The lock plates are real. They were purchased from an antiques hardware store here in Portland, Oregon. They have originally came off of old houses that were torn down. They are solid brass and weigh close to five pounds apiece.
This garment was one of my most difficult projects to accomplish. I had to hand craft a steel frame for each of the lock plates so they can swing open and allow me to reach outside of the cape. Construction of the assembly for each of the lock plates took several hours.
Because of the heavy weight of each of the lock plates, along with the glass chandelier crystals hung from the hem; I had to use very heavy vinyl. That vinyl itself weighed close to three pounds per yard!
This cape weighs close to fifty pounds.
Needless to say, this garment is used only for those occasional special occasions.