Monday, 11 April 2016

The Wuthering Heights Process: Inspiration and Design.

These first photographs are not mine, ones I have found online as inspiration. Our director wanted the same kind of feel as the 2011 Andrea Arnold film adaptation of the book, so I watched this for a lot of help. I then created a mood board, and took this to the production meetings. A few things were changed, as we had a very limited budget, so many items were borrowed from the cast and production team, and I made a lot of other items.

Wuthering Heights Costume Photographs

Thursday, 24 December 2015

After A Very Long TIme

I am actually costume designing!! University enables me to have so many opportunities, so as well as being on the exec of Warwick Uni Tech Crew (I spend most of my days with hands covered in paint from decorating set), I have created costume for The Snow Queen, and am co-costume designer for Wuthering Heights. I'll update you further in the New Year, with (fingers crossed) some pictures of the costume I've done, and the designs for the next production. It's all going well in the world of costume :) xxx

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Having a bit of a move round

I've not posted on my blog for a while, and I feel like it's because of the restrictions I've put on myself about the whole costume thing. For this reason I've decided to come up with new pages, but bear with me whilst I try some new formatting!

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

The Essential Summer Dress

This summer the dress is set to come into its own. I have to say that as a self confessed sufferer of jean-phobia (real word, I swear) , I pretty much wear skirts and dresses all year round. I just have to make sure I have a huge stock of tights, soon as I live in the UK! This does not mean that I take the humble summer dress for granted, however, far from it. As soon as spring comes around, I will be the first into Miss Selfridge or online to Modcloth to find that perfect treasure of a style. Some of my friends sometimes ask me why I love them so much, and if I'm feeling a little short of temper, I don't go into the details of how they are made of beautiful fabric, and have pattens and cuts that you can't get on any other item, I simply say "You don't have to pick a top to wear". Which is actually true, if you think about it. You can cut your outfit-deliberation time down by a third, now all you need to think of is the sweater you may want, even that is optional. I wouldn't say that wearing a t shirt with no trousers is such an option! I can take up to an hour trying to put an outfit together, so I'm sure my family appreciate it when I 'throw on' a dress before going out.

Field Daydream Dress $52.99 Click Here
Anna Sui Gown $541.99Click Here
I have found some super cute styles from the world wide web I'd like to share with you all, and some from some more unique places. First I have a few quirky but adorable styles from Modcloth, a site I only discovered a few months ago. It's great if you live in the USA, with free delivery if you spend over $50 and free returns, but for the rest of the world, you have to be absolutely certain on your size and the dress because it's hard to return items. Luckily, each dress comes with its own size chart, you just need an accurate  dress measure! One thing I really love about Modcloth items is the way they name each of their dresses, and I have to say their customer service is outstanding. You need to watch out for price; although some items can seem great value for money, others (like the Anna Sui Gown) are quite expensive, and if on top of this you need to pay for shipping abroad, the dress may not seem worth it anymore.

Denim Skater Dress £30 Click Here

Denim has been extremely popular for the last couple of years, and the trend is set to continue. This Miss Selfridge light-wash denim skater dress is actually currently on sale, if you buy now you can save £10! For the quality of Miss Selfridge items, £30 for a stunning dress like this is great value for money, in fact, mine is currently on order (will post a picture when it arrives). For those who may say denim is a bit too heavy for summer, this material is nice and  light. Be warned with this one though, if you're ordering online, size down, because it can be a bit on the roomy side. I'm about 5'5" and the dress comes to above my knees, just the length I like it.

Floral A line £16.75 Click Here
A brand new site to me, but probably not for the rest of the world, is Forever 21. When I first went on their site, I was surprised to see how value-for-money the clothing was, excellent if you're like me, and have to shop on a pretty tight budget. This summer, their site is awash with flattering styles and vivacious summer colors, ready to get you in the holiday spirit.

If you are having trouble finding the dress that's perfect for you, try your local boutiques. Not only are they often cheaper than the high-street brands, they have great customer service and you are less likely to see 'your perfect dress' on anyone else!I've managed to get some absolute bargains from my local stores, and it's even better if you get to know the owners. A few shops in my village offer an email service to let you know when they get new items in stock that will suit you, if that's not personalized shopping I don't know what is. These are just my pick of dresses, let me know in the comments if you've managed to get hold of that ever-allusive classic summer dress, and tell me where you got it from!

The next post I'm working on is going to be all about Gatsby; the costumes and how the film is affecting our high-street fashion. For now, feel free to comment, share and Google+ me (whatever that means)! Thanks for reading. 

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Alice in Wonderland

Since I specifically set up this Blog to talk about costume design, I thought that this would be an ideal subject to cover. I have recently watched Alice in Wonderland (2010), only for the second time, and I have only just started to appreciated how truly remarkable the costume design is. The costume designer was Colleen Atwood, who has worked on a number of other movies directed by Tim Burton, namely Dark Shadows. I have put with the evaluations some images from the movie, and preliminary sketches that the designer used to create her masterpieces. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed putting it together.

planetape1.jpgAlice wears many outfits during the film, mainly because of her constant change in size. I can only wonder at how difficult it was to make sure the dresses would look equally as good when they were digitally scaled up or down. Here's my take on the two main dresses she wore.Alice's first dress is worn when we first meet her. It is an absolutely gorgeous sky blue colour. There is lace at the neckline, but apart from that, it is completely different from the dress in the 1951 film, or the little white apron of the Disney movie. I presume this is because  she is to be portrayed as an older girl in this film, maybe 19 or 20. The embroidery around the bottom of the skirt is in a deep blue, and was added to give more interest to the dress - as Alice falls down the rabbit hole you see the bottom of her dress a lot more closely, as well as the many petticoats and underskirts she wears.

Her other main outfit is the red dress that the Red Queen has fashioned for her when Alice is discovered in the gardens. In the film the queen says "Use the curtains if we must" and that is the effect the dress aims to achieve. My favourite touch on this dress, even though some may think it insignificant (maybe they didn't even notice it), is the cord around the waist - just adding to the whole 'scrabbled together quickly out of the curtains with no consideration to appearance or style' look. This is my personal favourite outfit from the film.

In the film, she is portrayed as a mixture of the Queen of Hearts and the Red Queen (who is in Alice Through the Looking Glass) - which is the reason for her obsession with hearts. There is only one dress that we see the Red Queen wear in the film. It  has tight fitting sleeves and an even tighter bodice, presumably worn with a waist cincher (either that or Helena Bonham-Carter has a ridiculously good figure). It is based on the typical Elizabethan style of dress, with its puffed cap sleeves and large ruff at the neck. The latter, however, was for a reason. It had to be exaggerated to accommodate her digitally enhance head! About the fabric, Atwood said “[She’s] vaguely trailer trash material, so we used less luxurious fabrics. Hence the gold hearts made out of gold foil, which were a little tacky but still queen-like.”  Clashing fabrics were used to contrast the fairy-like dress of her sister.

For the White Queen, Atwood was most definitely influenced by the French court of Louis XVI, it looks as if Marie Antoinette could have worn it and looked as equally at home as Anne Hathaway. The bodice is actually surprisingly low cut for such an innocent as the White Queen, but the ruffles of silk-like fabric make sure it stays a feminine dress. Panniers are used to give Hathaway's dress that ultimate fairy-tale look, as if she wasn't sweet enough already! It's is a shame we don't see the White Queen so much in the film, as her dress is one of the most delicate and intricate of all the costumes.

                            THE HATTER
The hatter is mad, as if you didn't already know, and therefore he needed an eccentric costume. Que Atwood to come up with an outfit only she could. She added all the tiny details that no one expects but everyone notices, and it suits Hatter down to the ground. It helps that she has worked with Depp before in many films, as you will see below if you read the interview extract, so she knows exactly what will work and what won't. I can't give a more detailed description than the one Atwood gives herself on this video, so for the Hatter watch here.

Atwood talks about her work with Tom Burton's Alice in Wonderland, and specifically about the Hatter's, Alice's and the Red Queen's costumes. I love the detail in which she talks about how the team created Hatter's jacket, with multiple layers of silk and burning off some to create the worn affect. She did an interview with, a part of which I have below.

You've worked with Johnny Depp many times now.
I have ... Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood, Sleepy Hollow ... Sweeney Todd, Alice in Wonderland ...

It must be a treat to design for an actor who can disappear so seamlessly inside his characters.
He really is a chameleon, and he takes on the character in the clothes. They don't ever look like costumes on him; they look real, and that really helps my job

Your partnership with Tim Burton -- how did the two of you first come together?
I was recommended to him on Edward Scissorhands by a production designer ... who I'd work with prior to that. ... We clicked in our own way, and we've managed to have a long run together and still enjoy working together.

Do you conceive of the costumes together through sketches? I know he frequently begins on paper.

There's something that he captures that is kind of the soul of the character on paper, and there's often costume elements, but we're not married to that at all. With the Mad Hatter ... he really doesn't give me a drawing and say, "This is what I want." I think it's because he knows the other people working with him are artists, so he gets very excited and enthusiastic when we show him what we have.

How did the new 3-D technology he used in Alice in Wonderland affect your designs?
I did a lot of the computer animated costumes -- I knew what the animated world was going to be, and I knew a bit about 3-D anyway, and so I sort of tried to make stuff that you could play with in 3-D... We ended up physically making a lot of the other stuff and it would later end up being animated. It really helped Tim to see things as physical costumes first, and it gave the animators a lot of help as far as depth and texture and things like that.

Are you ever tempted to, or maybe you do, design your own clothes?
You know, it's strange. Like, I've designed my Oscar dresses and my people have made them for me, but my own clothes per se that I wear? No -- but I do a lot of fitting. Like I'll buy something and completely recut it. I'm so used to thinking that my clothes are fairly neutral, it's other people's clothes I like to design.

To read the entire article, please click here.

 Thank you so much for reading, I hope you loved it! More to come soon; I have three posts in the works at the moment, one on the Hunger Games (having just finished the books), one on The Duchess and finally a post on The Young Victoria.

After these are finished, I'll try to keep up-to-date with the new releases in the box office, Les Miserables being one.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

A new year!

Which can only mean one thing... SALES! However, I don't know about you but I'm not so into them this year. Whether it's because I'm really busy with college work or the fact that the sales actually started way before Christmas, I don't know, but I do know that if you are willing to battle the (admittedly quite small) crowds, you can get some amazing bargains on the High Street. I managed to get my hands on a beautiful John Galliano silk scarf for only £39.99 at TK Maxx, one of my best sale purchases! If you don't want to move from your sofa, which I am sometimes reluctant to do, the online sales are just as good if not better, because you can see their entire stock, and choose exactly what you want. There are of course stores that are only online, like ASOS, and also Net-a-Porter ,which is currently having a 50% sale. With online sales though, your money can seem so easy to spend, just to clicks and you're done. For this reason, you really need to make sure what you're buying is actually what you want, and not just because it was £245.00 and has gone down to £68.99. It is really tempting to see these amazing pieces and go on a spending spree, I know my mind set used to be "Oh, I can just return it if I don't like it", but since a certain debacle with Dorothy Perkins (read about it here) I have made sure that I check all returns policies before I buy on certain websites. Since doing so, I have seen policies like "This product can only be returned within 14 days of dispatch" which is okay if you receive the parcel promptly, but if not you may face problems. If have also seen "Can be returned within 28 days of dispatch if unopened and in perfect resale condition" which completely defeats the point of being able to try on your clothes! The final one I have seen is where they say you can only get a credit note or exchange for your product, which is extremely annoying because all you want to do is get the money back, not be obliged to spend it at that store again. So, when shopping online make sure you are careful with your money, don't spend it like water, and don't spend it on rubbish.
        Finally, happy New Year guys, I should have probably put this at the start, and I hope you had a very merry Christmas.Thanks for reading.