Quaithe of Asshai – Vogue 2014 by Givenchy

Since Naomi was going as Daenerys Targaryen, this Halloween I went as Quaithe from George R.R. Martin’s series A Song of Ice and Fire. Quaithe is a minor character from shadowy Asshai who meets Daenerys near Qarth; she makes repeated appearances to deliver cryptic prophecies.

Quaithe and Daenerys Targaryen Halloween costumes

In the books Quaithe is hardly described at all apart from her red lacquered mask, so I had a lot of freedom. Asshai, in the fantasy world’s mysterious east, is known for its worship of R’hllor, a fire religion with Zoroastrian echoes. After doing some research into ancient Persian costume, which showed periodic Greek influences, I opted to use my Very Easy late ’70s Givenchy evening dress pattern, Vogue 2014:

Late 1970s Givenchy pattern, Gia in a pink evening dress, Vogue 2014
Vogue 2014 by Givenchy (1978) Model: Gia Carangi. Image: PatternVault shop.

The design may be from the Spring 1978 collection, judging from the similar halter neckline in this campaign image:

Givenchy advertising campaign image, Spring 1978, by photographer Michel Picard.
Givenchy ready-to-wear advertising campaign, Spring 1978. Photo: Michel Picard. Image: styleregistry.

For fabric, I used black Qiana from a deadstock bolt found on Etsy. Qiana is a vintage nylon, a synthetic silk with a little stretch. It’s even in keeping with the ‘exotic’ Qs of the fantasy series.

"Whatever Diane's got I want" Diane von Furstenberg advertisement featuring Beverly Johnson wearing Qiana fabric Cosmo December 1979
Diane’s got Qiana nylon. Diane von Furstenberg advertisement, 1979. Model: Beverly Johnson. Image: eBay.

As a Very Easy Vogue pattern, Vogue 2014 has very simple construction, but also lots of hand-finishing. The hem and slits at top and bottom front are slipstitched, the top edge is blindstitched to the inside bodice, and the back facings and extension are slipstitched over the hooks and eyes that fasten the halter.

I made the size 12 with no alterations, and it worked out just fine. The lines of gather stitching at the ends of the halter fastening are visible, as I discovered, so if I made the dress again I would mark them rather than doing my usual winging it.

Instead of using the 18-inch tassel the pattern calls for, I strung together some mesh beads from Arton Beads on Queen Street West. With stainless steel spacer beads the strand is fairly heavy, but I like the effect when it’s fastened to the back extension.

Naomi found me a shimmery red mask at Malabar, and within a day or so I had a costume:

Quaithe dress, full length - 1970s Vogue 2014 by Givenchy, with Aileron shoes by Gareth Pugh for Melissa
Vogue 2014 by Givenchy (shoes: Gareth Pugh for Melissa)
Quaithe full length, back view - 1970s Vogue 2014 by Givenchy
Vogue 2014 by Givenchy – back view

Here are some detail shots of the bodice and back:

1970s Vogue 2014 by Givenchy - closeup on halter front detail
Vogue 2014 by Givenchy – neckline detail
Quaithe dress back detail with beads - 1970s Vogue 2014 by Givenchy
Vogue 2014 by Givenchy – back detail

Many thanks to our fabulous photographer, Rachel O’Neill, for a fantastic beach shoot in mid-November!

(Cross-posted to We Sew Retro.)

13 thoughts on “Quaithe of Asshai – Vogue 2014 by Givenchy

  1. Oooh ooh ooh it’s so good (do you know about my crazy weakness for 70’s jersey disco numbers? It’s a real thing). And the best part is that not did you whip up with a cool, cerebral costume (that mask is not a little terrifying), but now you have a beautiful black Givenchy dress. Wins all around!

    1. Thanks so much, Heather! It was a fun change for me to have a ‘scary’ costume. And we share the same weakness. It’s funny, when I ordered the Qiana, I didn’t realize it was a knit—and that was when I noticed that practically all my ’70s patterns are “for stretchable knits only”..

  2. You and Naomi, looks amazing. The Givenchy dress is a “must”. Also, are you a true “heroes”, photographing outside Toronto in November. ahhh … I love the little dragon..:-))

  3. Is this Vogue pattern available? I made my daughter this dress when she was in high school and she loved it. We have been looking for it for years as the pattern I had got destroyed. I would live to get the pattern and surprise her with a dress. Thanks

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