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Does anyone have a picture that shows the back of the belt? I am working on making one and am trying to verify the correct details!
The color is actually called Midnight blue. It is a blue that looks purplish. Colors do funny things when lit and photographed.
Well, accepting that the color's this midnight blue -- a darker blue with purple overtones (I always used to think the suit was navy blue, anyway, which sounds closer than royal blue), where might one find the corresponding fabric? Can't find this color, or anything close to it, anywhere yet...
I'm a roving roustabout...
I have found it and the suede at a fabric store in Mass. I could send you a sample, it is a dead on match as I brought it with me to Graceland to compare.
Thanks so much! Actually, if you just give me the name of the place I could try to get it from them or look up the materials online, saving you a trip to the Post Office, but I really appreciate the offer!
It looks like you've got it dead-on; your picture of the belt didn't show for me when I was last on here, but now that I see it I have to say that you did an excellent job. I've never seen anyone get it right before...even forgetting the debate over the ground color, because nobody else I've seen has used the gold stars or used suede on the belt, both of which are fairly obvious in pictures of the suit at Graceland. Excellent job!!
I bought the royal blue fabric for this suit way back (years ago...just never got around to putting the suit together) after I read so much about how the suit was royal rather than navy. I think some of the debate comes from people seeing replicas that are rendered either in bright royal blue or in equally bright purple -- full-on purple -- when the truth was that neither were right and, yes, stage lighting and even the lighting at Graceland potentially changes perceived color a lot, especially with a fabric that's got an overtone of one color that peeks through the dominant color (red through blue, in this case, but the same's somewhat true of the question of Elvis' 'white' suits being pure white or off-white, exacerbated by the fact that both stage lighting and age can add a lot of yellow to the mix). On the bright side, I can put the royal fabric aside for when I make the blue swirl/lucky suit! I mean, until someone comes along and points out that it was actually, in keeping with the shamrock motif, GREEN...
I'm a roving roustabout...
And, yeah, I'd say that your having compared the fabric samples to the suit on display at Graceland is a pretty definitive conclusion to the debate (unless, of course, there WERE two suits made in slightly different colors, that seems unlikely...the only reason I'd entertain any such possibility is because of the supreme oddness of apparently having two black butterfly suits in existence, one that Elvis actually wore and one with gold lamé that he may or may not have worn, even more odd because he probably couldn't have worn the suit out in one Vegas season). I'd probably buy the story that the suit changed to a more purple shade because of faulty cleaning, but the question would then remain why the belt (that, for one thing, was probably rarely cleaned and, if so, not via the same technique or by some cleaner on the road) changed color to more or less match that of the suit.
Mysteries of the ages here...
I'm a roving roustabout...
I for one believe that it has always been the purple/blue to which Graceland refers to as "Mid-night Blue".
I am a pro - costumer who used to work in Hollywood on Star Trek and I can tell you things do change dramatically with lighting and photography. Captain Kirk's gold shirt is actually avocado Green in real life, the color just shifts due to lighting and photography. I firmly believe that this is the same case with this suit. Anyway I have been working tirelessly to exactly match the suit and belt at Graceland and I believe I have done just that, I even had the custom hardware made to attach to the back of the belt to hook it properly. I will post more pics soon! anyway I really should send you a sample of the fabric and suede as you need them to properly match the color. I bought all that my store had, but I am I am sure you could find it.
Captain Kirk in green? Well, THERE's a paradigm shift for most of us! I've got a pretty good example of the same kind of thing in terms of jumpsuits, in that my 'Burning Love' suit's made of gabardine that's cranberry or oxblood in color whereas most I see are bright scarlet red; in pictures and even video, though, my suit (like Elvis') usually looks just as bright red as do those other suits and the blue tones are pretty much lost just as in some photos and footage the red tones of the owl suit are MIA.
That's very, very cool about you fabricating your own buckle system. I've seen the same kind of hook systems for sale online but haven't yet seen one wide enough to accommodate the strap of an 'Elvis' concert belt. It'd be easy enough to jury rig something functional with that kind of hardware, though, and it's got to be better than the snaps or velcro that many use, both of which tend to part at exactly the wrong moments. The belts are something I haven't yet ventured into, but I'm going to have to give it a try now because I've got some suits slated that need custom belts and I have a few already that really should have the appropriate belts aboard; I figure that making belts is probably going to turn out to be easier than the suits, the main exception being in chasing down the right brass buckles and other adornments with which they decorated Elvis' belts.
Thanks again for the very kind offer. I'll send you my address (and postage!).
I'm a roving roustabout...
Wow. That's a really great job of recreating Elvis' original. Right down to custom hardware? Whoa! I like it.
There're those kinds of hook-buckle thingies available pretty widely but I think the widest I've seen is about 3", an inch or more short of accommodating the strap of an Elvis-style belt. I love the fact that you mixed in gold stars, too, just as on Elvis' belt. That's a detail that I think most miss (then again, most suit makers and the like seem to miss that this belt was covered in suede, not vinyl or leather).
I wonder why the owl had a gold sheen to it? I've got one of the original owl buckles, from the '70s, and it's pretty much a straight pewter color. I wonder if the silvery finish rubbed off (or was buffed partly off on purpose) or if someone added a layer of golden finish. Looks great, anyway; couldn't really GET any closer to the real thing!
I'm a roving roustabout...
Thanks! Actually the owls that were used had a gold eyes and beak the rest was a nickel finish. Look close at the original and you can see this detail, although a lot of plating has come off over the years!
I Agree with Leroy the suit has been blue now the cleaner story helped to distroy the color now every body should no is tat when lights hit blue and starts fading it will turn purple and elvis did where the suit @ least 2 or 3 different concers not 1 like everybody thinks so jumpsuit man your absalutly wrong Leroy is correct.
I am finishing up my replica belt and costume and just returned form Memphis from doing research! The costume is back on display in the new Elvis on Tour exhibit, and for the first time it is on a revolving pedestal! so all the details of the Belt and costume can now be seen! I took some shots of the bck of the belt so I can complete my replica accurately|! I will not argue the color, I believe it always was and is this mid night blue/purple. I have worked in Hollywood and I know firsthand how lighting and film stock will change the look of color. I look forward to sharing pics of my finished work with you all soon...
The Jumpsuit man is Correct from the start, the owl suit was,has and is an eggplant purple. It is the 70's style cameras flash bulbs and lighting that make the pictures look blue. To prove the science behind it, most camras even today with digital flash will make red look pink or orange because of the filtering true red is taken out of the pic makeing the color red look lighter. The Same with purple, the red is filtered and make pics turn blue.There is a new web site rareelvispresley.com that prooves it all. Go to the site and on the left click the belts and capes tab, pan all the way to the end just before the red lion belt, there is a cap of back stage vegas pics click to enlarge and 4th pic on the left you'll see the real eggplant owl suit and right below the back cape pic in which the Camera Flash !! turns the suit Blue . also look at the pillows ,chair and curtain change color because of the FLASH BULBS !!! used in the 70's !!!! look at the two pics below of the owl and blue nail , the left is the owl with FLASH BULB and the right is blue nail without FLASH BULB !!!! not so light blue, but both suits almost are the same color, Why ?... the use of flash bulbs lighten the suit, and the red burning love suit we all know is an almost maroon color but appears almost orange bright red. This should end all debate and The Jumpsuit man is correct and has been since this started. this is all in good humor btw i enjoyed reading all the input but a picture paints a 1000 words.
Last edited by drumzz70; 06-02-2012 at 05:57 PM.
Another perfect example to prove the owl suit is Purple, are the pics post by Elvis' Babe, they are all true to color. And in entry's #21 and #22 if you look at the arena wall behind Elvis you see the seating section signs are BLUE as the suit is still Purple. the reason is because the signs are Blue and the suit IS Purple. also the pics showing the audience show a women in second row wearing blue, and can clearly see the suit is still Purple. The only reason the suit ever and still may show blue in pics is, different cameras and different lighting. The belt always and will always look purple because it is suede leather and not cloth like the suit. It may look blue in a few photos but that is because of flash bulbs and picture enhancing. If it's Purple in person it's purple and always has been. The story about the suit turning from purple to blue is rediculous, the suit may have been takin to the cleaners but it only faded the color from dark purple to a lighter purple. You can not change the color to fade from blue to purple, its scientifically impossible.
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