I regret not documenting these as I went along, but here are the finished products of our Talon Karrde and Mara Jade costumes, which consumed my soul for the first half of the summer.
[The only photos I have from the process of creating this costume are the ones of my dear sweet cat, Tarzan, laying on the fabric, and the ones of him in the bathroom licking the water that dripped off the interfacing while it hung to dry in the bathroom (had to pre-shrink it!)]
One frustrating challenge with Expanded Universe (EU) costuming is that the image portrayed in the books is often ignored when characters are drawn into the comic books. Lee and I have been reading the books for 15 years, but neither of us have read much of the comics. We have a solid idea of what our characters look like; unfortunately, reference images come not from books, but from the comics.
Talon Karrde, as we know him, is a refined man who enjoys a few of the nicer things in life. He is a businessman, if ever there was one. Many of the comics show him as a more brutish, muscular man strutting around in sleeveless shirts and heavy leather vests and other rough clothes. Completely wrong, in our minds.
[Talon Karrde reference image from Star Wars: Rebellion, compared to the finished version of Lee's Talon Karrde costume (and yes, I know, he forgot to take his glasses off - what's a girl to do?)]
Then we found an image of Talon Karrde on Wookiepedia from an old computer game: Star Wars: Rebellion. We took that as out primary reference image. Lee had the hairline for it, so he grew out his hair a bit and added a goatee. I dyed everything jet black and, with the hair swept back, we had the look going.
The collared shirt with the laced neck we were able to order online from a Renaissance Festival clothing site. The coat, however, would have to be made from scratch, as a sport coat without a collar is not easy to find. We did, however, manage to find a pattern (V1753 from VougePatterns) that looked perfect. After a long image analysis and a good amount of time wandering around the fabric store looking at variations of the color black, we decided that the coat was suede and picked our fabric.
[Another reference image that holds true and close to what we recognize as Talon Karrde, this one is from the Essential Guide to Characters, also pulled off Wookiepedia, compared to a picture of Lee's finished Talon Karrde costume]
Based on all the other images, we went with a pair of knee-high black (p)leather boots (ordered from an online renaissance costuming store), a plain black leather belt with a round buckle (straight off the rack at the GAP), and a dark pair of khakis (on sale at Macy’s).
So I ask my fellow fanatics and costumers: how’d we do, folks?