Making fantasy believable

Garb bolsters sense of reality

A dream job for the costume designer who want to let her imagination fly, the fantasy drama ultimately presents the same challenge as the strict period piece: making the world believable onscreen.

For “Camelot”‘s Joan Bergin, already a three-time Emmy winner for “The Tudors,” the starting point was 6th century England, steeped in the Celtic mythology of her native Ireland — which she represented in the show’s fine metalwork.

The actor Jamie Campbell Bower’s “lean rock-star look” made leather an appropriate — and accurate — material for King Arthur and his men, while the ageless Merlin wears a pastiche of clothing from different eras. The ladies Guinevere and Igraine have small but beautiful wardrobes, while Eva Green’s Morgan Le Fay is a veritable fashionista. “She’s the only one who gets all the frocks,” says Bergin — and that’s because she’s a witch.

Some of the long capes and fur pelts Michele Clapton designed for the inhabitants of Winterfell in “Game of Thrones” would look right at home on the set of “Camelot,” but this is only one of the epic story’s seven kingdoms, which vary greatly in character and climate. Clapton gave the Lannisters of the warmer, wealthier King’s Landing more stylish silhouettes, and looked to Afghani horsemen and Native Americans for the garb of the Dothraki horse warriors.

With even more kingdoms to come in Season Two, Clapton says staying focused on the details helps one “find your way into the story.”

Sound pros battle nature | ‘Idol’ hand Chew juggles sessions | Smallscreen, big challenge | Mountains of footage spell tough terrain | Authenticity overrides glamour | Making fantasy believable

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