Saturday, 7 December 2013

Wuthering Heights; Cathy's Dresses

As Cathy had 4 or 5 dresses to herself I thought I would do a separate post just about those first off.

As you can see in my designs, I had planned for them to have accurate 18th century shapes and I had made 18th century bum rolls for all the female characters from the 18th century time period, but because of the physical nature of the play it was decided that they shouldn't be worn, which is why none of the photographs have them in. It was a bit of a shame in terms of the look of the costumes, but when I went to see the play I did understand that it was probably true that it wouldn't have worked, there was a lot of falling over and fighting which would have made the bum rolls shift around probably.

The Photos are all after the Jump...

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Wuthering Heights costumes

Nelly works at both wuthering heights and the Grange, and through telling the story of Heathcliffe and Cathy to Lockwood narrates the story. She is on stage for the majority of the play as she narrates and is shown to partake in all the different time periods. While she is in the different times, she couldn't really change between scenes as sometimes she went from talking to Lockwood straight into the reminiscences of the past so because of this  I wanted her costume to seem to fit in all the different times. My main inspiration for her costume was this image of an 18th century maid;


Young Cathy;
The Daughter of Cathy and the wife of Heathcliffes son Linton. As she is from the later period of the book her dress has the higher waistline heading towards the regency era. However, I am not a huge fan of the dresses of the regency era, so I took inspiration from the 2005 kiera knightly adaption of Pride and Prejudice, with the waistline not quite at the bust line and still with a more corseted look. As with Cathy, young cathy has the purples in her costume that none of the other characters had, but its slightly lighter than Cathy, as she is a more innocent naive character, to begin with at least. I think that this dress was possibly my favourite of the girls costumes and worked really well on stage.

Hindley and Francis;
Like everyone else who lives at Wuthering heights, Hindley and Francis are in browns and greens, all earth colours. Frances is wearing a zone front dress, with a green linen jacket and an embroidered chiffon skirt and stomacher. When Hindley is young he wears just the waistcoat and breeches but when he comes home after his father has died he has brought a wife home with him and he is trying to appear more respectable so he has a jacket and necktie. 

Edgar and Issabella;
For Edgar and Issabella as they are richer and posher than Cathy and her family, I wanted them to stand out in contrast. They are both in much lighter pastel colours of greens and yellows and in fancier styles and fabrics. Issabellas dress has more decoration and lace than any of cathys dresses. Issabella is shown to be pregnant later in the play but instead of making a whole second pregnancy costume for her, like Cathy, I wanted a dress that could be adapted for a pregnancy as well. I used a combination of the chemise de la reine and zone front styles so that when the sash is on, the dress looks like a normal structured 18th century dress, but when the sash is taken off a bump can be put under the dress and the fabric flows out to create a pregnancy shape.

Thats all for today, I think I will show you Heathcliffe next and then wrap up all the other characters.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Wuthering Heights Sneak Peak

Just a quick photograph of the cast on stage recieving their applause
The photographer has taken so many more photographs, but I havent recieved them yet so I will just show you this one for now

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Knitting Machine

So I bought myself a knitting machine, which I think might be one of the best things I have ever bought. I am having so much fun with it. a few of the costumes I am making this year have quite a lot of knitwear and stuff involved in it so I thought it would be good for that, and I also love knitting but never have the time to make a full garment by hand.
 For my first project this year I did Uglies, which is a Science Fiction novel by Scott Westerfeld. I will be making three costumes from this proejct for the costume show at the end of this year (my final year :/) We have just finished our first design project so we have finally started making so I can start showing you guys what I am doing :)

 So this is the costume that I am making first (sorry the image quality of my illustration is a bit crap, it looks better in real life i promise...) ;

  She is the main character of the book, and this is a costume that I designed for when she is living in an encampment in the forest called The Smoke. My model for this costume is the same as for my School for Scandel costume last year.
I started by making a Toile mock up for the dress

So there is a nice fitted dress with a circular skirt an fastening up the back. On top is a jumper with an open back with cowl snood collar, that I will be knitting. The dress will be made from a brownish tweed fabric that I bought when I was down in London a few weeks ago and the underskirt will be made from a cream silk noile fabric. Both the dress and the Skirt is will be distressed.
I started by knitting the scarf/ cowl first as I have never actually knitted a ful garment so I was a bit daunted about the idea of working out the knitting pattern and shaping for it.
Just a few progress photographs I took during knitting;

Both the scarf and the jumper have various cables and lacework patterns on them
The finished Scarf with the Toile of the jumper and the dress;

And Finally, I worked out the pattern for the jumper using a tension swatch and complicated guage calculations etc which were all quite difficult but it seems to be going okay so far.
I haven't done the back sections yet, but the front and sleeves are both finished.
The Front has a lacework pattern and two plaited cables down the front, although I am not sure how well you can see that.

So thats it so far, but I have a full day of pattern cutting on monday so there might be more to see soon :)

Also, I went to see Wuthering Heights on Friday, so hopefully photographs of that to follow soon.


Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Wuthering Heights

So this summer i am working on a play of Wuthering Heights, designing and making the costumes. So far all my designs are done and I have made nearly three of the costumes. However, as much as i really want to post about it and show you everything, the director doesnt want any visuals of the play untill after the play has been finished and performed. Which isnt until November :( So unfortunatley, as with work and this play i don't have any time for my own stuff so that means i wont be posting much if at all over this summer, which is a bummer seen as the summer is usually when i have the time to post about stuff. Never mind though, there will be an overloading of posts at the beggining of November!! Its really fun though, sort of dark 18th century stuff. I look forward to showing you haha xxx

Friday, 10 May 2013

Fabric Distressing

Despite the fact that I only just handed in my work for the end of my 3rd year at ECA, i have already begun researching and sampling for my fourth year project. In fourth year, which is the final year, you get to chose what play you want to study and design for and then make a minimum of 2-3 costumes for that play.
I have decided that I want to design for Sleeping Beauty. I have a great many ideas so far, but I am currently focusing my thinking on Sleeping Beauty and the Evil Fairy, as those are the 2 that i definatley want to make in the end as well as probably the prince and if possible one or two of the good fairies as well  I want to make 5 overall, but that's pretty ambitious so I don't know how well that will work out. But I figure if i get started on the research stages straight away by the time i get back in September for 4th year I will be ready to make straight away.

So my ideas are;
 - For the evil fairy, instead of an Old Crone, as she is described in the fairy tale  I want to make her a fiercer character, stronger, probably closer to the maleficent from the Disney version. Her cursing of the princess is a very aggressive move, almost like the start of a war or attack against the royal family. Because of this i want to make some form of metal costume, with armour elements to portray her paranoid and aggressive nature.
  - For sleeping Beauty I really want to work on distressing her dress, as she is a princess her dress should be quite grand and decorated but at the same time she has been asleep for a hundred years; while her body has been preserved the fabric has begun to decay and dirty over the years. I like the idea of the contrast between the grand embroidered dress that is then destroyed and dirtied.
Also for sleeping beauty i am discussions with an illustrator who is interested in a collaboration. On Sleeping beauty's dress i like the idea of there being some intricate and delicate embroidery on the front with roses and trailing briars, like the briars that grow up around her and the castle, that trail off into the skirt of the dress. The illustrator will design this intricate floral pattern which i will then embroider onto the front of the dress.
- In the original fairytale the prince is quite a sinister character, for starters he is married when he finds Sleeping Beauty in her tower and he proceeds to rape her before she wakes up. In the original it is not the kiss of the prince that wakes her, it is after she has given birth to two children and they suckle at her finger dislodging the splinter from the spinning wheel. While i don't really want rape to be a part of my interpretatino of sleeping beauty, i think it would be interesting to explore this slightly more devious side of the prince, giving a bit of a change from the generic prince charming character.

I also have a few ideas for the fairies but not really well enough in my head to articulate.

So i spent this afternoon distressing and having a bit of fun with fabric....
I ordered these 'ageing sprays' off a website that i found and i thought i would give them a try...

I really quite liked the effect that they gave, I think i may order a couple of different colours aswell. These two are 'ash blonde' and 'mould'. Ash blonde gives of a very light brown yellowey colour and the mould makes spots and splatters of a greeny blue colour

 I also did a bit of tea and coffee staining, although these results weren't as successful. I think this was down to the fabrics i was using, which were mainly synthetic so didn't soak up the tea very well at all.
 I also broke out my new hot gun to give the fabric a bit of a melt, which looks okay but it makes the fabric quite stiff and weird because of the melting of the fabrics fibers  I think the hot gunning technique needs more practice. In the end though i had quite a large selection of different techniques that I am happy with.
 I also had a bit of fun with some craft foam. I am still considering using actual metal in the evil fairies costume, but i thought i would also explore the use of craft foam, which i have seen used on cosplay armour online. Craft foam can be heated and moulded, which would be easier than having to hammer the metal into a body shape, and it would be way more comfortable to wear. So I have also been practicing how to then paint the craft foam to still look like convincing metal. I want the corset to have some form of pattern and engraving on, so i cut out two squares of craft foam and then cut out a filigree engraving pattern on one piece. I Spray painted it with 'Hammered' effect spray paint and then added shoe polish and ageing sprays to add texture to it. I am relatively happy with the results, although i think i maybe used too much of the Ash blonde spray, as it now looks a bit too yellowy in places. Perhaps if I get some different colours in the aging sprays in will have a better effect :)

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Coronation of Poppea Costume Photos

As promised, here are the photos that I took between shows of all the red costumes, I also have the school for scandal ones but they will come later.
For this project we each were given an era between 1600 and 1950 and we had to design for the same character, Poppea, within that era. We also had to use red as our only colour, and use sheer fabrics that shows the different layers and constructions underneath.

I am not sure why, but all the photographs look like the contrast has been upped when i uploaded them, they arent normally so dark. But oh well, here they are....

Era - 1600    Designed by Rachael Fraser (me)

Era - 1660      Designed by Sophie Barlow

Era - 1700   Designed by Kate Hamilton

Era - 1740      Designed by Amelia Desjardin

Era - 1780      Designed by Emily Beaney

1830 - Designed by Katherine Murphey

Era - 1890    Designed by Zsofia Szendrei

Era - 1910    Designed by Ruth Kubyk

Era - 1930   Designed by Denise Anderson

Era - 1950     Designed by Jude Tsang

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Edinburgh College of Art Costume Show!!

So its been the stressful and hectic week of the costume show, where all our costumes went on display.
Plenty of photographs were taken and i thought i would share a few of them with you all :)

As I love to do hair, I helped some of the girls out with theirs, these are a few examples of the hairstyles i gave them :)

 There was quite a lot of waiting around backstage, but we managed to pass the time and have fun...

 I wore a costume for the show that my friend made, based on the era 1660. Here I am relaxing backstage... I tell you, corsets are not easy to relax in!

And here we are on stage in all our glory, the photographs aren't great but it shows you the general idea

We did 6 shows in two days, as well as three full days of rehearsals before that, so as you can imagine it's been a looon week and I am very nearly asleep as i write this, but it was so much fun and I am already looking forward to next year; which will be my Final Year at ECA and my graduating show!! Scary stuff!

After one of the shows we did a mini photo shoot of all the costumes, the red Poppea dresses and our other Collection for school for scandal, which I will post later as that is a bit much all for one post.
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