The V&A says: ”The form is heavily stereotyped and the costumes indicate character types and roles. The wavy patterns on the Fairy’s costume are associated with power and rulers. The four flags at the back are a sign of hard kao armour, and the ‘armour’ is also indicated by the overlapping scales on the breastplate of the costume.
The costume is superbly authoritative, not just in scale, with its bold headdress and sheer scale, but using bold, primary blue and red with black and metallic fabrics. The variety of fabrics breaks up the surface - black floral lurex, silver woven with tiny silver floral pattern, areas of blue overlaid with waves of black braids and subtle touches of deep red. Given the costume, the role was somewhat static, but the impression of movement was conveyed by the black braid waves and by the lighter fabric used for the flags, which streamed out or moved subtly if the performer was static; the front panels are covered with individually applied ‘scales’, executed in several different black and gold lurexes, interspersed with the silver floral brocade, which also ‘move’ as they catch the light.”