Sunday, 9 October 2011

Back in the saddle

After a very busy five plus weeks I finally have some time to tell you what I have been up to. In my last post I talked of a new job that I couldn't really talk about. Well not only has that been and gone I have done a wealth of other things too, so now I will bring you up to speed.

The job I was so excited about was 3 ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS SPECIALS !!! Now you can see why I was beside myself. Two of the shows are to be on British TV around Xmas time and the third to follow later in 2012. I really hope my friends around the globe don't have too long to wait as they are such a treat.
Jennifer is truly on form the scripts are hilarious and the cast were superb. All the favourites are back and we know them so well, just a look from one of them has you cracking up it is brilliant. 

The costumes of course are outrageous, Edina is still getting it so wrong, particularly as she continues to insist that she is sample size. Bubble is as colourful and bonkers as ever. I have to be so careful about what I say so I really can't go in to too much detail but while we were shooting on location the paparazzi found us so I can share one of those shots with you if you haven't already seen it.

The day this was taken we spent a lot of time dodging the rain, It was August for God's sake and it was torrential. I did get to spend some time sheltering in the Stella McCartney shop though as we were allowed to use her changing room for a costume change. I don't think I am breaking any taboos in saying the lady herself pops up in one episode as well as her shop.

So although I can't tell you much more until they are broadcast have a look at Mo Gaffney's amusing blog. She is the very funny American actress who plays Bo. It was very weird having another Mo around. Every time the director called her name I would step forward expectantly then slink back embarrassed into the shadows. After transmission I will tell you all about the contraption I made from two pairs of spanx and the fun I had with metres and metres of African fabric.

During this time I was also working back at English National Ballet. We were preparing costumes for their Autumn season. This mean't methodically picking through rails and rails of costumes and going over them with a fine tooth comb. Examining every fastening, seam, stitch and piece of decoration for signs of wear and tear. Painstaking work but lovely to be sat around big tables catching up with my ballet pals. Hope you are having a good tour ladies.

I also managed to fit in a couple of days work as a daily on two comedy shows for Tiger Aspect. Grandma's house is written by and starring Simon Amstell. I haven't seen the first series but apparently it is very funny. I wasn't on set at all during this I was mostly helping to set up the wardrobe in the Elstree studios. So not much interesting to say I'm afraid except they all seemed like rather nice people. The seceond day was on a new production written by Kathy Burke called Walking and Talking. It looks very good and will be on Sky. No idea when though. I was there to help with a scene full of extras dressed as punks and teddy boys. It was a very funny scene although we did battle with the elements there too. What a shit summer we have had in this country.

Now things have slowed down a little and I am currently working at just the one job. Having been head of wardrobe for the last three years on the Strictly come dancing tour, I asked to be involved in the TV show this year. I am thoroughly enjoying myself as both cast and crew are lovely. I will start taking some pictures soon. The show days  are quite manic and when it comes to comparing the TV show to the tour I can honestly say it is the same but different!!!

Now that I have a bit more free time I am about to start on some projects of my own. The lovely flat we moved into in March is still missing curtains in the lounge and I have plans for some unusual draft excluders as it is time to get winter proof. So if anyone here has made a draft excluder before did you try rice or just fabric fillings?

Back soon

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

I'm so excited

I am so excited about the job I start tomorrow but I can't tell you anything about it!
Except that it is TV and a few specials of what was a very popular sit com not so long ago.
I don't think I will be allowed to post anything until after transmission.
Sorry sweetie darling!

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Glorious 39

Has anyone else ever seen the film Glorious 39 (2009) I came across it on the BBC 
IPlayer recently. It is a Stephen Poliakoff film with  Romola Garai in the lead who is also currently in the BBC's period piece The Hour. I first saw her in  The Crimson Petal and the White but looking at her Wikipedia entry she has a huge body of work. I really enjoy watching her and Glorious 39 has stayed with me the last couple of days as it is a great thriller. I'm sure some will say the plot is rather silly and fanciful, I agree it is not very plausable, however as a piece of escapism I loved it.

It is of course the costumes I wish to draw your attention to most of all, they are divine and she wears them so well. I would love a wardrobe (and figure) like hers.
This blue suit in particular was very versatile.

There is quite a stellar cast in all, Bill Nighy, David Tennant, Hugh Bonneville, Julie Christie, Jenny Agutter and Christopher Lee amongst them.
There is only a few more days on Iplayer so be quick.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Moving on

My last post was in the midst of the London riots. I was in rather a state of shock and had no words to express myself. So I chose a few of the uplifting pictures that appeared. As we all know things have calmed down now, I am still a little jumpy when I hear the distant sirens but life is pretty much back to normal. Although the root causes of the disturbances haven't gone away and much has to be done to stop this happening again. We were lucky in my area that only a few local shops were looted, a couple of friends had it right outside their doors.

I stayed in the flat during this time, I still can't understand why so many people turned it into a spectator sport and went out to have a look, it's beyond me. Anyway on the Wednesday I was doing another photo shoot for the Old Vic which was due to finish around 10pm. So I had no choice but to be out. Happily it was right by Waterloo (in fact in the Waterloo tunnels) and I live right by a station so no walking through dark streets to get home. As we were packing up at the end of the shoot I had a message from the fella, he had come to meet me and escort me home, my hero. 

So back to the shoot, it was a follow up to the Robert Sheehan shoot we did a few weeks ago. This time with the three main cast members, lovely Robert again, Ruth Negga and Niamh Cusack. The other difference was that this time I was to source the costumes. I went to Cosprop which is an amazing costume hire place on Holloway Road. I met with Lynette Mauro who is the costume supervisor for the play, she was there working on another production. We had a meeting where she showed me reference pictures and explained the look her and the designer wanted to achieve. Lynette's knowledge of the miles (no exaggeration ) of rails meant she was able to show me the best places to look. So armed with the actors measurements, a tape measure and my list of items off I went.

view from a mezzanine 
view from a very tall ladder amidst the Edwardian jackets

Robert was to wear the same costume as before, this had come from Angels, another huge establishment often used for films and TV as well as theatre. So all I needed for Robert was a couple of choices of jacket, heavy wool style quite long was the brief. These I found in the Edwardian department.

For Ruth and Niamh I needed corsets, chemises, petticoats, blouses, skirts and work style boots. Niamh was also to have aprons and shawls.

distracted by negligees while searching for aprons

A couple of hours later I had amassed several choices for Lynette to look over. Happily she approved my selection and arrangements were made to hire the costumes in time for the shoot.
Cosprop is an amazing place and John Bright the costume designer who founded the company won an Oscar for 'A room with a view' plus several other nominations. I was wardrobe manager on a Chekov play he designed with Kristen Scott Thomas several years ago at the Playhouse on the Embankment. His knowledge of period detail is astounding.

The shoot itself went very well, it was the same team who had produced the previous shoot a very pleasant bunch. The actors were in the first week of rehearsals so buoyed up with ideas. Putting an actress in a corset for the first time can be hard but both these ladies had worn them before and the rest of the costumes I chose all fitted perfectly so I was a happy bunny. 

down in the Waterloo tunnels

I can't show any finished pictures until the professional shots are on display so here is the set up, not very glamorous but the wall has wonderful texture.

In other news I dreamt about many of the vintage loving bloggers I read last night, frustratingly I can't remember much detail but I believe we had fun and we may have been in Australia. What a fabulous meet up that would be!

Friday, 5 August 2011

Turkish Delight quickie

Spent a wonderful day at West Wittering
  recently and well I couldn't resist could I? Sitting among the sand dunes, I found a brief window between my paddling and sunbathing to pose for a Turkish delight inspired photo.  

The real thing
Mmm sun melted chocolate, maybe not!
I didn't quite manage the enigmatic expression as I was giggling but apart from the lack of make up and bright sunshine not a bad effort I reckon. What do you think? Maybe I shouldn't ask.

Do not fear proper costume related posts will return very soon, the Autumn looks to be shaping up quite nicely work wise. I found a few nice things in Chichesters charity shops while we were in the area so I will share those soon as well.

The original Turkish delight advert is here check out the Sheik, the wind machine gets a little lively and one point and his face is almost smothered . Pure class I tell you.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

R & R in Brighton

Work is always a little quiet in the summer and so I have been having a few trips away. Recently the fella and I took up a good friends offer of use of her flat in Brighton while she was away. I'm so lucky to have such generous friends. Of course while I was there I had to explore the Lanes, the vintage and charity shops. The glasses above where 50p in a charity shop and they go perfectly with my floral 60's dress that I haven't manage to get a picture of yet. That night I saw fabulous Helga was sporting the same pair on her blog, styling them up beautifully as always. They are great fun but the lenses are so dark the moment I step in the shade it is like someone has turned the lights out!

silly pose but the best way to feature the sleeves.

I took my 60's kaftan with me too for lounging around the flat and shouting at the noisy seagulls.
My fella and I love browsing the secondhand bookshops and this was my haul. A mahoosive marlene Dietrich biography, one of Gary Cooper and Sarah Bernhardt and a paperback about all the Fondas. It will be a while until I start reading these though as I am currently on the first chapter of a huge Charlie Chaplin autobiography. It's funny I'm not the slightest bit interested in current celeb lives but the stars of yesteryear fascinate me. Particularly the women, being independent successful career women in those days they were real trailblazers. Although the manipulation of their lives by the studios and the worlds expectations of women in those days put limits on their independence. 

The fella has a large library of books for research for his clockmaking business and is always on the look out for new material. We visited Colin Page 3 days in a row and at one point they let us into their storage space around the back and just left us there.  It was amazing, floor to ceiling shelves and piles of the most amazing books. Absolute heaven.

So apart from the screeching seagulls at stupid o clock in the morning we had a lovely time. We are off again this weekend on a tour of relatives and friends, can't wait.