Hamlet – on theatre

It is said that every minute some one, some where, is playing Shakespeares Hamlet. Whether it’s true or not, I have no idea. But it is once again playing at our local theatre.

When I first began working at the costume atelier 1,5 years ago, the seamstresses were in hurry to finish the clothing for the new Hamlet ensamble. So luckely I was able to take part in the sewing of the reneissance costumes.

I did a lot of collars, pants and shirts for the caracters.

And yesterday they played the final one. So now it will rest untill someone feels the need to resurect it again.

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1750s Layering

Often when I talk to people who are not that familiar with historical costuming, I get askt about what I’m wearing underneath my dresses.

All you people who already do historic costuming know that it’s the undergarmnent that makes the outfit (and takes the longest time while dressing), and without the right support and stuffing you would get nowhere.

Most people know about corsets, but not that much more. So I tought it would be fun  to “strip the lady down” and reveal what hides beneath.

The undergarmnent changes with fashion and will be constructed and look differently depending on time period, wealth of the wearer, and personal taste. But the overal layering will remain somewhat the same through the 16th to early 20th century. Only changing in name, siluett and constuction.

This time I will do the 1750s noble woman.

IMG_1905We start fully dressed in: pet-en-l’aire (jacket), skirt, hairdo and accessoares. (She would also sometimes wear a neck-cloth and some lace-cuffs at the sleeves. And of course some kind of headwear.)

IMG_1909Then we remove the accessoares and the pinned on stomacher – reveling part of the corset underneath.

IMG_1912Then the jacket it-self is taken of.

IMG_1916And then the skirt, revealing the petticoat. You would wear as many petticoats as neccesary for warmt, and to hide the sometimes sharp shapes from the undergarmnents. Sometimes as many as 5 petticoats on top of each other.

IMG_1922Now we are down to the under garmnents:

The shift/chemise is being worn closest to the body, is made in an light, washable fabric and has the task of collecting the dirt and swet from the body.

Then there is the costet – made to shape the torso into the desired fashionable form, and to provide a solid form to drape the clothes on.

The pocket hoops or “pocher” are smal and cresent shaped and ties at the waist. They are what gives the skirt it distinct form. The hoops comes in many different shapes and sizes and often makes the hips 3 times the waist measurments.

The stockings are above knee lenght and secured with ribbon.

This is just one of the many ways to dress as a 18th century lady, but I hope it give you a better understanding of the amount of items needed in the costuming closet, exept for the pretty gown…

Regency accessoars

To make a historical outfit all you need is the right undergarnments and a plausible fabric in a color or pattern used during the intended era. (Honestly, in most circles you can get away with lots of inaccuracies if you have the overall silhouette down)

But how to make your costume go from “nice” to “wonderful”?

It’s all in the accessories.

What would your Elizabethian dress be without the starched ruff, or your 18th century Anglaise without the headgehog-hair/wig.

So for the HSF challenge 7 “accessorize” I decided to style my new Regency gown (which I made in the 6th challenge) with some matching accessories.

But what would I make? There are so many things the proper Regency lady would need.

1817-walking-dress-la-belle-assemblee2Robes and ridicules …

imagesCAW6EP0V… turbans, open robe, spencer, fans and muffs …

regencyfashion… shawls, bonnets, gloves and parasols.

I decided to prioritate headwear – since my hair is cropped in a boyish style I would never be able to arrange it in the curly up-dos so popular at the time. So instead I need to cover it up.

I searched all the stores in town for a straw hat to make into a bonnet. But the sunbonnets was no where to be seen in the still cold and snowy march.

So I needed to re-think the bonnet and decided on the much simpler turban. I bouhgt a shawl in a similar green color as the trimmings on my dress, and practiced wraping and pinning the turban to my head. The American Duchess has a great tutorial which I used to get the shawl to co-operate.

But since the turban seemed a bit too easy I also decided to make some gloves – or mittens to be exact.

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mittens-18th-c-met-musThese were my main inspirations

Using the pattern from “Costume Close-up”, I drafted and cut the pieces in an ivory cotton blend.

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They are completely handsewn and decorated with green buttonhole thread and the same green linnen as for the gown trimmings.

I also bought an ivory lace fan, and cut a big triangle of ivory organdy to use as a fichu (neck coverage) for the photoshoot.

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accessorisePhoto: Elin Petersson

Just the facts:

Challenge nr 7 – Accessorize

What: White and green Regency mittens. And my light entries – the green turban (a scarf) and white fichu (a hemed piece of organza).

Fabric: 0,5 m cream colored, thick cotton fabric with a small soft nape.

Pattern: “Costume Close-up” By Linda Baumgarter – Mittens.

Year: 1740-1840.

Notions: Pieces of contrasting green fabric, sewing thread and green buttonhole thread.

How accurate: Pretty good – completely hand stitched with historical patterns and sewing techniques. So about 90 %.

Hours: 6 hours – lots of decorative handstitching.

Cost: 8 USD.

First worn: On Gods friday when we had the photoshoot.

Final thoughts: I love my mittens and plan to make lots of them in different colors and fabrics.

I also noticed that the hostess of HSF The Dreamstess mentioned my mittens as one of her favourite accessories for this challenge.

Huldra the movie – Working hard

As I mentioned in my last post I’ve been really busy working as a costume designer for the upcoming Swedish movie ”Huldra”.

I originally got the job as costume assistant one week before the shooting started. So I putt all my other work and tasks aside, and traveled to Stockholm to work for a month.

But when I got there, I realized two things:

First -There was no pre-production period, and the first shots where to be taken in less than two days…

Second – The costume designer had no intention on doing any work what so ever, help us or even visit us and the production on set. So I and the other costume assistant (who had no more experiance than me) was left totally on our own.

So with two days to: read the script, brake it down to figure out what was needed for each character, do a budget and collect all the things in time – We didn’t even had the time to panic…

We arranged to meet the actors one by one in the nearest shopping mall, and managed to dress and fit them all in one hour each. And as soon as the stores closed we went back to the studio (or base-camp) and altered clothes, wrote more shopping lists, calculated budgets and tried to figure out who was to wear what when.

In those two days we bought, collected and borrowed almost all the clothing and jewelery that was needed for the whole production.

We both worked so hard, and stupidly thought that the worst was over when the shooting started. But then we learnt the hard way what it meant to work with costumes on a movie set. There was so many things we didn’t know and never would have thought about until someone asked us why we had/hadn’t done this or that.

Thank god the whole team are so wounderful, and once some of them realized we actually had no idea on what we were suposed to do, they explained everything and thereby helped us tremendously.

 Stressful as it’s been I learnt so much about both the art of movie making, and about myself and what I can accomplish when I really want and need to.

Now I will stop babbling, and show you some pictures of the behind the camera work going on on set. (un-credited pictures are taken by me).

2013-07-26 19.14.59Our costume and makeup trailer.

2013-08-01-16.54.54And inside we find (from left to right) Kristin – costume, Jessica – script and Hanna – props and set designer.

2013-08-06-18.02.47Some of our costumes sorted by character.

2013-08-02-13.00.10The luxurious location and workspace in the middle of the woods.

2013-08-02-12.59.36Hanna covering the knives in pigs-blood.

2013-08-02 18.00.27Wather scenes.

2013-08-06-11.50.41On set working

2013-08-06-12.07.54Spraying some sweat on our actors.

2013-08-06-12.01.05Camera crew

2013-08-04-16.10.31And some more camera crew Sofia, Eddie and camera man Staffan.

998625_506237012788496_1035363559_nWhen the camera points at you – you duck (no one even realized the trucks in the back probably destroyed the shoot even more).

1003766_505660846179446_1759526605_nActors having a repetition of the scene while make-up, costume and sound-tech works on them. (By Marcus Möller)

2013-08-08 12.28.21The Swedish summer is not always sunny…

1011242_504197729659091_1388223409_nDave Leon and Rebecca Labbé get directions by Ove Valeskog. (by Marcus Möller)

1185875_510178249061039_1832960159_nViktor Åkerblom and Staffan Övegård on a hunt. (By Marcus Möller)

558021_510723675673163_1058604219_nOve Valeskog och Nikola Ruzicic looks like twins (not intentionly). (By Marcus Möller)

IMG_1511The cool gang (Kristin Sundberg, Dave León, Mirja Mira Steen, Viktor von Schirach, Christoffer l Johnsson and Viktor Åkerblom).

Next time I will tell you more about the movie and the characters.