The King in Yellow



Milady Ranzetta


(click images to to enlarge)

Other Credits

Model: My significant other V.D.

Outline the story …

The King in Yellow is a fictional play discussed in the collection of short stories by the same name, written by Robert W. Chambers in 1895 and later expanded upon by H.P Lovecraft and his Mythos successor August Dereleth. It is believed that anyone who attends the play cannot escape with their sanity intact due to the influence of the Great Old One Hastur, known as the King in Yellow.

The King in Yellow is never described by Chambers, Lovecraft or Dereleth. Rather, he is hinted at in hushed tones and the reader is left to fill in the blanks with whatever terrors their own imagination considers sanity breaking.

I wanted to reimagine the Yellow King as he would have appeared at the court of King George III in the mid 1770s. As he masqueraded as a mysterious courtier slowly gaining the confidence of the British ruler, his sinister influence would eventually slowly degrade George’s sanity.

I wanted to create a court suit appropriate for the era, yet with small touches betraying the King in Yellow’s ability to perceive through time and space. The Victorian black glass buttons with a tentacle motif evoke the Great Old One’s monstrous form while the wax block print African cotton symbolizes the 1.6 million slaves brought into the British Empire by pro-slavery King George III during his reign.
These are the horrors that fill the blanks left by the authors as I read the Once Upon a Time stories of The King in Yellow.

Outline the construction…

My entry consists of a suit of yellow figured silk with a goldwork-embroidered silk vest, over a classic linen shirt. This was my biggest undertaking ever, as I had never done any tailoring nor any menswear beyond medieval tunics. Almost every step of this project pushed me to learn something new. The pockets on the breeches were particularity challenging as I had only ever done pockets hidden in side seams and had never done fitted pants of any kind.
I drafted my patterns based on the extant pieces presented in “The Cut of Men’s Clothes” by Norah Waugh. I wanted to pay special attention to avoid any visible stitching, and inserted the lining piece by piece as I observed on extant pieces instead of bag lining as in modern tailoring.

All four pieces were entirely hand sewn with a mix of stitches including 32 buttons and 24 buttonholes, which were also a first for me. The machine was only used to flatline the silk to heavy linen for extra body.

The goldwork on the vest was designed to be subtly reminiscent of tentacles, outlined in smooth purl bullion, filled with cutwork bright check bullion and finished with glass beads and metal spangles. Goldwork was also new to me.

Despite the countless challenges, I’m ecstatic to see how much I learned through this project. After hundreds of hours of challenging work, I cried when my model first put on the suit as I couldn’t believe I had actually made all this.




  1. Avatar Beth on March 11, 2021 at 7:44 pm

    Your work is absolutely stunning! I’m afraid to get into menswear but after seeing your creation I just might! Your insight on the history also makes me want to learn more about and from it, thank you.

    • Avatar Milady Ranzetta on March 11, 2021 at 8:22 pm

      I was intimidated by menswear too! But I found it so rewarding to work with different shapes and lines. I encourage you to jump in! If you want to know more about the challenges, check out my maker’s diary link, I put SO much stuff in there. ☺️

  2. Avatar Annick on March 11, 2021 at 11:57 pm

    I love this so much! From the subtle horror evoked by all the the details to the luscious buttercup yellow silk and the wonderful fit. I can’t even imagine how many hours of work must’ve gone into handstitching this. It’s absolutely brilliant and you can be very proud of yourself!

    • Avatar Milady Ranzetta on March 16, 2021 at 6:59 pm

      Thank you! It did take long hours (I stopped counting around 600 😅) but I learned so much, the hours were really worth it!

    • Avatar Serindyanë on March 23, 2021 at 5:32 pm

      This is absolutely gorgeous per se, but reading your entry background, be it the character design choices or thé sewing challenges mâles it a winner to me!

  3. Avatar Kylie ~ ePrintDesign on March 12, 2021 at 4:18 am

    Totally bonkers…. in the most amazingly way possible! I love everything about this: the crisp tailoring, the fabulous fit and the brilliant anachronistic and perfectly matched lining! I am def Team Milady! xx

    • Avatar Milady Ranzetta on March 16, 2021 at 7:01 pm

      I’m so glad the lining is getting some love! It felt like a risk putting this funky lining in an 18th c. suit, but the symbolic of it really means a lot to me.

  4. Avatar Inge Sahuleka on March 12, 2021 at 5:50 am

    This is so wonderful and I love sering menswear.

  5. Avatar Susanna Antonsson on March 12, 2021 at 7:28 am

    Beautiful work and interesting interpretation!

  6. Avatar Carol Hughey on March 12, 2021 at 5:04 pm

    Absolutely stunning! The character is wonderfully portrayed. The fabric choices are edgy and breathtaking in there statement. Your work is exquisite. The buttonholes! To do that many hand worked buttonholes and in contrasting colors. Sheer madness! 🙂 The learning curve you have traveled is very steep and admirable. Well done!!

    • Avatar Milady Ranzetta on March 16, 2021 at 7:03 pm

      Haha, the buttonholes made me cry 😅 But now that I know how to do them right, I want to do them everywhere 😂 Thank you so much for your compliments.

  7. Avatar Niamh on March 12, 2021 at 10:38 pm

    This is incredible, you should be very proud.

    • Avatar Milady Ranzetta on March 16, 2021 at 7:05 pm

      Honestly, This project has given me both the most doubt about my abilities and the biggest boost in confidence of anything I’ve ever made. Big risk, big reward, I guess? 😜

  8. Avatar Sarah on March 16, 2021 at 5:25 pm

    Oh my goodness! What an excellent project of ‘firsts’! For learning and trying so many new things in one project, this came out incredibly well. I never would have guessed this was your first attempt at menswear. I’ve been considering giving it a go, and this may just push me over that edge!

    • Avatar Milady Ranzetta on March 16, 2021 at 7:10 pm

      I’m definitely a “bite more than you can chew” type. But I’m also very stubborn and I refuse to give up. This time it worked out well for me.
      If you’re curious to know more about the making of, I go into more details in my maker’s diary:

      Menswear can be intimidating but it’s really just about patience. I’m sure you can jump in and make it your own!

  9. Avatar Renee Starling on March 25, 2021 at 4:56 am

    Oooooh, yes. This is excellent and exquisite work! I love your interpretation of him as a Georgian courtier – there’s such a good story there!

    • Avatar Milady Ranzetta on March 27, 2021 at 4:26 pm

      Thank you! I’m so happy this take on him resonates with people!

  10. Avatar Giorgio Ronchi on March 25, 2021 at 11:58 pm

    It’s wonderful!

  11. Avatar Stephanie Murison on March 28, 2021 at 11:16 pm

    I love your interpretation of the story and how you connected the hidden lining to the dark underbelly of Georgian society, the connection to slavery is truly a way to depict sanity-breaking horror. Also I have so much respect for the amount of work that went into this, I actually gasped when I read how many button holes you had to sew! (That seems like another demonstration of sanity-breaking horror to me! XD) Well done for all your hard work, the result is breathtaking!

    • Avatar Milady Ranzetta on March 29, 2021 at 2:27 am

      Thank you so much! I’m so relieved my take on horror is resonating with people!
      Funnily enough, I thought I was possibly crazy too before starting all the buttonholes, yet somehow I know really enjoy doing them. 😅 I guess my mind is truly gone!

  12. Avatar REGINA AYALA on March 29, 2021 at 11:02 pm

    Love love loveeee!!!

    • Avatar Milady Ranzetta on March 30, 2021 at 6:26 am

      Thank you so much!

  13. Avatar Benigna on March 31, 2021 at 11:47 am

    That looks amazing. I love the lining!

    • Avatar Milady Ranzetta on March 31, 2021 at 4:00 pm

      Thank you! I felt pretty lucky to find this print in the perfect colours!

  14. Avatar David on April 2, 2021 at 8:15 pm

    Simply ashtonishing !

    All the details intricated with the story manage to create a piece of art that is not only impressive on a technical side but on the creative one.

    Splendid work !

  15. Avatar Dany Coutu on April 3, 2021 at 12:35 pm

    WOW WOW WOW just WOW.
    It’s amazing!!! THIS is a GREAT job!!! That is an expert work!

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