Thursday, July 22, 2010

coat in progress

One coat finished and three to go. Here are a few pictures of the coat in progress. The first baste up, the trim decisions and then the finished coat and a close up detail of the trim. This way it looks like you can snap your fingers and here's a coat, but there are days and days of careful work going on from one stage to the next.
More to come as we head for the deadline.

Tech dress is the big deadline on Tuesday but Saturday afternoon is the rack check -off deadline which I should explain.
Every costume in the show gets a detailed "dresser sheet" which describes everything the actor wears, from underwear to hats, and very importantly, when it is worn during the play.
These sheets are kept up to date during the fitting process by the wardrobe office rep, so if something changes, it is recorded. As the deadlines approach, eight foot long rolling racks are stationed in the hallways and sectioned off alphabetically by actor. We place the finished garments on the racks, the footwear, hats, and personal show boxes are situated below. These personal boxes contain underwear, socks, jewellery, gloves, glasses, kneepads and the like.

On rack check-off day a crew of one or two dressers come in and using the detailed dresser sheets, go through the process of checking off each and every item listed for each and every actor before the racks are transported upstairs to the stage level.
Anything that isn't on the racks that should be is then listed and then checked with wardrobe management who checks with the cutter, so everything is accounted for and if you still need to work on a costume, you can.
Costumes that don't make it to the rack go on a special late rack, and are checked in separately until the whole show is loaded into the dressing rooms for the tech dress.

Once the costumes are up there, they are out of our hands and the dressing crew takes over. Tech dress is then the big day for all of us.
At the tech dress, the dressers get people into and out of costume according to a very detailed computerized show time line that tracks each actor's entrances and exits and costume changes, making notes about functional issues that come up.
We watch from the house at tech dress- it is the first time we get to see our work onstage with all the design components of light and sound- giving us a chance to correct anything that we or the designer think needs changing.

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