AWWWWWH YEAAAAAH the second giant effort!!
Midway through doing this for Claris, I decided I absolutely HAD to do a version with Leland, because I'm never displeased to have an excuse to draw him.
It certainly was encouraging to get a couple people telling me I should do a male version. It took me a while, but it's finally done- the amount of happiness that I finished it at last CAN'T BE CONTAINED!
I could reiterate a lot of what I said in the intro to the Claris-outfits, since all the same still goes: love historical fashion. Love costume design. Loved playing a vampire character because you get to dress them in all this awesome nonsense. I won't go into that much detail for this general intro since many of you have probably seen/read it already from the other picture (I will do the outfit-by-outfit story/design synopsis down below, though). Instead of text-wall-ing it up with stuff you already know, I'll go over a few things I found myself answering several times on the last piece.Is this character immortal?
Yep. Leland is a vampire, just like Claris.Are they original characters?
Yes indeedy. Leland and Claris are from a tabletop RP for Vampire: The Masquerade, as played by me and my fiance, ~Arthulin
. As a point of curiosity, they're both Brujah, if you're familiar with WoD by chance.
The term "Embrace", which I'll use here and there, is the WoD jargon for "the process of becoming a new vampire".Where can I find the other piece with Claris?
The companion piece is here: Do you plan on actually writing this story down?
Yes! Eventually! Someday! I will warn you I'm a dreadfully slow and non-confident writer, but I will try. Do I have to read all this information about each outfit?
Good LORD, no!
You may absolutely if you're interested. If you're not, that's fine too. Additionally, a download for the full size is available if you want to see close-ups on the detail, but the full view on the dA page gives a good overview.
As before, I named the outfits based on plot keywords/events/locales rather than strictly on the construction/type of outfit. It makes it easier for me to remember. Also as before, I limited it to 20 drawings- any more and I think I would have lost my mind and possibly the use of my hands!
There's a section where we leave western Europe and explore points beyond; during that time Leland is out wandering for plot reasons, so not keeping it western was a necessity (and a fun departure!). Am I going to do a version with another character that actually DOES cover some of the (awesome) European fashions between 1317 and 1630? I honestly don't know- these are a LOT of work and take a lot of time, but they're also really fun, so anything's possible.
All right, here goes the individual outfit rambling. Notes about the design, the storyline at each point in time, and the historical context. As before, I'll try to keep each blurb short, but there's still quite a lot of ground to cover. Again, please don't feel obligated to read it if you don't particularly care! It's certainly not my aim to bore you to tears. Although it's possible I've already done that.
-----I - Bremenium
Awww, look at the little barbarian!
I've talked some about his backstory before he was Embraced, but here's a little more of it. Leland dates back to Roman Britain, and hails from what was once called Northumbria, near the Roman fort of Bremenium (which eventually became a village called High Rochester). He's the youngest son of a minor Votadini chieftain, and at this time he's married to a Selgovae lady named Brenna and has a daughter with her. Although the Votadini by and large were allies of Rome, Leland's family (even towards the end of the Roman occupation of Britain) had a long-standing tradition of striking at their forces and settlements. The outfit he's wearing in this picture isn't particularly fighty; I had to make a decision whether to include weapons or not, and I decided against it because they often have a way of obscuring the silhouette. The tunic without pants is fairly standard for guys in Britannia as they started adopting the clothing of their conquerors.II - Reidona
Large time gap here. This is his outfit when he shows up at Reidona village and happens across Claris. At this time, he's calling himself Sir Leland of High Rochester, since a knight's title affords him a little more leeway into people's houses, where he can feed quite easily. His outfits tend to be on the practical side, built for traveling, and this one isn't an exception. The really long cloak (longer than is technically fashionable) is also a practical consideration- if he should ever be dug up or caught out in the sun, it's a handy cover-up. III - Magna Carta
After they settle together in London, he gets a little bit fancier with the clothes. (Well, then again, the style also gets a little bit fancier, so this is more a case of changing with the times.) At this time, the two of them are nursing a fledgling relationship, which both of them take very seriously, although he has qualms about ever calling her his wife. The linen headband is about as close as he gets to actually wearing a hat for most of his very long life, oddly enough. In later eras, when "gentlemen are supposed to wear hats", he wears them about half as often as the average guy, simply because they tend to come off your head and obscure vision and he considers it unnecessary. The headband, though, that just keeps your hair out of your face. IV - Faerie
As I mentioned on the Claris one, at this point the two of them are actually in Faerie, insofar as it exists as a physical location. Leland, admittedly, is unconscious underneath an underwater boulder for most of it, so he didn't get to see too much. V - Leaving
The outfit from when he leaves Claris in London. Very sad times for both of them. He manages to make it across the channel to France before realizing this is a really, really bad plan and attempting to come back home; he was in fact forcibly detained in Calais before he could return. VI - Kshatriya
This is the start of the "wandering" period for him. After ten years of imprisonment and torture in the castle of a particularly nasty Romanian vampire, he escaped and went on a rather epic travel. Why didn't he go back to Claris? Well. After ten years of silence from him, he figured that even if he tried to go back, she wouldn't be willing to listen to a word he had to say, and as bad as it is for him not to be with her, hearing her actually reject him would have been even worse. So, hating himself for screwing up so badly with her, he spends the next couple hundred years going around eastern Europe, Asia Minor, and Asia proper, attempting to right as many wrongs as possible and heal himself in the process (the latter, at least, is a doomed venture for quite some time). In the final half of the 14th century, he's in India. The outfit is a kurta jacket worn over a tied loincloth called a dhoti. Up until relatively recently in this time, the dhoti was worn alone; the kurta was popularized during a period of Islamic conquest. This is also about where he starts wearing more warm colors; for the first part of his (un)life, he tends to stick to blues and greens. The color shift is sort of like Claris's increasing amount of jewelry in that it signifies a pretty severe personality upset.VII - Ming
Hanging around in China, for the latter part of the 15th century. During this time, the majority of the Great Wall is being built. The outfit he's wearing in this picture would be very contemporary for the time, and very typical of the dynasty's clothing style. The robe, called a zhiduo, has been in use since the Song dynasty but becomes very popular during the Ming; the outer coat (beizi) is longer than in previous dynasties.VIII - Oprichnina
One of Leland's more memorable ongoing conflicts was in Russia, striking clandestinely against Ivan IV (the Terrible). Incidentally, Ivan has rather a great reputation in Russian history, but like many a ruler who was widely loved in retrospect (Edward I and Richard I of England come to mind), at the time, Leland considers him a rather awful tyrant. In this instance, he's not entirely wrong; for a while, there was a spate of public executions and a reign of terror carried out in several cities by the czar's personal guard, a secret police force called the oprichniki. This domestic policy wasn't disbanded until 1572. Costume-wise: in regards to the scarf cinched around the waist of the caftan, I realize that's more of an 18th century thing, and for the most part, people wearing this style of dress wear it loose at this time. However, I think Leland finds it rather useful to wear something at least resembling a belt; it keeps the excess fabric out of the way for easier fighting. IX - Carpathian
Finally, after almost 300 years, his path crosses with Claris's again. On a trek through the Carpathian mountains, Leland manages to run afoul of Iliescu, the same Romanian vampire who kept him locked up before. Unsurprisingly, he does it again. Claris, at Iliescu's castle for her own reasons (rescue mission for Blanche), finds him staked in a side room and asks Simon to set him free, trying to avoid him in the meantime. She doesn't, and they have a long and painful conversation, wherein he apologizes a lot. However, it's been so long and his leaving caused her (well, both of them) so much pain that she has no desire to take him back just yet, and rejects him. Which, of course, would have ruined him to hear in the first place; it still does. The outfit is an amalgam of styles from the places he's been in the meantime, and I've gotta say it's pretty well pimped out for someone wallowing in self-hatred.X - Great Fire
After seeing Claris again, and having no further desire to wander and attempt in vain to make up for his giant mistake, he decides to return to England under the name Leland Rochester, which he ends up keeping for the rest of the story. He and Claris actually do encounter each other again during the events leading up to the Great Fire of London. Emotionally speaking, he's absolutely ruined; after this, both of them end up banned from England by the prince, as they're blamed for starting the fire. Fashion-wise, this is a really goofy time period for men. The outfit he's wearing is actually among the least goofy that are still being worn at the time. The only reason he's spared the ruffled monstrosities of the current English mode for men is because he's doing the longer-style coat favored by the Dutch. On the plus side, it does show off the legs nicely.XI - Reunion
There's a reason for the bedragglement; after being basically chased out of England and through France by a Lasombra vampire hitman, he's pretty beat up. Claris is essentially his last conceivable refuge, so he shows up at her house in the south of France looking pretty much like this and giving her the most desperate apology-plus-I-love-you ever, which she's had long enough to come around and accept. Thus begins the healing process. XII - Midnight Ride
Still in the infancy of their renewed relationship, they try to avoid their mutual pursuer by hopping across the pond and sort of getting to know each other again. Years go by, they make their way northward geographically and toward reconciliation emotionally, and by the time they hit Massachusetts they're on loving enough terms again to consider themselves married, for real this time. As a related side note, Leland would use seductive coercion as a feeding tactic prior to his leaving Claris; since his first capture by Iliescu, he gave that up and swore off any pretense of romancing his prey. He still doesn't do it any longer, even though he and Claris have made up at this point. He doubtlessly considers her his wife at this point. She's even started wearing the ring to prove it.
This particular outfit is from his and Claris's participation in the ride of Paul Revere et al leading up to the battle of Lexington and Concord. (I believe, when he looks back on events, he finds his choice of color hilariously inappropriate given the fact that the redcoats are the enemy in this case; but hey, he does like red.
)XIII - Bastille Day
Cut to both of them having hopped across the pond again when events in America became very heated. France, of course, is fomenting its own revolution at this time, which they're there for. Leland inadvertently became the Brujah clan primogen (like a representative) in Paris when the oldest resident Brujah vampire was assassinated; before the reforms of the new Parisian prince, clan primogen was a position inhabited by the oldest local vampire of the bloodline, not an elected position as it would become later. Leland fully supports that particular reform and doesn't particularly like being involved in politics, but he's not above using the clout that comes with the office to direct vampire affairs in favor of the parallel revolution in the mortal world.XIV - Great Exhibition
Although they're cautiously avoiding the civilized areas of England, they still own and visit at least one very large and creepy house out in the country since Mithras, the reigning vampire prince of England and the guy responsible for kicking them out, is in the midst of a very long nap and the risk of them being punished for setting foot in England is minimal. The Crystal Palace Exhibition of 1851 was definitely a reason for them to linger in London for more than a couple of days, but they were still prudent enough to hightail it out of there shortly after. A note about hair- this is about the point where people would start wondering "Are the scissors broken in your house, son?" He often prefers not to cut it since although it doesn't grow back instantly like Anne Rice's vampires, a haircut won't last more than one night, so he has to cut it each night when he wakes up. Claris, of course, is willing to help with this, even if he just won't have it sometimes. X)XV - Civil War
In the Claris picture, I mentioned that they held a safehouse on the Underground Railroad, and also that Leland held a rank in the Union army. The epaulettes mark him as a first lieutenant. He was able to fight openly, run recon, and infiltrate the Confederate ranks as a spy. I have to admit that while drawing this, I was very much enjoying the idea of Leland fighting Bill Compton from True Blood. XVI - Great War
When England joins the war in France against Kaiser Wilhelm's Germany, Leland and Claris resettle in a remote corner of England, and he's able to go fight since although he might have pretty serious problems with his home country's recent imperialist agenda, he's still very protective of it as well as his and Claris's friends in France. The war had a pretty serious toll on him- the stuff he witnessed in the trenches of the Western Front left him rather traumatized for a few years, and after this point he won't act as a military operative in any more wars. Outfit-wise, he's got a pretty standard British army uniform, with one little change- he's a bit ahead of the curve in wearing a wedding band. Although he's far from the first man to do this, it won't become a popular custom for men to wear them until World War II. He wears it constantly from here on out.XVII - Metropolitan
Jazz Age New York. Although Claris has been battling an increasing sense of ennui during this time, Leland really enjoys it. The technology, the music, the energy; after all, isn't nightlife the whole point of being a vampire? XVIII - Blitz
As I mentioned on the Claris picture, they're now living in occupied France helping to evacuate refugees in the early days of WWII; however, they end up in London just in time for the worst of the air strikes. They're both totally doing the noir-trenchcoat look at the time, apparently. XIX - Transfusion
This. Was. So much fun to design. During and after the 1960s, Leland's wardrobe gets rather on the eclectic side, and he has fun playing with a bunch of different looks, including this VERY Cure-inspired Goth ensemble in the '80s. LOOK AT THAT HAIR, man. How much hairspray is he using on that?!XX - Awakening
I actually designed this outfit very early on. I did a picture of him in some nebulous "future time" outfit, and it just kind of stuck as his default "modern day" look. I mentioned that this whole thing had been a long, strange trip for Claris; but really, it was even longer for Leland (though equally strange). I also mentioned that she, at the end, was the same person she's always been except more confident, capable and secure in herself; for him, the situation is similar but opposite in that he's the same as he always was, but with some of his earlier pride and self-satisfaction pared away. For both of them, the key point is that the other balances them; they have an incredibly pronounced yin/yang, interdependent dynamic that I've never really explored to such an extent with other characters.
HOOBOY! Thank you for bearing with me. As with the last one, if you read through all of that, here's a cookie for you!
Once again, I want to give a shout-out to some excellent sources that were invaluable in inspiring and informing while I designed. Because of the nature of some of these outfits (namely the Indian and Chinese garb), it's hard to find a centralized, compiled source; ditto the military uniforms, which are hard to find outside of books dedicated to the specific wars, which I don't have. For those, Wikipedia and Google were my best friends. For the other stuff:The Chronicle of Western Fashion
by John Peacock [link]What People Wore
by Douglas Gorsline [link]Racinet's Full-Color Pictorial History of Western Costume
by Auguste Racinet [link]English Costume History 1066-1830
by Dion Clayton Calthrop [link]
as cited on Fashion-EraLeland and all outfit designs © *temiel. Brush by ~memorylast used for the trim in the China outfit.