Thursday, December 17, 2015

Cutaway variation

Another body coat that I cut in Montreal.
This is a variation on a cutaway that I cut and sewed while in Montreal.

The student designer chose to have a modern twist on an 1870's inspired cutaway coat with inspiration from jeans jacket and motorcycle jacket styling. One of her first ideas was to have an asymmetrical zipper opening as in the motorcycle jacket, but keep the body shaping of a traditional tailcoat. I don't know why she ditched that idea, as I think it could have been quite fun, but in the end she came back to me with the DB 1870's inspiration and the leather yoke.
The back seaming was modified from the traditional so the seams run vertically into the yoke like a jean jacket in a way.
The corduroy for the jacket was luckily (for budget reasons) found in stock and she dyed it this colour. The leather (also found in stock) was a perfect pairing.

She wanted the collar to have quite a tall stand, and a few different inspirations, one of which was a type of modern convertible collar and the other more of an 1830's style. We ended up with more of the 1830's in feel.
I think it is difficult for students and new designers who don't really know how things are constructed to parse out what they really want. They see many pictures but don't quite "get" how particular details work or don't work or whether they can be incorporated successfully.
It is also difficult for me to describe the options of the variations and how they work without making the poor student's eyes glaze over because they really don't understand half of how things work.

In a situation where you are building a show in less than a month, there isn't a lot of time for experimentation either.

Over the month, for the men's wear, I cut and we built the cream frock coat and large described earlier, this cutaway coat, a suit jacket styled vest, a wrap skirt for a man, an asymmetrical tunic in waffle cotton with a period stand collar and strap and buckle closures. There was also a cape that incorporated a pair of exaggerated 4 inch deep pointy shoulder pads with a tulip collar trimmed in feathers, a pair of 1820's style pleated trousers, a pair of drop crotch riding breeches, a pair of ethnic inspired drop crotch trousers, plus alterations to an 18th century coat, a military jacket, and a few other bits and pieces.

We were very busy indeed!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Period dress costume video

I just thought I would share this video made last year documenting the process of a period dress from drawing to finished dress.
The dress was cut by my friend and talented colleague Carol M, and sewn by a whole team of talented people.
Hope you enjoy it!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Montreal and more formal wear

Oh, It has been quite a while between posts!
I have just returned from Montreal where the formal wear trend continued.
It must be in the air, or maybe the water, who knows?

First a lovely early morning view from my window. I admit to having a bit of culture shock coming home- where have all the buildings and the people gone now that I am home?

One of the costumes I made happened to cut was this frock coat in a lovely brocade.
It was a good learning experience I think, for the design student. She bought 4 metres of fabric, all that was available in fact, and then we worked it out. I did make a mock up, because I knew there would be no room for error or major changes.

It does not fit the stand quite like it fit the actor, I assure you! He has a much more erect posture hence the extra length showing in the front. The single low button doesn't give a lot of support either. He also wears a Farthingale over it as the Queen, which does complicate things a bit!

The big "collar" is used when the actor appears as "the Queen" and is removable.
It has an inner harness of sorts that stabilizes it on the body, then it snaps into the frock coat to make the two pieces act as one. I should have wired the edge but I didn't want to use hat wire as it can be too easily bent. What I would narmally use is heavy duty fishing line or whipper snipper cable zigged onto the outer edge. I hope it holds up for the run!

It all turned out well in the end, and I just squeaked it all out of 4m of fabric while keeping the patterns matched too!