This is part of a series of blog updates where we’re taking you through the early stages of character design and visual development for The Golden Apple animated series. Read on if you want to see what inspired the various costumes in the show :-)
Like in the real world, each area in the world of “The Golden Apple” has its unique costumes, colours and style. We designed them even before finalising our main characters, so that they would match their community and be in the style worn in their homes.
Our main idea was that the viewer should be able to tell which character comes from which area of the world of “The Golden Apple” just by looking at their costume. This took quite some time, as traditional Balkan costumes are very diverse, rich in ornaments and extremely colourful.
This was our first attempt (designed by Svetla Radivoeva)
We then played around with some other shapes and forms, and after we established the stylisation, we decided to use the same female design, but develop a different costume for each region. This costume had to be a general guide for future development.
We identified the regional costumes and colours for our main 3 locations – The Babuger (Kuker) mountains, Kuber Mountain and the rose valley region of the city of Khan.
The Babuger (Kuker) mountains are quite cold, and are inhabited by various aggressive spirits. So the costumes there are long and heavy, to keep the wearer warm and protected. They are also quite traditional. (The base for the costumes was a Debarska Nosia, combined with Rhodopean costume colours.)
In contrast, the costumes from the region of Khan much more cosmopolitan, very diverse, with short sleeves and bright colours. This is because Khan is a huge trade centre and is under a lot of foreign influence, and it also located in a much warmer area.
In the early stages of development our junior designer Rafaila Raikova also worked on some generic male costumes:
She also did a few tests for the male costumes, such as this one:
The costumes in Kuber, where the golden apple appears, are much simpler than the other two locations, as they are mostly work costumes. A lot of the people in Kuber are shepherds and wear just a few colours in their costumes, but mostly bright ones. The higher up the mountain someone goes, the longer and heavier the costumes get, as the mountain gets colder.
Creating the basic costumes was very challenging, as they have never been presented in animation before. We had to use quite a lot of books and different resources to get them just right.
We now have a basic guide for the colours and ornaments for the costumes in the different regions: