Monday, 18 February 2013

EMP- Fabrics and Flowers


So after a lot of debate and a tough, wet trek around the London fabric zones, we have decided on a cohesive colour palette- we are going with the slubby hand woven silk dupion in the rich, deep colours, so reflective of the pre-raphelite shades. Admittedly, I still do not like the thought of using dupion as it is used lazily in costume making as a cheap silk. However, in the interest of the group we have decided to go with it as we can all find a suitable colour for our costume from the same range of fabrics which was proving to be very difficult. The challenge is deciding a shade and finding a silk organza to match the dupion, but thankfully I have I have succeeded by doubling up two layers of silk organza (red and purple) and getting a near perfect match. The gold layer under the coloured organza with just be a gold/silk organza and I have decided to introduce silk velvets into my costume to reinforce the royal overtones of Lilac fairies costume this may be the sleeves and around the neckline.

Our next task was to start the construction of the actual tutu, something I have eagerly been anticipating! Since learning how to make a romantic tutu in SDP last Summer I have really been looking forward to learning this most niche of processes and demystifying the construction. You do not 'make' a tutu- you 'build' it.

I am of course writing up a full set of instructions on how to do it, but not to be published on my blog ( no-one really admits it, but you don't give up the trade secrets, it's a bit like the magic circle!)

It is a time consuming process and requires accuracy and patience, but so far, so good, quite enjoyable, the key I am finding is to keep refining the process, so you find your own specific way of achieving each step in the most productive way that suits your own style.

We are already starting on the decoration samples- each costume will include the briar rose but the briar has to be made the same way using the same components on each costume. In the first we are all just coming up with our own samples. I have decided to laser cut some flowers and hand craft and paint some other flowers. I already wanted to try out something I saw at the ROH for the bramble: It involved unwinding would cord as it leaves a lovely kinky braid and then adding in some beads/ crystals for interest.

As you can see they all turned out very different, some of them were very delicate and worked very nicely, although I was quite pleased with mine I could see from the other samples that it was too large in proportion- remembering that the decoration is for a photo shoot and not for the theatre...mine was suited more towards the theatre in style.
We decided to pull all the best elements from each sample and then devise a short list of materials before each going away to make a second sample, using only those components and applications. The idea behind this was to refine the sample in the direction we wanted to go but without limiting our own talent to push the sample forward.
The whole process was quite difficult as we were expected to critique each others work and eliminate things that did not work, this is actually harder than it sounds in a group of your peers and I stepped forward to diplomatically suggest ways of working out what to do.

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