What was once just a seventies misendeavour which haunted our past generations wardrobes, is appearing all over the high-street and worn by celebs.
Tie-dye isn`t a western thing though. Tie-dye is the western name for shibori, a Japanese dying method which has been around since the 8th Century.
The Japanese have more technique than putting some dye on a wet piece of fabric though. (which can be recommended more than buying a fifty quid t-shirt from the High-street). They have developed methods such as Nui Shibori, a method involving a running stitch and a dowel, to tighten the fabric before they use the dye. Other methods invole poles, wood and furious sewing.
Saturday, 29 December 2012
I love the short waistcoats and tight trousers which were worn with powdered wogs and long overcoats. The short waistcoats were often made from satin or silk worn for best occasions. The wigs were worn to conceal greasy hair, baldness and mostly head lice. The boots were more practical than fashionable and the coats which were either double-breasted or singular were tailcoat for formal and long for normal use. Not to mention the Heathcliffe like hat worn to bear weather of all forms and to last for years.
They may look slightly hideous and ugly to us but these dresses were made to show the beauty and nature of the characters in films. The big pink dress was worn by Deborah Kerr in "the king and I", stand out among the beautiful Saris worn by the other characters to show how English she looks in contrast to everyone else. The middle one which looks slightly like a Victorian nightgown was worn Joan Crawford in Letty Lynton in 1932 in a more dramatic scene to draw attention to her.
Sunday, 16 December 2012
I `ve found some more glamorous designs by Thomas Banton, who is also costume designer for my Fair Lady. I love the way he finds clothing which looks so fitted and unique on each character.
I was inspired by the kimonos in The Memoir of the Geisha girl when I watched the film and found the hand-painted prints so incredible detailed and beautiful that I just had to sketch them.
The 30`s clothing tends to be very sparkly, glamorous and full of shorter hair cuts with thick head bands! So I wasn`t surprised when I came across the 30`s pictures of Cleopatra costumes (designed by Travis Banton) slightly revealing yet covered with jewels and silk. Banton, had wanted to go for an Egyptian theme with a thirties twist, Which he did well by getting the actresses to have short haircuts but with the Egyptian block fringes. As well as this and heavier make-up he managed
to adjust the Egyptian clothes to look alot more alluring and seductive.
I found an amazing photo from a 2006 edition of Vogue of a Marie-Antoinette style photo-shoot! I loved the large dresses with the tiny corsets and plunging neck-lines which gave each model character.
Winter Shoe Funk
Yes, I know what your thinking, this is meant to be a this be a blog on costume design so why is she designing shoes? Well, page viewer it just seems that I cant get enough of the clothes bug recently!So I`ve decided to combine my love of clothes and costume design on the blog.
I`ve noticed that alot of people have been wearing big chunky black wedges recently. So I decided to see if I could come up with something more colourful and wintry.
So, I designed some heels with a more Gothic design on but with brighter colours.
Sunday, 4 November 2012
Mrs Patmore and Daisy are in different ranks but I wanted to draw them together to show the difference between them and the other servants. They both never wear the traditional black dress and crisp white pinny since they never have to go upstairs. So they both wear more casual dresses of their own. However, Mrs Patmore wears the full apron and cap not only for practical needs but becasue it shows that she is above Daisy.
Anna Smith our new Mrs Bates (since last series) is our head housemaid but there is only one maid under her-Ivy. She still does have a higher status than Ivy since she goes upstairs to help dress the daughters. She wears the traditional black and white upstairs with a smaller cap to conceal her hair for formal purposes rather than practical.
Ivy the new pretty young housemaid rarely wears black and white but tends to wear her pale green housedress with her pinny. The dress is in the same style as Daisey but with buttons down the front. I cant find any pictures of her in her cap but I`m sure she wears the same one as Anna.
Alfred, fighting for Ivy and first footman same description as James yet doesn`t look as sleek in tails.
I had no intention of putting him out of rank but I wanted to save him for last. Thomas, devious and scheming creature who seems to have humilated himself for more than he desrves oooh Mrs O`Brien really dosent like him now! However he has the same costume as Carson, James and Alfred. Never seen him in his waistcoat since he`s Lord Grantham`s valet he ends up spending most of his time upstairs. But maybe not for long since Bates is back!
Saturday, 27 October 2012
What was amazing was the whole sections devoted to film such as a Meryl Streep whose costumes from Mamma Mia and The Iron Lady showed how different an actor or actress could look in different roles!
There was a whole film on how the costume jewellery and pinball suits in Avatar worked. Which was really interesting since every piece of jewellery in Avatar was made by a whole team of jewellery designers.
In whole, looking back on the experience seeing the costume drama costumes` had to be the best part. It was fascinating to see a whole array of dresses which had been made even in the 40s and 50s in perfect condition! Pearls had been embedded into long laced trains and even ships were balancing on the tops of towering wigs from Antoinette.
It was even better than the Ballgowns Exhibition last year.
Highly recommended but get your tickets soon !