Fairy Tale Magic - Captain Hook


Costume and photography: Elise Ribeira

Captain Hook 

For Fairy Tale Magic week, villain style, Captain Hook is an obvious choice. Of all the devious villains in childhood story time, Hook is among the most notorious. Not only because of his perilous, pirate persona, but even more menacing is his hatred for Peter Pan and everything the carefree, ageless child represents. 

Thankfully, Elise Ribeira is back and better than ever. Last year her son personified Peter Pan, so it is exciting to see her reimagine this costume to capture Hook’s menacing spirit. Captain Hook is a fashion icon who never stops influencing, so Elise enjoyed being able to create her own narrative with this costume. 

Hook’s signature look is known for his smartly tailored ensemble. Fortunately, the construction of this costume is fully replicable, with some thoughtfully placed trimmings, notions, and a daring hat to complete a classic James Hook flair.


Elise’s attention to detail is an integral part of representing the awe in this classic villain. The coat was constructed using a cropped, collared Madison combined with a dramatic Arendelle hi-low skirt split down the center front. She added all the trimmings before constructing the fully lined coat incorporating gold cording, tassels, buttons, woven trims, piping, and lace to totally bring out this coat until it was fit for a captain. 


 For the cuff, Elise cut out a slightly larger rectangle than the sleeve opening, sewed the main and lining together, turned right side out, and eased it into the sleeve, slightly overlapping the ends.


The rest of the costume consisted of the Benton vest (with an extra inch or two added for a more dramatic, elongated torso), the Bayfield button-up shirt with a gathered circle lace cuff in lieu of the button cuffs, and the Oakland pants per the instructions with a simplified hem and a ½” (1.3 cm) elastic casing. 

The biggest surprise of this construction was how easy the marauding pirate hat was to construct. Elise sewed up Eze as instructed (adding trimmings before attaching the lining) and then stitched a line 1/2” (1.3 cm) in from the outer brim to create a casing before closing the turning hole. She then pushed some stiff wire through the casing, and shaped the brim into a 3 cornered pirate hat! She finished with feathers for a final flourish.


The details are what really bring this look together. Key items include the addition of boots, a scrap of leftover cuff lace repurposed as a scarf, a mustache, wig, and the hook that really brought the look together. In the end, the whole look became a sharper, more intimidating tailored, more Hook.


Elise is well known for breaking the glass ceiling of costuming. She is adept at creating jaw dropping costumes for fictional worlds; the amount of ingenuity she poured into this creation is truly incredible. She definitely had her work cut out for her, and as predicted, Elise rose to the challenge.

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