Inara Serra’s Red Satin Gown with Gold Girdle from The Train Job episode of Firefly

Click for larger version; click for the list of dolls.

As I noted earlier, Brian and I have been watching Firefly (and we just finished the full series plus the movie, so spoil away if you feel the need). I enjoyed it a lot, although I felt that some of the later episodes were rather weak and that the first five minutes of the movie changed a lot of my perception of the whole first season, which is a kind of jarring way to start out a movie. Brian had to pause while I was going “Wait… what?” In general I loved the dialogue and the characters, but the thing that really hooked me was Inara Serra’s costumes. Inara is a Companion, a sort of futuristic geisha or courtesan, and her clothes are amazing. She wears mostly warm colors (lots of reds and golds) and sumptuous fabrics and has this great style, sort of a mashup of Asian and Indian influences with a big dose of 1930s starlet. I want to paperdoll just about everything she wears! Look at this page with her outfits. Brian and I watched the Dollhouse pilot and weren’t all that impressed, but even if the next few episodes aren’t all that great I’ll probably keep watching just because Shawna Trpcic, the same costume designer that did Firefly, worked on Dollhouse as well. (So far most of the costumes are centered around yoga pants, but that tiny white dress Echo wore to the guy’s birthday party was smashing, even if she probably had to tape it to her thighs.)

I’m afraid the banding looks horrible on this one, and the color isn’t all that great either — the real thing is really pretty, if I do say so myself, and the scanned version is a pale imitation. I’ve been putting off the search for a new scanner, but it looks like I’d better get started. If anyone has any suggestions, I’d appreciate them!

8 thoughts on “Inara Serra’s Red Satin Gown with Gold Girdle from The Train Job episode of Firefly

  1. Red can be a hard color to scan, but I think this is lovely. All of Inara’s dresses are so fantastic, I would never have the nerve to try to draw them (they need color and color scares me).

  2. I upped the saturation on this one a bit, though — usually I don’t have to mess much with the color settings. Poor old scanner…
    If I was going to try to draw one of Inara’s dresses in black and white, I think it would be the training house one from the movie ( — I love it, but I don’t have the patience to do it right in color with the detail on the vest and embroidery on the skirt. I bet with all the folds and details it’d be great in black and white, though.

  3. Wonderfull costume (why not do her golden party dress?)!
    I also have some problem with my scanner. Often it refuses to cooperate with me and mess it up by causing many different sort of problems (sometimes I must redo a scanning because of that), but it is wery old, however (I think my dad bought or got it around 1998, and I got it from him later). The most frustrating problem is that darker pencil colors sometimes results in light stripes over the costume in the scanned picture (I was forced to throw away a costume for Henry Tilney, the hero in Northanger Abbey,because of that and that made me very sad).

  4. Thanks, Annissa :) I’d love to do the golden gown, and still might… I wasn’t feeling up to anything very detailed yesterday, though, and I do love that red dress. It sounds too bad about your scanner…it’s a real shame when our tools betray us. Mine’s not as old as yours, so I feel great sympathy for you!

  5. In fact, it is’nt always that bad with my scanner and most of my costumes is done justice in it (two good samples of that is the Sami costume and the recent Queen of hearts-dress on my blog – I hope you have seen them both. I agree, I don’t know anything wich can make me more mad than messy tools!

  6. I will throw in my vote for a Firefly set or just an Inara set. I think out of all the movies and shows I have seen Inara and Echo are the only two characters whose entire (almost) wardrobe I would want. In Inara’s case I just want her entire shuttle.

  7. I was looking for cosplay ideas for Inara Serra.. thank you very much for posting this… because this was the precise costume I was looking for.. and now that you drew in out for me all I have to do is make it based off the sketch (which will still be kinda hard). But I just wanted to say, “Thanks.” :)

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