There are some things to be said for uniforms. You never need to decide what to wear to school or work tomorrow, you only need two changes of clothing, and…er…uhm.
Yes, back when dinosaurs wandered the Earth, Aunt Kitty was a schoolgirl in a convent school, complete with uniform, and she hasn’t quite gotten over it. The nuns would whack people with a ruler for any dangerous sparks of individuality, such as pinning a button to your blouse or adding a bow to your pinafore. Which is why the school robes at Hogwarts (though they are a vast improvement on pinafores) still make me cringe a tiny bit, and also why the following project came about.
Imagine a school for magic, but populated by people dressed in their steampunk-inspired best. Maybe not for the kiddos, but surely even wizards need institutions for post-secondary education. No one wants to see grad students in uniform robes, right?
Gryffindor was easy. To begin with, we already had a burgundy-red fabric in the ol’ stash which just happened to have gold phoenixes on it! So that became a corset, and the rest of the outfit was built around it. I imagine Gryffindors would be edgy dressers, leaning a bit toward drama, who aren’t afraid of being noticed, hence the ruffled high-low hemline, the opera-length cloak, and artful pattern-mixing.
I also did a men’s version, mainly because Felix is an unmitigated Gryffindor and he already owns everything in this colour, so I didn’t need to make much new stuff.
Ravenclaw is what Kitty always gets sorted into, like it or not. We’re going to skirt the debate over the book-correct bronze/film-correct silver thing, and just go with elements of both. I feel Ravenclaw fashion would be intricate, imaginative, and just a smidge impractical — more about vision than putting in a hard day’s mucking in. I don’t even really like blue, but (in spite of secretly feeling like a Slytherin and wishing to be a Hufflepuff) I quite like this combination.
Slytherin feels to me like it should be mysterious, opulent, a bit sensual but subtle. The full-circle skirt, complete with eight more full circles in the flounces, has just the right sort of secret richness that only shows up in motion, when you twirl or walk. You could hide anything under that, and a nice big hood can hide still more, if you’re so inclined.
Hufflepuff colours carry a certain amount of built-in drama (in nature, black and yellow does mean “PAY ATTENTION!”). Here, we counterbalance this with designs which are highly practical, with actual useful features and sensible lines. Hence the breathable cotton skirt with capacious pockets and real-life-appropriate blouse (which could easily go to work under a robe, blazer, or lab coat, then straight on to the ball once you whip on the brilliant yellow-gold corset). I feel Hufflepuffs would appreciate this. The world would be a better place if everyone were a Hufflepuff.
Next time: It’s really not a surgical mask. Honest.