Aaaand back to Leandre.

Character design is one of my favorite things in the world — one of those things I’m prone to rambling on and on about — so I hope you guys won’t find it too self-indulgent if I talk a little about Moreau, here. He’s really the first taste of the world outside Margot’s aristocratic bubble.

This is a pretty famous painting of a sans-culotte fellow painted by Louis-Léopold Boilly. If you’re not familiar with the history of the French Revolution, sans-culottes were political and military partisans who fought to overthrow the old order; “sans-culottes” was handy descriptive shorthand that summed up the vast wealth and lifestyle disparities between ordinary folks (who wore trousers) and the aristocracy (who could afford fancy silk breeches). (The Barricade Boys in the Les Mis adaptation are another representation of the sans-culotte aesthetic.)

In some ways, I think of the sans-culotte look as street fashion. It was edgy for the time, and it certainly anticipated the direction men’s fashion was to take in the nineteenth century. But it also strikes me peacocky in a way that is distinctly different from heavy embroidery and expensive textiles — like late eighteenth century hipsters, maybe? XD

But there’s also character stuff to consider: Moreau probably makes enough to go bougie, buy himself a decent suit and stockings, even get a shave and haircut. When I was designing him, I was thinking this look is as much about practicality (blending in on the street) as antagonizing his boss. I can’t help but think that someone as precisely put-together as Leandre has to find that cravat intensely aggravating.

As for facial design, I talked a bit on Twitter about some of my favorite henchmen, and he definitely ended up being an intersection between Micheletto’s stringy red hair and Childermass’s general scruffiness. (I didn’t realize the facial scar also sort of works as Childermass homage until later, but hey! Happy accidents!) While most of his clothes are fairly fashion forward, his long braided queue is a messy take on the Ramillies wig, which dates a bit earlier than most of the clothes in this story — alluding to the fact he’s over decade older than Margot and her cohort (closer in age to Leandre), but also that he’s not a man of leisure.

So! There you go! Thank you for humoring me on what will surely be the first of many character design rambles, y’all.

The next update will be Monday, August 21.