utilises five small round metal buttons on the centre-opening. Worn by the young Emperor Pu Yi's High Tutor when an argument with brother Pu Chien leads to his shocking discovery of China's President and the realisation he is no longer Emperor of China."

"Chen Pao Shen's (Victor Wong) vintage purple surcoat. The young Emperor's High Tutor appears to have worn this piece when a dramatical rescue of Pu Yi unfolds atop the rooftops after he is prohibited from leaving Forbidden City. The garment is well over one hundred years old having been created during the Qing Dynasty, still in stunning condition for its age. The long purple damask surcoat is lightly quilted with rich blue horseshoe cuffs and lined with blue silk inside, and features roundels of Chinese symbols with a hidden inner pocket and five metal buttons."

"Three sets of beaded Court Necklaces. Many of the members of Pu Yi's Imperial Court can be seen wearing necklaces of these styles throughout the movie. They are made of green polished glass, orange polished glass or red wooden beads with larger wooden spacers and several dangling additions, the main of which also features several polished stones edged with metal filigris. Do to age and storage some of the glass beads have cracked and are no longer present, but are otherwise in sound condition."

More photos:  1 | 2 | 3

"Child's kingfisher headband.This piece was worn by an unknown child but is still a beautiful piece from the film. The mulit-layered brass band is covered in stunning blue kingfisher feathers decorated with metal filigree. It remains in good condition for ita age, with some some small sections of feathers have gone to reveal the brass beneath. Measures 12cm x 7cm (4.75” x 2.75”)."
more photos: 1 | 2 | 3

"A ladies lilac silk scarf worn in the Jeremy Thomas 1987 Oscar-winning drama The Last Emperor. The long length of pink silk has been painstakingly embroidered with colourful flowers dancing their way along the entire length in shades of blue, purple, white, green and red, measuring 109cm (43”). It appears to have been worn by one of the High Consorts, spotted in the procession when PuYi discovers he is no longer Emperor of China and other formal occasions. It is in a well worn but good condition."

A Living Statue's Cummerbund. The stunningly elaborate 'Living Statues' can be seen when the 3 year-old Pu Yi is brought before the Dowager Empress to be pronounced the next “Lord of Ten Thousand Years”, standing amongst the stone statues, and this would have been worn around the waist of one to help give the masses of fabric more shape. Made from red silk, it has been covered in intricate golden embroidery then pressed to look 'crumpled'. Sadly a little of the glossy golden effect to the thread has faded but is still a beautiful piece. There are modern canvass ties at either end that would have fastened at the back, and is generally in great condition.

 more photos 1 | 2 | 3

"Mongolian Gentlemen's hats. These would have been worn by onlookers as the grown up Pu Yi (John Lone) is officially crowned as Emperor of Manchukuo in an outdoor ceremony. All four hats have a buckram base, decorated with with printed velveteen trimmed in blue silk, woven Indian cotton trimmed with metal filigris pieces, green, red and blue rayon brocade and green and red woven cotton trimmed in turquiose silk, and finally trimmed with Astrakhan and lambswool. They are all in good condition, but for one missing and one loose knot."

More photos: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 

"A Mongolian Princess waistcoat worn in the 1987 multi Oscar-winning drama The Last Emperor. This formed part of one of the stunning costumes worn by the Princesses when the 15 year-old Pu-Yi (Wu Tao) wed's the 'old' government chosen first wife and Empress, 17-year old Wan Jung. The red rayon brocade waistcoat is overprinted in gold panels with panels of elaborately embroidered flowers, gold mesh piping and burgundy ties at the side. It remains in excellent condition with no size marked."

"A Mongolian Princess costume worn in the 1987 multi Oscar-winning drama The Last Emperor. This stunning costume was worn when the 15 year-old Pu-Yi (Wu Tao) wed's the 'old' government chosen first wife and Empress, 17-year old Wan Jung.

"The multi-layered costume consists of a thick white quilted gown with ties to the front, a red rayon brocade under robe overprinted in gold with panels in mulberry green and gold appliqué, high padded shoulders, tall collars, and cuffs trimmed in grey Astrakhan and Mongolian lambswool, and finally a waistcoat in maroon velvet and green brocade, overprinted in gold trimmed with antique fabric appliqués on the front and back panels. There are no sizes marked on this wonderful costume and it remains in excellent condition."

"A Priests vintage robe. This stunning garment was worn during the death scene of Tzi Chi, the Dowager Empress, when the young Pu Yi is brought to the Forbidden City, and the robe is seen again as Pu Yi is carried off to his wedding. Although it has not been identified from a definitive era, it is thought to have started life as a Chinese theatrical costume which was later acquired for this movie.
The robe features red and cream silk panels with elaborate silk appliquéd ties back and front, adorned with tassel fringing across the yolk and around the back, and a production used cream underrobe has been added to help complete the costume. The already beautiful garment comes with a gold mesh metal ceremonial headdress embellished with precious stones and tassel decorations. It creates a wonderful set from the movie and is in good condition for its age with some loose threads."

"A Princess of the Blood gown and overrobe. These women can be seen on several occasions throughout the movie, when PuYi chooses his secondary consort, and at PuYi's wedding to the Empress. This stunning and elaborate costume consists of a full-length gown of printed red rayon satin, overprinted with dragon robe motif, similarly printed sleeveless overrobe. Also included is a black satin headband with gold filigree buttons (some have been lost over the years) and a string of glass beads and polished stones that hang down the chest, and a cream quilted cotton under robe."

Pu Chieh's 'Kite Flying' belt worn in the 1987 Jeremy Thomas Oscar-winning drama The Last Emperor. The belt is covered in pale blue silk with a metal dragon emblem in the centre, and two short chopstick or fan holders and four little red pouches with colourful intricate floral embroidery hanging from beaded cords secured with metal hoops. Each item is adorned with small blue tassels, and was made to fasten at the back via a metal ball that would have been pushed through a punched hole in the fabric. It is labelled inside “Pu Chieh 4 Years Kite Flying” and remains in very good production worn condition.Although the younger brother to the child Emperor is never seen at this age it is impeccably labelled "

 more photos: 1 | 2 | 34

"An Imperial Guard Uniform. This elaborate outfit first appeared when a young Pu Yi (Richard Vuu), aged a mere three years old, is taken at night from his mother with only his wet nurse for comfort, and escorted to the secretive Forbidden City to become Emperor, and later at his coronation. The ensemble has multiple layers and would have been a challenge to wear atop a horse during the lengthy hours on set. The imposing uniform consists of a pair of navy rayon trousers, undertunic and skirt, topped with a jacket and three-piece skirt decorated with an Indian print gold metallic mesh trimmed in black satin and adorned with brass pauldrons and metal roundels. In addition to the already comprehensive costume is the traditional metal helmet trimmed with stamp pressed brass reliefs, topped by a rabbit fur and horse hair plume worn over a protective balaclava hood. Completing the costume is a leather belt sash with hard rubber sword and tsuba."
more photos: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 

"A vintage Lama dance costume. This stunning robe was worn by one of the Lamas – a Tibetan Buddhist teacher – in an unknown scene. "The antique garment hails from the Qing Dynasty, making it at least one hundred years old, a breathtaking feat when you look at and appreciate the absolutely intricate detail the creator achieved so long ago. It features a plain blue lining which is where the simplicity stops, the main body is a delightfully rich purple with raspberry and orange panels, all decorated with a gold brocade of traditional flowers and symbols. The sleeves are flared and weighted, which when accompanied by the side pleated skirts allowed for dramatic movement when dancing. It has a single tie at the front and is missing the single button at the neck, and is in outstanding condition for its age."

"A pair of cream cotton under trousers worn in the 1987 multi Oscar-winning drama The Last Emperor. These simple pieces would have been worn beneath their colourful silk trousers as extra layers against the weather, and the wide legs and canvas ties make them a 'one size fits all'. "


"A Men's Dark Blue Surcoat. The blue grosgrain robe is lined with a pale blue silk satin and fastens at the front via five round metal knot buttons. Many of the men in the Forbidden City can be seen wearing such garments, usually with an elaborate Chinese motif across the back, which this shows evidence of having at one point from the remnants of yellow thread on the back. Sadly the label inside that would have identified the wearer has become unglued and lost over the years, but remains in great condition."


Kelly Willson said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

You look delicate and stunning.

Frida Marc said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Lovely outfit.

Yijun Cai said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Proud of

the best dissertation said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Beautiful dresses, colorful prints, and amazing embroidery. Great piece of art. In love with all the designs. Choosing one from them is not possible. Good share!

doll said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

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Stef Toha said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Great article and photos ... keep-up the good work...... May I share an interview with Pu Yi (imaginary), the Last Emperor of China in stenote blogspot in Sep 2018 folder
Read also the article in "stenote blogspot" in Sep 2018 Folder.

REBBCADAVids said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

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