Working in the Wardrobe: The Workshop

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

So as some of you may or may not be aware I’ve somehow managed to get a position as costume assistant for ‘Evita’ produced by Footlights our musical theatre society. I enjoyed school performances and fashion shows but I’ve never been on the production side of things and I am ridiculously excited. The production meetings have given me such an insight into what all the different production sub-teams are up to and I have been hankering to get into my own role. Costume finally got our teeth stuck into things this week when we had the chance to rummage through costumes from previous shows.

There are four of us working on costume. Catherine is the costume manager and myself along with Jasmine and Pyone are assistants. Accompanied by Footlights president Joythi we all paid a trip to the drama department workshop on Monday. We spent an hour or so sorting through all the costume we already have to work with. There was a serious array from Copacabana skirts to West Side Story shirts. We packed up everything we didn’t need into crates and started on an inventory of things we think will be useful. Amongst the treasures are tango skirts, a black feather boa and some red silk oriental style pyjamas which we have no idea what we’ll do with but no one seemed keen on parting with them.

Seeing everything lying out on one of the workbenches gave us the opportunity to really start envisaging what some of the outfits are going to look like. The play broadly covers thirties to fifties fashion which means the chance to play around with fitted jackets and full skirts. We need just about everything from aprons right up to ball gowns. I’m sure some of it’s going to be a challenge but I know we’ll get creative and produce some fabulous results. We also got to peer momentarily into the drama department’s wardrobe which, if I’m ever let loose in, I’m sure will turn me into a magpie.

Despite the twirling with tulle we really had a productive morning. It felt great to start working with what we have and figuring out where we go from here. It’s such a fun and innovative process I’m thrilled to be a part of it. And I have a legit excuse to sit and trawl through hats on Pinterest so go figure.

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