Styling the Stars

I have been ‘Dressing the Stars’ for a exhibition of film costumes at Woodhorn Museum in Ashington.

It has been hard work and challenging at times however I have really enjoyed myself – it was both varied and interesting.

The Curator of the Exhibition is Yvonne Hellin Hobbs  – a lovely lady who brought the display to Woodhorn.

Some of my special duties included –

– Constructing a stylized wig for Queen I Elizabeth I.

– Sewing the elaborate frill on the cuffs of Ralph Fiennes shirt worn in the film ‘The Duchess’  – Ralph played the Duke of Devonshire.

– Inserting at least five constructions inside a dress worn by Keira Knightley in ‘The Duchess’.  She is heavily pregnant in the scene in which she wears a grey and silver gown.  Keria wore panniers on the sides of her gown, a couple of rolls at the back and two pregnancy pads at the front to create the correct shape – a lot of padding!

– Dressing the mannequin with an Elizabeth I Gown worn by Judi Dench in ‘Shakespeare in Love’. Her costume was so heavy it arrived in two packages and it took three members of the team to lift each package. It was very heavily padded particularly in the sleeves and had a lot of large glass jewels and embroidery.  I think it would be extremely heavy to wear – if you notice in the film Judi Dench is only seen sitting down in this gown  – perhaps she couldn’t walk in it!!

The costume for Jack Sparrow from ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ is on display – it is a very interesting outfit with a lot of accessories. Also included is a white leather and silk costume worn by Joaquin Phoenix in that amazing epic ‘Gladiator’. Following the ‘sword and sandals theme’ there is also an attractive costume from ‘Troy’ worn by Orlando Bloom – it required a full mannequin complete with arms and legs and head (a flexi mannequin) to display all the attractive armour.

I love the ‘Elizabethan’ selection of costumes in the exhibition as my favourite period is 16th Century.  However I really adore a selection of costumes from ‘The Duchess’ starring Keira Knightley -there are four ladies gowns as well as two outfits for gentlemen.  They are all beautifully constructed in silk with wonderful embroidery.

Last Friday I attended a ‘Preview Night’ the formal opening of the exhibition.

The leading ‘Jack Sparrow ‘ impersonator opened the display- he was absolutely brilliant – it was like meeting Jonny Depp himself – I honestly couldn’t tell the difference.It was a superb occasion  – I was presented with a gift from the Woodhorn for my work – thank you very much.

Everyone enjoyed a glass of wine and a tour of the display.

If you love costumes don’t miss my forthcoming events at Woodhorn Museum in Northumberland.

Costume Talk/Lecture – a very interesting, lively and informative talk about the design/construction and inspiration for my  historical gowns,as well as a brief history of the people who wore them. Integral to the event is a display of four costumes on mannequins with headdresses, fans, underwear and jewellery as well as a personal appearance by King Henry VIII.  To be presented on Mothering Sunday 10th March 2013.

Period Fashion Show – My exciting show includes a number of superb costumes I have designed worn by four models. They are accompanied by beautiful period music, a brief history of each historical figure and a talk about the design and construction of each costume. Our show includes Mary Queen of Scots taking off her velvet robes to reveal her elegant execution gown.  It will take place on Monday 6th May 2013.

I hope you wilI have to say that Yvonne and all the staff at Woodhorn were a pleasure to work with – both professional and friendly – I look forward to working at Woodhorn again in the future.

I have included a number of photographs in the gallery below of the instillation of the costumes which you may find interesting.

Please visit the Dressing the Stars Exhibition  – it is amazing – an event not to be missed!








Leave A Comment...


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.