Saturday, 31 March 2012

Bath Costume Exhibition Photoshoot!

I made a passing reference a couple of posts back to a costume photoshoot I was going to be helping out with.  In case you were curious, I was refering to one for this upcoming exhibition at Bath Fashion Museum.  It'll be running from 17th July to 2nd September, and from the sneak peek I've gotten so far, there are going to be quite a few rather delectable costumes on display, so it'll be well worth checking out!  My job, alongside the curator, Yvonne, and a few other volunteers, was to dress the mannequins for the shoot, padding them out where necessary, and trying to make them look as historically accurate as possible.  This was a slight challenge for some of them, including a gown from The Tudors tv series, where we hadn't been provided with the correct underpinnings, and so had to mimic the shape of a farthingale as best we could with bubble wrap and pins!  It was a fun couple of days, and such a privilege to get to handle some really fabulous costumes.  Hopefully I'll also be involved in the actual set up of the exhibition itself in July.  I've yet to see all the gorgeous costumes they're getting on loan from the RSC so I can't wait!

And now for some photos :-)

Elizabeth I - worn by Helen Mirren.  This was so sparkly, I just wanted to pet it.  I'm not sure rhinestones are particularly historically accurate, but I'm sure we can forgive a littel artistic license for the shiny!

Full length shot

Henry VIII from The Tudors, worn by Jonathon Rhys-Meyers, you can see him in costume in the photo on imdb.  Also a glimpse of our not so glamorous dressing room.. aka, the hallway outside the photography studio.  Luckily the mannequins weren't prudish ;)

Henry's spiffy boots!  I wish I'd gotten a good photo of his breeches too, they were lovely. 

The aforementioned bubble wrap gown from The Tudors.  I can't remember who wears it, but apparently it's in the opening credits.

Another Henry VIII, from a different production, unfortunately I can't remember which one!  Side note:  Trying to put in the cod piece so that it doesn't look completely ridiculous was somewhat tricky.  Hopefully it only looks slightly ridiculous.

I can't remember where this one was from either, not even the king it was meant to be worn by.  Terrible!  Still, looks good, doesn't it.

This is a replica of the Queen Mother's wedding dress, but I'm not sure who wore it and in which film.  It looks stunning but was a bugger to steam.

And finally, a Wallis Simpson dress from W.E, worn by Andrea Riseborough.  Probably made by Jane Law's team, as I saw a couple of other dresses from that film in her slideshow when she gave her lecture at my uni recently.  I (probably unfairly) wrote off that film as being unwatchable when I heard that Madonna had directed it, but the costumes I've seen so far look so delicious, I might just have to see it anyway!)

And a final photo of the inside of the bodice of that dress.  You can see they've used a weight to give the neckline it's lovely drape.
Anyhoo, that's all for now folks.  Work on the maquette version of my puppet costume is going painfully slowly, since the glue I'm using takes forever to dry, and the pieces of foam that make up the skull need to be held in place while it's drying. Blahhh.  One must persevere though!


  1. The photos are fabulous. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Awesome stuff! I went to this exhibition myself only yesterday and was overwhelmed by the detail and quality of the costumes.