I got the competition photos through from the dance competition for the Paris costume! This is one of the dance competition costumes from the Weymouth dance competition in October.
Wednesday, 18 November 2020
Thursday, 12 November 2020
This production has been in the planning since before lockdown but due to Corona everything had to stop before I was even properly underway with the designs - however thanks to filming, we are back on for a preview.
We sorted all of the costumes between the two lockdowns, and they were handed over more then a week before the new lockdown started. All government recommended safety advice was strictly adhered to! Filming by the company of two, single household, is underway and they are filming everything themselves in lockdown.
The company was contacted to film two of the scenes to be aired through a University, and with the scenes selected it was on to me to costume our two person cast (from the same household) from the fantastic stock wardrobe! This is a massive hoard of costumes from previous productions, theatre stock sales, hire house sales from all over the country and back in February I was able to get in there with Michelle Yim of Red Dragonfly Productions to begin categorising them for hire so I was very familiar with the stock. The characters to costume were - an Usher (Robert Cecil), the 'Chinese Post', the Master (merchant) and a shop boy.
For the Usher Robert Cecil, the Chinese Post and the shop boy there were costumes in stock that only needed at best minor alterations to look the part, however the merchant needed a a compilation to look the part.
For the Usher costume, we had a reference portrait of Robert Cecil that we wanted to emulate, however he had the very unfortunate habit of wearing only black, and mainly velvet from the look of the fabric, for every portrait of him for the time period we were looking at. This had the two unfortunate side effects of firstly hiding the details of what he was wearing which made it difficult to get the exact look and secondly, in getting the exact look it meant that our cast member would look like a black mass on camera. To mitigate this I decided to still use black but to get in different textures, such as satin and dupion, to give differences in the fabric that could be picked up by the camera and make his limbs and silhouette much easier to distinguish. The aspects of this costume that I made were the added dupion sleeves with white cuffs onto an existing velvet Jerkin, and a cape of cotton velvet lined with satin.
I am waiting to hear about the how the rest of filming is going as it is set to end before the 20th of November, but hopefully more images of the costumes and the Chinese Post soon!
Wednesday, 28 October 2020
Amazingly, it has been a very busy month - thank you to theatre and dance for starting to safely start back up!
Firstly, the commission costumes - I think I mentioned these in a previous post but I have had two dance competition commissions, one for a 'Boogie Woogie' dance costume for a performer dancing to 'Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy', and one for a different performer in the same competition that was based on the theme of 'Paris' and came with a selection of images of costumes they liked and a colour pallet. Also fantastic news, the competition was able to go ahead!
The 'Boogie Woogie' costume is based on a cross between the costumes worn by the Andrews Sisters during the war, and the American marching band costumes. It consists of a leotard/dress with built in hot pants, and a hat, all in foiled lycra.
The 'Paris' costume is next, I managed to find stretch rhinestones mesh which is like a net with rhinestones at the join points, that I handstitched on at the waist, neck and around the hat - this was also my first beret! I can't believe I haven't made one before, they are surprisingly straightforward to make and very effective. I haven't received a competition photo of the Paris costume but I do have a photo of it being worn by the performer when it was handed over -
Hopefully there will be more commissions to come soon as the next competition season starts in February but I am sure there will be plenty between now and then, so stay tuned!
Saturday, 29 August 2020
The production was set in the 1920's and created some interesting challenges - not least that the measurements had to be taken by the cast themselves and emailed to me, and the first time I met any of them in person was to do the costume hand over the week before the show! - but despite this the costumes fit well, the cast were in good spirits at their socially distanced rehearsal, the handover went well and I have now got production photos to post.
In terms of makes, I was delighted to be able to make the red tartan waistcoat worn by Thurio (the 'Doublet') the purple tartan waistcoat worn by Antonio, the white waistcoat worn by the Duke, the green dress worn by Julia, and the apron, skirt and headband for performer Laura playing Lucetta, Panthino, Host and Outlaw.
Social distancing rules were used to enhance the comedic nature of the play to brilliant effect.