Wednesday, 26 September 2012
Downton’s back! And it’s most definitely a new fashion era. As Downton Abbey costume designer Caroline McCall says the shift to the 1920’s has meant a whole new wardrobe. Including two wedding dresses….‘Lady Mary’s wedding dress was the most expensive costume we’ve made. It cost around £4,000 to make,’ she says. ‘It’s a silver lace tabard fabric that goes into a train at the back, and underneath is a silk dress with silk sleeves. The detail at the back wasn’t really seen on camera but the lace goes into a V at the back with tiny buttons and it’s completely edged with tiny rice pearls and Swarovski crystal.’
And, given the competition between the two sisters in the series, how much pressure was there to make Lady Edith’s wedding dress different? McCall says she planned it carefully – and with the plot in mind. ‘Edith always been a little bit awkward but I wanted us to see her on her wedding day as absolutely stunning so that’s the way I went with her dress,’ she recalls.
Lady Edith's wedding dress is not to be missed!!
In the meantime one of Caroline McCall’s favourite moments thus far this series was dressing the two grandmothers for Lady Mary’s wedding. ‘Both grandmothers ignore the tradition not to upstage the bride and wear cream. Maggie Smith’s costume is so sophisticated and Edwardian and then Shirley MaClaine is all Hollywood diva in a turban with a bird of paradise. It’s bit of an outrage – the American granny really gone for it,’ McCall says proudly. ‘You pinch yourself to see Maggie Smith and Shirley MaClaine sitting next to each other in your costumes.’ And contrary to reports MaClaine ‘loved her costumes but she is more of a leisurewear kind of woman she doesn’t like whole load of fuss’.
Along with chief designer Susannah Buxton, Caroline is responsible for creating corsets, petticoats and tunics fit for an early 20th-century aristocrat.
"It can be pretty tough and stressful at times and obviously the costumes play a large part," she said.
Caroline started off her career at art college in Belfast before moving to the Wimbledon School of Art. She then trained with the BBC.
"I have been very lucky to make great contacts and I've done some lovely jobs along the way.
"But period costume is what I have always loved. So to work on a prime time costume drama was the job of a dream as a child," Caroline added.
"Sometimes I have to pinch myself. Sometimes you can't believe it.
Sunday, 23 September 2012
It is that time of year when wedding fayres are in every hotel and venue.
New!, they are not new they have been doing this for years. You only get married once so don't fall into any of their scams. Make sure they have a landline number, make sure their promises aren't to good to be true, take time to think. As once you pay that deposit you may never beable to get it back.We know couples that have been swept along with the excitement and booked things that later they change their mind on but then they realise they can't get their money back. Couples have booked their venues a year or two in advance, then changed their minds and lost hundreds of pounds. Beware!!
Wednesday, 19 September 2012
I love the blue colour showing off the beautiful embroidery.
Here is a lovely blue drape dress by the same designer.
Back to trousers,a fine belt to show off a tiny waist and the most delicate embroidered blouse, but I think I would have to wear my skin tone under garments with this one.
Sunday, 16 September 2012
Forget the strapless dresses for the first time in about 7 years, thank you Kate.
I love the influence of by gone eras but I like to give it a modern twist.
Sunday, 9 September 2012
Today is the start of the British Bridal Show where we see the predictions of what will be in style for 2013.
Sunday, 2 September 2012
Faced with such a momentous decision prospective brides look to all sources for inspiration, from contemporary bridal styles to vintage collections.
I am inspired by many things I see and collect and nowadays with the world wide web there is so many images to see and be inspired by.
If you see something try and save a picture of it so that you remember the idea and be inspired by it. You can express your own style by gathering inspiration from elements of things you have seen from the past.
When searching for an authentic vintage piece, there are a few ground rules and tips to keep in mind, which will help you find the best pieces for you. See as many different styles as you can from a cross section of eras. There is really no substitute for the experience gained from seeing a handling vintage pieces. Remember to find out about the measurements, stains, repairs and alterations.
1 Never buy a stained piece hoping it will come out with washing, if it has been there a long time it probably isn't going to shift.
2 Avoid pieces that need expensive repairs, so it so unlikely you will be able to patch or repair successfully.
3 Always check the item thoroughly for condition. Hold it up to the light to check for moth holes or deterioration.
4 Choose a piece because it suits your style, otherwise you may feel as if you are wearing a costume rather than a piece that make you look and feel great.
5 Work out your budget before you shop.
Care and storage;
1 If ever in doubt about whether a piece should be washed consult a professional for advice.
The Textile department of the Folk Museum and the Ulster Museum can be very helpful.
2 Always clean an item before storing.
3 Dry cleaning is damaging to many fabrics.
4 Never wash a 1920's sequin dress the sequins are gelatine and will dissolve in water!
5 Don't store anything in plastic. Wrap it in acid free tissue and keep it in a cupboard box. Check the condition each year and repack so the folds are in different places.