The DEFINITIVE TDK Joker Costume Thread/Project

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ReturningSon

Well-Known Member
Hey to All


I am all for costume and prop but costume displays are simply the coolest and, argubly the most noticeable items in anyone's collection. A prop hanging on some guys wall is nice but a full size, screen accurate costume is simply kickass! Anyway, I want to construct a screen accurate costume from the film The Dark Knight and display it...so, ......where do we begin?.....

1.) I want to construct/tailor the costume to Heath's size (not my own) which means height, width, everything...so, if someone has those measurements or measures of the screen used costume, let me know or feel free to post them!

2.) I know where the socks and tie were made.
a.) Tie: Turnball & Ausser
b.) Socks: Tabio

which leaves

The Shirt (with diamond pattern)
The Purple Pants
The Shoes
The Vest
The Gold Chain
The Overcoat
The Gloves

I would like to get all these items from the original makers or get the best replica money can buy...so, are the above items constructed from scratch made especially for the film or were they purchased?

Display: I like the way the arclight displays the costume, I might just go with that....

So, where can I get these lovely items?????
 

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darthgordon

Sr Member
Pretty sure all these things were custom made for the film... well probably not the chain and possibly not the shoes.
 

ReturningSon

Well-Known Member
yeah...suspenders...and thats the thing, I thought the entire costume was fabricated but the tie and socks weren't. maybe the production crew made alterations to an existing piece like the jacket or the vest?....
 

darthgordon

Sr Member
The jacket seems unlikely... it's not easy to find a men's purple overcoat. A pair of purple pinstripe pants doesn't seem very likely either. The sport coat underneath might be just an old coat. I haven't seen enough of it to know. The cut of the vest doesn't look familiar to me... especially in that material. It could be something maybe from the U.K. where three pieces are more popular.
 

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ReturningSon

Well-Known Member
yeah, all are possible answers....I hope when the Dvd comes out, they will have a 2 disc edition which explains the origins of the joker's costume!
 

Patattack

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
(forgive me in advance for my vagueness!) Someone in one of the Joker shirt pattern threads recently said they got confirmation from a costume designer that they discovered the hexagon pattern as a vintage 70s button-up in a thrift store, and they had the pattern re-printed for production. So theoretically it's possible to find an original somewhere...
 

pinder91

Sr Member
That's how I interpreted the shirt origin as well.

The shoes were supposedly picked up in Milan, but who knows how much customization was done to them, if any? I joined a designer shoe forum and posted hoping to get some leads, but so far I've come up with nothing.

I'm also going to say that I HIGHLY doubt the pants were an off the shelf item. In 2 pictures that I've seen you can clearly see there is no waistband, a styling que from women's pants/skirts, and dancewear.
 

Ryusui

Well-Known Member
I've seen one or two places online that have had a actual pinstripe dress suit/pants but they were for women. Is it possible that's what was used for the Joker's pants? More and more we discover that some of the more typical things were found items. It's possible the pants were just women's suit pants, no?

Also, the chain he wears seems to be silver (at least as far as I can see) and just a standard flat link like this:
(minus the large link)

I compared that to the image posted by freakengine in the Batman & Joker Costumes at Arclight Hollywood thread.


Scratch the women's pants. I found so far one manufacturer of men's slacks with purple pinstriping:
Giorgio Ferraro
 
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darthgordon

Sr Member
Well having thought about doing different types of Joker costumes since before TDK came out, I can tell you that there have been plenty of purple pinstripe suits on Ebay. Mostly zoot suits. However, I think those pants are always pleated.

I'm not sure they'd go through the trouble of buying pants (with the whole suit) though, since they could easily get the fabric and make a pair (or a couple) of pants so easily.

Honestly, with the line "clothes are custom" I would have assumed that most of the clothes would have been custom made rather than using found items... most of them anyway. I don't believe they made the shoes though. And we already know they didn't make the socks and tie.
 

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Neon Sentry

Sr Member
Might as well post the whole mess of info from the production notes, eh?

TDK Production Notes said:
The costume designer was able to get a lot more outlandish in costuming The Joker, modifying the character’s familiar look to reflect the generation of the actor playing him. Hemming explains, “Once I knew The Joker was going to be played by Heath Ledger, I wanted the costume to have a younger, trendier style than previous versions. Basically, my research ranged from Vivienne Westwood to Johnny Rotten to Iggy Pop to Pete Doherty to Alexander McQueen. I was collecting all sorts of images.”


Hemming ultimately designed an eclectic ensemble that she says “has a somewhat foppish attitude to it, with a little grunge thrown in.” Staying with The Joker’s traditional color palette, his outfit is topped by a purple coat, worn over a green waistcoat. Changing up his look, he also wears a lighter jacket that was based on the Carnaby Street Mod look. His shirt was patterned after a shirt that Hemming found at an antique market.

The Joker’s shoes are from Milan and were selected by the costume designer because they had an upward swoop at the toe, which she thought was reminiscent of clown shoes. His tie was fashioned from a fabric that was specially woven to Hemming’s specifications by Turnbull & Asser, a London-based clothier better known for dressing British royalty and the like. “Heath wanted it to be thin, so it’s a ‘60s tie but in a Turnbull & Asser fabric. I dare say it’s the weirdest tie that Turnbull & Asser has ever made,” Hemming laughs. “When Heath came in and we showed him all the bits and pieces of the costume, he thought it was fantastically original and just went for it.”

The Joker’s make-up was also a departure from past incarnations of the character. While he retains an allusion to his familiar white-faced, sneering visage, his make-up for “The Dark Knight” was intended to give him a more frenetic look that also lends to its shock value. The Joker’s face is covered in a white pancake that is cracked and runny in places. His eyes are thickly rimmed in black, and a sloppy red grin is painted on, extending from his mouth to his cheeks but not quite masking the terrible scars beneath. His hair is a more subtle, but still noticeable, shade of green.

Make-up and hair designer Peter Robb-King remarks, “Clearly, there was a perception in the audience’s mind of what The Joker would look like, but we wanted to get under the skin, so to speak, of what this character represents in this story. He is someone who has been damaged in every sense of the word, so it was important that we create a look that was not, forgive the pun, ‘jokey.’”

Heath Ledger’s make-up artist, John Caglione, Jr., calls the application of the actor’s make-up “a dance.” He describes, “Heath would scrunch up his face in specific expressions, raising his forehead and squinting his eyes, and I would paint on the white over his facial contortions. This technique created textures and expressions that just painting the face a flat white would not. Then I used black make-up around Heath’s eyes while he held them closed very tight, which created consistent facial textures. After the black was on, I sprayed water over his eyes, and he would squeeze his eyes and shake his head, and all that black drippy, smudgy stuff would happen."

The Joker’s make-up also represents a revolutionary advancement in the application of prosthetics, developed and executed by prosthetic supervisor Conor O’Sullivan and prosthetic make-up artist Robert Trenton. “They used a brand new silicone-based process that enables the prosthetics to be laid on the skin in such a way that it’s seamless,” Robb-King describes. “It’s absolutely amazing because you can put a camera right up to the face—even an IMAX camera—and there are no issues.”

O’Sullivan reveals, “It took us about two years to develop the technology, but after a few glitches, we hit on it. We are now able to produce silicone pieces that are applied directly to the skin. And it blends with the skin perfectly; if you didn’t know it was there, you would have a hard time seeing anything.”

In addition, the new process cut the application time to a fraction of what was needed in the past. O’Sullivan confirms, “The Joker prosthetics would previously have taken a good three to four hours. Instead they took about 25 minutes and looked far superior, which was great.”
There's a lot of extra stuff, but I'm sure someone on here will appreciate it. :)
 
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kibosh

Sr Member
A pair of purple pinstripe pants doesn't seem very likely either.
You've obviously never ween pictures of Kwame Kilpatrick

Honestly, with the line "clothes are custom" I would have assumed that most of the clothes would have been custom made rather than using found items... most of them anyway.
I think people take this line form the movie WAY too seriously. I don't think it was meant to be a "real world" admission. I think it simply was meant to show more of the mysterious side of the joker. I've seen other movies where they clearly stated people could fly, but I haven't seen any evidence of this yet to be true.:lol
 

TK-Fett

Well-Known Member
lots of cool info in those production notes. I like the part about the make up and the prothetics, awesome stuff
 

Art Andrews

Community Owner
Community Staff
That is super cool info!!!

Heath Ledger’s make-up artist, John Caglione, Jr., calls the application of the actor’s make-up “a dance.” He describes, “Heath would scrunch up his face in specific expressions, raising his forehead and squinting his eyes, and I would paint on the white over his facial contortions. This technique created textures and expressions that just painting the face a flat white would not. Then I used black make-up around Heath’s eyes while he held them closed very tight, which created consistent facial textures. After the black was on, I sprayed water over his eyes, and he would squeeze his eyes and shake his head, and all that black drippy, smudgy stuff would happen."
 

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Darth Mule

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I'm also going to say that I HIGHLY doubt the pants were an off the shelf item. In 2 pictures that I've seen you can clearly see there is no waistband, a styling que from women's pants/skirts, and dancewear.
Yes, most likely a custom item. Although to call this a styling cue from womenswear is faulty. It was quite common throughout Victorian times for men's trousers to be produced without a waistband, or rather, a self faced waist. This trend is currently more predominant in women's clothes, but has been around since before women wore pants fashionably.

That being said, I would look for a high waisted victorian pant pattern. These are actually a very similar cut to some I just made for my Dracula costume which I drafted from scratch.

I love the production notes about the makeup BTW. Great find.
 

Magnus Darcrider

Well-Known Member
Very cool find. I'll be keeping a copy of that for Halloween.

Has anyone e-mailed Turnbull & Asser and heard back from them yet? I e-mailed them last week but so far no response.

Be seeing you,

Magnus Darcrider
 

scubasteve

Active Member
What about shoes, people? Since these were most likely custom made in Milan, anyone found 'close enough' matches? Preferably something with a "suede" look, as the originals do not have a shined/glossy look, by any means.
 

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