Photo: Laura Radford

The Commander (Richard Zeman) is the leader of a regiment of Kah’Nath soldiers, and a brutal fighter. His costume needed to aptly depict his power and authority.

The Kah’Nath are the only characters in the world of Ren who wear red, an indication of their dominance. I wanted them to contrast starkly with the rest of the villagers.  

The Commander has no need for full armour; he rarely needs to fight, leaving those under his command to do any dirty work. Self-aware, he trusts his own swordsmanship, thus leaving little need to adorn himself in anything other than vambraces and belt. Bearing intricate versions of the Kah’Nath symbol, these two items are an absolute masterpiece of craftsmanship by Dave Clarke at ARMRD Leather. The design shows the Eye Of Justice and the Mouth Of Truth, the motto of the Kah’Nath. This symbol can be seen in various forms on the soldiers and the Master.

I felt the Commander required utmost severity in his costume. This is apparent in the sharp, symmetrical lines of the layered sleeves and tunic hems, which were weighted to maintain the structure and definition of the points.

Richard is an imposing actor, well-built and strong. I wanted to use this as much as possible, enhancing his shoulders through the structure of his cloak. That, coupled with his steel-heeled boots gave the Commander an absolute sense of dominance. I think I can speak for all of us when I say that his presence on set was rather intimidating.

We couldn’t fit the Commander’s costume until his first day of shooting, as he was flying from Prague to join us. Having asked Richard to measure himself, we created a padded mannequin to form a stand-in version of the Commander until we had him in the flesh. When Richard arrived and the costume fit correctly, the relief felt by me and seamstress Kim ten Tusscher was one of the most rewarding moments of the entire Ren experience.



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