Thursday, 22 November 2012

Cinderella, designed by John Macfarlane

Well I think I've just found my favourite designer!

John MacFarlane's designs for Cinderella by the Birmingham Royal Ballet are just incredible -  and his costume illustrations are just as inspiring.

The production, staged in 2010 and aired on the BBC was directed by David Bintley and Ross MacGibbon and created to celebrate the Birmingham Royal Ballet's 20th Anniversary. It is currently being staged again this month at the Birmingham Hippodrome, until the 9th December.

Take a look at the trailer:

John MacFarlane studied at Glasgow School of Art, and is a leading opera and ballet designer, known for his work on the BRB's The Nutcracker, amongst other productions. He works as a painter alongside designing, a technique which he employs often in his costume illustrations:

The Wicked Stepmother, Costume 1

Ugly Stepsister

Ugly Stepsister


Frog Courtier

I really like John Macfarlane's use of colour, and how he includes pencil sketches of costume details around his character drawing. These really give a sense of the whole character, in 3D, rather than just a face-on drawing of the front of a costume. 

Macfarlane also sketches every detail of his sets and props, to ensure a continuous design aesthetic throughout the production.

Here's a video from the 'Everything Birmingham' Youtube channel about the set painting/construction process:

To book tickets to see Cinderella at the Birmingham Hippodrome on the BRB website: here

Photos of the show are from the BRB website. The sketches are from Creating Cinderella, the BRB's backstage blog for the production.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Les Misérables Vogue Photoshoot

I'm almost to the end of the first Les Misérables book - I'm reading it in french so it's taking a little longer than it normally would for me to read a book! I'm just so so so excited for the film, and this Vogue shoot by Annie Leibovitz is making me even more impatient!

Take a look at the incredible photos:

Photos by Annie Leibovitz for the December 2012 issue of American Vogue. For more information go to www.vogue.com

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Showtime Stitches designs for the N21 Festival

A few weeks ago, I was asked by the N21 Festival team to design canvas bag for their St Nicholas Fair this December! I hope you like the design as much as I do - I had so much fun putting it together and I just can't wait to see the finished printed bags!!!


(St Nicholas Fair logo designed by Denise Ryan: http://www.denise-ryan.com/)
So keep the 8th of December free everyone, and come down to the St Nicholas Fair on Winchmore Hill Green, N21from 2-7PM. See you there! For more information go to www.n21.net .
If you are interested in having an illustration designed for your organisation, contact me, Megan, at showtimestitches @ gmail.com . I would love to work with you and create more fantastically fun and exciting prints!

Saturday, 3 November 2012

An Update and Hollywood Costume @ V&A Museum

It's been a busy busy week, and it's not over yet! With schoolwork (I really should call it university now, but I just can't get that into my head!), two very exciting projects I'm involved in, and preparations for the show I'm working on next week with Green Room Productions, I haven't had a moment to spare! At university (!) we're making Victorian bodices, which is a lot of fun (and a whole lot of learning). I'll post some photos of my finished bodice soon. You can read about one of the projects I'm working on at the moment with the Much Hadham Forge Museum here - I'll reveal the other project next week! Although here's a clue in the meantime....  Go to Green Room Productions website to learn more about the show I'm helping with next week - The Scarlet Pimpernel!

Despite the packed schedule this week, I got to see the Hollywood Costume exhibition at the V&A - and it was AMAZING!!! We went as a class, and needless to say it was incredibly inspiring to us costume crazy people!

My favourite display was the Royal collection. Suptuous gowns, in rich colours, velvets, with extensive beading and embroidery...what could be better!?!?!?

I found this quote in Room 1 very interesting - it highlights the importance of good costume design and what it brings to a production:

"Inhabiting a character is the actor’s profession, and they transform themselves into hundreds of roles over the course of their careers. Actors often discover their characters in the fitting room. This is not so much a change of clothes as a change of skin.

Costumes are so much more than clothes – they are the means to channel new people. The actor’s gait, posture, gestures and their entire physicality are informed by what they wear. "

'Hollywood Costume' was truly a celebration of costume design in film - I was worried that they would 'fashionize' the costumes to relate to more visitors, but that wasn't the case at all. The costumes, the characters and the designers were given the unspoilt attention they deserved - although sadly, none of the makers were credited...

Hollywood Costume is on at the V&A in London until 27th January 2013 - read more about it here.