Part of my job lately has been to visit many of London's fabric shops collecting samples of particular shades of fabrics for the show. There may be a certain linen say that is used for years for a particular costume then suddenly it isn't made anymore. So the quest for something similar starts. We are not far from Berwick Street in Soho which has many wonderful shops and the window displays are always so imaginative like the one below.
|Berwick street cloth shop|
Just off the Edgeware Road is Joels and Son. This is a huge shop with an amazing array of fabrics. I was there just before the royal wedding and couldn't resist a quick (but awful) snap of their window display. It was draped in fabric printed with pictures of the royal couple.
|Joel and Sons window|
Almost immediately after the wedding we received these samples from James Hare. So if you want to recreate the wedding dress or even bride's mother's dress, it's all there!
The shopping part of the job is a mixed blessing. It can be lovely to get out of the basement we work from and stretch your legs but trying to get around London when you are against the clock can be frustrating too. Especially when you can't find what you have been sent out for. returning empty handed is not good. I did have one successful trip recently in Shepherds bush though for personal reasons. I had been fabric sourcing in the many shops on Goldhawk Road. I couldn't resist popping into a charity shop near the tube where I found this beauty.
|bleached scrubbed and full of bangles|
I am so thrilled with my chamber pot, it was one of those buys where the staff can't actually understand why somebody is so thrilled with the item, they thought I was going to put a plant in it. Maybe if I come across another.
I had a similar question from two of my favorite bloggers Vix and Helga recently about what we do if a performer puts on a lot of weight during a long run? People do sometimes put a little on and so we might let out a seam or two. It is unusual for someone to need a whole new costume, I haven't come across it. I have heard rumours that some shows have a clause in the performers contract that they will keep a constant size to avoid this but I am not privvy to such things so couldn't swear to it. Generally when a performers costume is straining and zips are busting they see the light and do something about it themselves!