Monday, 28 October 2013

Soane Museum Gothick Party - Waiting Staff Costume Design

On the 7th of November, the Soane Museum in London will host a haunting and spectactular 'Gothick' party - and the twenty waiting staff will be wearing my design!

The museum, situated in the magnificent Lincoln's Inn Fields (going there is like stepping back in time - it's crazy!) is known for its Sarcophagus Parties. These extravagant annual candle-lit evenings of the unusual and unexpected take place within the museum itself: a house filled with Sir John Soane's collected curiosities. The house in absolutely unique in its decor: the hundreds of books, ancient sculptures and even a sarcophagus in the basement served as inspiration for a collaboration project between the museum and London College of Fashion performance design courses.

We were given a brief, to design something to be added to a waiter's uniform, that embodies the museum's unique character and atmosphere and would fit in perfectly for a night of macabre and eerie Gothick fun. The project started with a competition to choose a design - one make-up/hair and one costume - and I am so happy to say that my design was chosen as the winner for costume!

My concept is inspired by the Gothic architecture carving pieces on the walls of the museum, the hundreds of crumbling paper books in the front room and Soane's own obsession with mirrors, of all shapes and sizes! The skeletal and delicate translucent paper with a 'crumbling' foil texture are meant to convey a macabre atmosphere focusing on decay, aging and fragility.

Sanya (who also has a blog, have a look here!) is helping me realise my design. For 20 people, there are loads of leaves (almost a thousand!!) that need to be made, but so far we are doing well! Have a look at Sanya's blog for her interpretation of the brief - I love her use of mirrors and silhouette.

Have a peek at the paper leaves in progress...next week I'll post photos of the complete pieces at the party itself! I can't wait to see them in situ!

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Les Liaisons Dangereuses: Finding Fabrics

This autumn, Term 1 of Year 2 (already!) at London College of Fashion, our unit is Period and Contemporary Menswear, with a focus on 18th century tailoring. The text we are designing for, which we will then realise one male character from, is Pierre de Laclos' "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" 1782. This costume design work has been keeping me very busy, here is a peek at my designing for the character of Danceny - a sweet and romantic, twenty year old music tutor who descends into moral chaos at the hands of the heartless Marquise de Merteuil and Vicomte de Valmont.

At the moment, I am trying to choose fabrics for Danceny's three piece suit. I have fallen in love with the deep blue wool, so I am trying to base the colour palette around that, while incorporating the excess of pattern and colour adopted by the uber-fashionable and wealthy Macaronis.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Sketches: 18th Century Costume at the Museum of London

Our focus this term at London College of Fashion is 18th century costume - we will be designing for the novel "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" written in 1782 by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos, and we'll also be making a full man's suit: coat, waistcoat, breeches and shirt. It's set to be a jam-packed ten weeks, so I'm trying my very best to be organised from the start. Earlier this week I went to the Museum of London to study the 18th century clothing in their 'Pleasure Gardens' exhibit: