Stagecraft - Part 2

The costumes are finished! The seams are hemmed, the loose threads are trimmed and [in one instance] the batteries have been tested. 

I didn't do all of the costumes, but I had a hand in a lot of them. These photos are from the dress rehearsal of OVO's As You Like It - set outside London during the summer of love! 

A friend and I collaborated on Touchstone's multicoloured wool, velvet and corduroy jacket. I spent a wonderful afternoon in London picking out the colours, and then a couple of long days cutting and piecing the panels together. Overall, it looked loud and beautiful when we finished - and worked beautifully onstage onside the shades of scattered earth tones and bright hippie colours. 

I also made the eight crowns for the brides and grooms - hand woven wooden crowns, with plaited wool, pearls, ivy and blossoms. But the crowning glory? I give you Hymen, the Goddess of Marriage. 

This was one of my most collaborative and ambitious pieces I've ever worked on. I picked the fabrics of the gold and white wedding dress along with a fellow dressmaker and friend, and found the golden lace whilst fabric shopping in London! I designed the flowing wedding dress based on a dress I tracked down in a vintage Vogue magazine, and a very talented wedding dress seamstress in St Albans made it up to this beautiful standard. 

The veil ended up being twelve metres long and made from gorgeously soft and delicate gold organza, it poured onto the stage and encompassed the entire stage in a heavenly embrace. I stitched in a gold sequinned netting to fan out around her like a halo painted in one of those old icon paintings of the Virgin Mary. 

Last - but certainly not least! - is her fiery headdress! Since the rest of the production was very technicoloured and hyperactive, I wanted Hymen to seem more old worldly and angelic. The character Hymen from the stories has a flaming torch, but I didn't want to give her anything to hold so I built it into her headdress! Five huge flame coloured flowers lined the top of a handwoven crown of red wood, copper wire and glowing golden orb lights. Just what every Goddess deserves - her own lighting!