all costumes by Suzanne Muldowney, Photos By Phil Dejean
||1. CASTLE BRAN. Castle Bran is a fortress in northern Transylvania; it is sometimes promoted erroneously as Dracula's lair. Actually Dracula was only an occasional guest of crusader Janos Hunyady at this castle. A 1972 documentary, The Search of Dracula, based on the findings of the Florescu-McNally expedition and filmed partially on Castle Bran's premises, cast Christopher Lee as Vlad Tepes in a costume like this one. The loose-fitting full-length white robe has black braid down the front, a black sash around the waist, and red trim at the sleeves and hemline. A black sleeveless coat covers the robe. The black humped hat has a purple band along the lower extremity.|
2. AMBRAS PORTRAIT. Between 1462 and 1474, the portrait pictured was painted of Dracula, and is displayed at Castle Ambras near Irinsbruck, Austria. The representative costume is considered the staple wardrobe for courtly purposes. The main garment is a dark red mantle draped over other clothes in the manner of a priest's chasuble. The mantle is topped by a wide collar topped with gold trim and fastened by 3 gold buttons. The hat is red silk with 9 rows of white pearls along the lower edge. At the center front is a cluster of pearls, a square ruby, and an 8-pointed topaz star, all anchoring a bunch of white feathers.
3. MILITARY CRUSADER. The cloak is pulled back to show the Romanian man's staple costume of the period: a knee-length shirt with waistline sash over tight pants, breeches, and shoes laced around the lower legs. All knights wore double cloth panels over their chests and backs; these panels bore their coats of arms. The insignia on this costume~ is Dracula's coat of arms and also explains the origin of his name: his father, Vlad II, joined a group of Crusaders called the Order of the Dragon, whose emblem is shown here. Members were committed to the defense of Christianity and country against Islamic invasion and also passed the club emblem and commitment to all future family generations. As a result, the father was nicknamed Dracul, or Dragon; hence the son, Vlad Tepes, became Dracula, Son of the Dragon. Another symbol of the Order of the Dragon was green Burgundian double crosses on the outer cloak.
|4. VAMPIRE. Dracula was not a vampire in real life; neither was he ever imagined to be one during or after his time. The vampire image was due solely to Brain Stoker's novel which, in 1897, brought the monumental change. The costume, unlike familiar vampire costumes, retains the 15th-century style and decor. Essentially this is the same as for #3 minus the Dragon tunic, but the dragon insignia is retained by the pendant necklace over the shirt. The native style is retained because in every real or imagined case of time travelers, extraterrestrials, warring troops, supernatural phenomena, national VIP dignitaries, or even religious apparitions, the distinguished visitors did not change their wardrobes to mix in with the societies they visited, but kept their native styles or periods intact.|
Suzanne recounts her experiences with the character and his true story.