I am so pleased to announce that I’m going to be designing the Costumes for Lazarus Theatre Company’s new production of ‘The Hatpin’, which will play at the Blue Elephant Theatre, Camberwell. This newly written dark musical is set in late 19th century Australia, and I’m really excited to be working on the costumes for it!

I have spent time with the Director and Designer Ricky Dukes discussing the artistic vision. We want to create a dark, industrial, physical production, and the costumes are going to be a big part of this.

Although I don’t want to reveal too much too soon, I will include one of my preliminary sketches of the male chorus, so you get an glimpse of how things will look!

You can read more about the production here:

http://lazarustheatrecompany.webs.com/thehatpin.htm

http://www.entertainment-focus.com/theatre-show/the-hatpin

And you can book to see the production here:

http://www.blueelephanttheatre.co.uk/hatpin

 

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As I previously said I recently got to work as a dresser on the Olympic Opening Ceremony. It was quite the journey, as anyone who was involved will tell you, it was incredible, but also a lot of hard work! I’m pleased to have had the experience though and getting to see the ceremony from inside the stadium on the night was amazing.

I was in charge of dressing 150 male performers from the Industrial Revolution section of the Opening Ceremony, which was by no means an easy feat, but the group that I was given were actually really great to work with. Thank you to everyone who made my experience so fulfilling and here’s a little shot of my view of the opening ceremony!

I’m currently in Wrexham, Wales with the BYFA (British Youth Film Association) as the joint costume supervisor on their film ‘Friends of Money’. It’s been quite the experience so far, having to source and style over fifty costumes in less than a week! But it has been a real blast, keep watching for more photos and more news about the film when it’s nearer completion!

So I’m currently well in the throws of work on the run up to the Olympic Opening ceremony, now that we’re less than two weeks away! From Tuesday onwards I’ll be on 13 hour days every day pretty much up until the opening! Despite the long hours, I have to say the atmosphere is pretty intense, and I’ve actually really enjoyed my work with the Ceremonies. Here’s hoping we can all really pull together to make an amazing opening ceremony! Enjoy it everyone and think of me on the 27th… dressing hundreds of performers!

This half scale 1860’s evening dress was made from a pattern by Janet Arnold taken from a dress from the trousseau of Miss Wyatt. We had to make a half scale garment from any pattern by Janet Arnold as an exercise in using another person’s patterns and making them work.

I chose to make this nineteenth century evening gown because I thought that it’s shape was really interesting. I liked the slightly flattened front bell shape of the skirt and the sleeves and the way that the berthe sat across the bodice. I wanted to have a go at making this dress in half scale because I’d never made anything from the 19th Century before so I thought it’d be different and a good chance to learn about another period of dress.

I began by going to have a look at the original garment in the Manchester Costume Gallery. The Gallery were kind enough to let me have a look at the gown and take photos and measurements from it which was so invaluable when constructing as I had already seen how the dress went together.

 

From the notes and photos I had taken of the original, and from the instructions given by Janet Arnold, I constructed my half scale garment as true to the original as I could. I did make the decision to machine stitch some of the major seams but I don’t think that it affects the garment as a whole because I hand finished everything I could.

I really liked the colouring of the original gown, however I couldn’t find the right fabric in a pink and black stripe, so instead I chose a green and black striped fabric as I felt that having the stripes was more important than having the pink colour. I really like the colour combination of the green and black on my version and I think it works well with the green net sleeves instead of the ivory colour of the original.

 

 

 

A couple of links to photos of the lovely Patricia that I dressed on the Jewellery show earlier this week! It’s good to see the clothes I dressed in action, she looks beautiful!

http://www.professionaljeweller.com/pics-11449-in-pics-the-catwalk-at-jewellery-show-london/1

http://www.professionaljeweller.com/pics-11449-in-pics-the-catwalk-at-jewellery-show-london/3

http://www.professionaljeweller.com/pics-11449-in-pics-the-catwalk-at-jewellery-show-london/6

I was lucky enough to get to dress on the Jewellery Show London earlier this week with RAH productions.

I was put in charge of dressing Patricia, one of the models, which meant that I was responsible for her changes of both clothes and jewellery. It also meant that I was a part of the dressing team for the whole show. I was really pleased to be a part of a great dressing team and after 11 shows we had really got each change down to a fine art!

I am so grateful for this opportunity, to RAH Productions, to my lovely model and to the rest of the team that made the three days of dressing such a great experience.

Above is a snap of me dressing in action (photo by Hannah Pick), doing what I would find out to be a secret talent, putting on and taking off necklaces!

We finished our run of ‘City Voices’ on Saturday evening, and I for one am really proud of the whole team that made this production possible. ‘City Voices’ was a Rose Bruford college production combining three newly written plays performed in their Barn the
atre. As a costume team we were each given specific roles. I was in charge of store pulling costumes for the middle play ‘The Frame’.

I also made a pair of trousers for ‘2’ in this same play, see right. I was pretty pleased with how the trousers fit the actor and how his costume looked as a whole onstage. I am aware that the trousers were hardly a feature costume, however I chose to make them to learn more making techniques and skills and I’m pleased with how they were finished.

I was also in charge of screen printing two t-shirts for the characters of ‘Claire’ and ‘Henry’ in ‘SATB’ the last of the three plays. These two t-shirts can be seen left.

As well as dressing on all three plays backstage and working as a part of the costume assistant team, I was also in charge of painting the costume for ‘Stranger’ in ‘SATB’. To create this costume that was meant to look like a human statue my supervisor sourced all the separate aspects of the costume from charity shops and then I was to paint it with acrylic paints to give the costume a stone look.

I began by making the whole a single grey colour and then working into the costume to give it the stone effect we were going for. I used a sponge to create the stone stippling effect. First in a mid tone grey and then afterwards when this didn’t register enough on stage under stage lighting, I was asked to work into the costume with a lighter colour. I used the same technique as previously but with a much lighter grey to make the colour stand out on the darkness of the stage. I think that in the end the whole costume looked really effective.

Thank you to keyozdesign.com for allowing me to use of his photos and for doing such a great job photographing the costumes on stage.

Those keen ones of you who follow me on twitter will probably have heard me tweeting regularly about a project I’m helping do some freelance making on. Anyway, I thought I’d post a link to the website about it, it’s a dance collaboration with the English National Ballet called ‘Secrets – Hidden London – Like a fish out of water’ and I am genuinely really excited about it! The costumes look amazing and the write up on the website looks fascinating too, do check it out this summer if you can, it should be incredible!

http://www.ballet.org.uk/details.php?id=20

Not only do I work in the wonderful world of theatre and fashion, I also love a good bit of fancy dress! For my latest night at Club de Fromage in Angel, the theme was ‘Goodies and Baddies’. As a costume girl I felt it was my responsibility to go all out and as such I dressed up as Poison Ivy from the Batman comics.

I created this costume from a skin coloured full leotard, green swimming costume and two hula girl flower garlands! I began by ombre dying the leotard to make the hands and feet green and then painted floral swirls over the top. I cut up the two flower garlands and hand painted each flower individually to give them the green centres. I then sewed them onto the leotard, big and then small above and sewed a sequin over the top to hold both in place. I also used sequins across the leotard and swimming costume to add extra glitz!

I think the whole looked pretty glam and I had a great night out with the girls dancing the night away! Thankyou Club de Fromage for a great evening and for the use of the photos!

I can also be seen here with the rest of the girls:

http://www.clubdefromage.com/page_pics.php?pic=6936