Since the last blog, due to a stack of contracts, I was unable to put digit to keyboard. Having dealt with the serious business of the comic side of the general election this Spring, Summer saw a surge of sartorial silliness in the form of creating costumes for a six part television comedy. Wardrobe skills were at a premium as the small team, i.e. my assistant and I, searched, sourced, sewed, shopped and shot our way through the Summer. Negotiating nudity, drag queens, and cocktail dresses tumbling into horse manure were just in the first week! 100+ costumes later, I then reverted to the sensible task of period accuracy, for […]
Following a very swift re-write after the surprise election results, the entire production team rose to the challenge and reworked the programme that airs tonight at 10pm on BBC2. Anticipating a hung parliament, the information began to trickle in last week and, as is typical on a topical show with a fast turnaround and no time for costume fittings, it was a case of balancing last minute cast measurements with the demands of the ever changing script. Fortunately, with the combination of familiar faces and my stock of wardrobe accoutrements, all went well and everyone was fully clothed.
After years of working in comedy, the business of Costume has recently taken a serious turn for me. At one point during filming the drama reconstructions for this documentary about the notorious women’s prison, I found myself banged up in a cell with a man dressed as a woman impersonating a man. Later, in the same cell, we staged the reconstruction of force feeding that took place when Suffragette prisoners went on hunger strike, and this was followed by a number of hanging scenes! Documentary drama reconstructions are an excellent opportunity to use costume skills, often dipping in to different periods to indicate the chronology of the topic. […]
One of the funniest jobs I had this year was cladding someone that today tops the GQ best dressed men’s list. Forget the slick suits and accoutrements, this was cross dressing, complete with bird seed boobs and comedy varicose veins. Congratulations Nick Grimshaw! Feeling a little under used on series one of BBC 3’s Sweat The Small Stuff, as series two went into production, I was soon thrilled by the weekly task of re-creating TV detectives from the ’70’s and ’80’s for the Grimmy Investigates section of the show. Having thrown down the gauntlet to the producer, by saying I enjoy a challenge, the first costume needed was a very […]
Former colleagues and stars of Celebrity Ironing Spot were winners in last night’s British Comedy Awards. As Costume Designer on the pilot and first two series of Getting On, directed by Peter Capaldi, I was thrilled to see the cast and production company Vera collect the award for Best Sitcom. Set in a grim NHS hospital ward, the black comedy manages to be hilarious and heartbreaking at the same time. The NHS and UNISON were most helpful when it came to researching uniforms and my Central School of Speech and Drama training kicked in. There we were very much encouraged to use the script in order to create […]