Scattered about the public spaces were a number of production costumes from previous years which were absolutely fascinating and I thought I'd share them with you. It's not often that one gets a closeup view of stage costumes. When I was a sixth former, a very long time ago, I was lucky to go on a tour of the costume and props department at Stratford, and loved getting a close up view of the fabrics and how effects were created.
This is a costume for The Vicereine from the play "The Heresy of Love" staged in 2012. The fabric is a furnishing fabric which sits over a steel framed crinoline. The ruff is made from silver organza and is detatchable so that it can be cleaned while in production.
Really interesting to see how the ruff was constructed. This was designed by Katrina Lindsay
A design from Henry VI part 2 staged in 2007. The dress is made from Italian brocade and the shape was loosely based on one typical of the mid 15th Century. It was designed by Emma Williams. I was especially interested that the stitching holding the neck insert was large and visible close up, but would have been invisible when on the stage.
A costume from a 2013 production of "The Empress". Of special note was the fact that a piece of antique lace had been sourced, cut up and appliquéd to the satin of the dress. designed by Lez Brotherton.
In all the pieces I could get really close to I was stunned by the degree of attention to detail which shone out of each. I couldn't get a good photo of a male costume which had "slashed" sleeves and trousers. The synthetic fabric and been heat distressed to create the aperture through which the satin below could be seen.
What a lovely serendipitous find!