Wimbledon College of Art and more Fabric Shopping..

It’s official, I’m a broke student again.

Today I went to Wimbledon College of art for a tour and to get to know the course(s) I am interested in. Those two courses being the ‘BA (Hons) Theatre & Screen: Costume Interpretation’ and ‘BA (Hons) Theatre & Screen: Costume Design’. First and foremost I am most interested in the Costume Interpretation course which like the other course runs for three years. In this course you ‘study the historical and social context of the evolution of costume in Western Europe through independent research’. And because of my love for historical costumes I find that course to be the most accurate to my long term goals in the costume making industry.

The location is lovely as its just far enough out of London that you don’t get the huge amount of people and constant smog but still close enough to central London that it still feels apart of London, not to mention its got a 15 minute walk to the tube which will take you to central London in just under half and hour (on a good service!)
The College its self has amazing facilities such as a fabric dying room that’s also a screen printing room. A small room for first year students to plan and design and then a much larger room for 2nd and 3rd year students to do the same. The sewing facilities are standard with relatively new sewing machines and I believe I saw over-lockers however I’m not sure. Many different dress forms and all shapes and sizes. To my understanding every 2nd and 3rd year student got their own desk and machine to work with as well as a safe to keep their belongings in while away, where 1st year students were left to use the main tables (each had a machine to it) set up like a classroom’s textiles class. In first year, students in the Costume Interpretation course will study and make corsets, make a petticoat and a bum roll.
Overall I really enjoyed my tour of the College, I asked loads of questions and all of them were answered. I got more information about how to put together a portfolio showcasing costumes. The basic concept of a portfolio for an arts school is to obviously show all of your work finished or unfinished. They want to see you fail! You should be able to confidently talk about your costumes, what worked and what didn’t. How did you overcome these situations did you have to alter original ideas and concepts to get you where you are? Ideally they want people who can confidently talk about their costumes and go into in depth discussions about their work, that work of course being to a high standard (this applies to finished costumes I believe un-finished costumes will be more easy going!) Drawings of original designs and of those costumes you are working on are great to add to your portfolio. Fabric samples paired with the costumes that were used for is also a great idea as whoever is looking at your portfolio will be able to tell how hard it was to work with such a fabric/material and judge how much skill was needed to produce an outcome of that standard with such a material (Some fabrics are harder to work with than others so they will make a judgement based on how well you did with that material and the skills used to manipulate it into your costume). And finally they want students with passion!!


And on my second trip to Goldhawk fabrics my grandmother helped pay for me~

3 and a half meters of Satin
dress fabric

And one meter of ornate lace~

These fabrics are of course for my Costume based off the painting Ophelia by Georges-Jules-Victor Clairin (I’ve nicknamed it Ophelia in Blue to avoid confusion with Sir John Everett Millais’s famous painting)
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The main blue fabric is for the dress which I have decided not to line. The lace is for the sleeves which start just above the elbow.
The dress has little to no shape to it apart from the balloon sleeves (Its the best description I can give and its pretty accurate!). Rather than making a secondary garment to go under the dress to produce the sleeves I decided I will end the sleeves above the elbow with a band at which the end of the ‘balloon’ will be gathered. I’ll make the sleeves slightly longer than that so they will have an ‘over-flow’ effect as seen in the painting which in theory will hide the band and the beginning of the lace.  The bottom half of the sleeves (from elbow down) will be made from the lace. Which I really want to finish with a french seam and a slight bit of gathering to give the lace that cup look around the hand seen in the painting.
I’m hoping to make the headdress from thin craft wire and then cover it with Autumn leaves as well as make some vines to curl down the dress from wire and leaves as well.
Ideally this costume will have a photo shoot in Autumn hopefully late May so I can have the orange and some green leaves in the back drop of photos. These are New Zealand seasons keep in mind!


And that was today’s journey into London! Tomorrow I’m heading to the Warner Brothers studio in Watford aka the Harry Potter Studios! This is my second time going and I’ve seen that there are many more exhibits and displays on since I was there two years ago. I can confidently say I have acquired all the fabric I need for my next projects minus the lining materials for dresses, corset, body suit and eventual cape for Celaena which I have decided will be safer to buy in NZ rather than risking my luggage weight for the trip back home anymore. No more fabric shopping or I’ll be in debt!

Thank you for reading
-Nivera

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Fabric Shopping Haul London and a trip to the V&A

I had an amazing day in London today taking the tube first to the V&A and then (a few hours later) to Goldhawk road for fabric shopping.

Starting with The Victoria and Albert Museum, it is much much larger than I expected! But I was probably a little too hyped for the historical costumes. A disappointing amount. So in the V&A there is an are called Fashion where they show the progression of fashion from the 17th century to present. It was honestly a small display and I was quite annoyed there was nothing from earlier periods in time on display. Luckily there was a display on the 4th(?) floor on theater and performance which had twice as many costume even if they weren’t historical they were amazing to look at.
Europe Display Photos

This display was really interesting with all of the costume on display being originals except the dress which was a miniature replica. The photo of the room was called a ‘Room of Mirrors’ it looked cute so I snapped a photo of that too.

Fashion Display Photos

I don’t think that last photo was from the fashion display but Oh Well. I think this display has so much potential if they just got rid of half the most recent clothes on display and just filled the museum cases with historical garments. But no lets focus on plain boring clothing. I’m hoping when I visit the Globe theater in a week or so there will be more historical garments on display there. And no I was not able to find the original dress that I’m working on replicating in any displays. It likely got moved to a different site since the first publication of Patterns of Fashion 3.

Theater And Performance Costume Display Photos

That silver dress is just gorgeous and my photos haven’t done the finer details justice. This costume is for an opera called Iolanthe and the character the would have worn it is the Queen of the Fairies. That was the last display I looked at before I decided it was best to go and get my fabric before any stores closed.

Fabric shopping on Goldhawk Road FABRIC HAUL

You only need to go to one store

Goldbrick Fabrics

 

This shop is amazing!!! I didn’t need to go anywhere else! This shop is like descending into heaven if my local fabric store (Spotlight) were hell. The walls are stacked with fabric of all colors, textures and prints. I spent a good 10 minutes just wondering around looking at everything before I started looking at my list. You could say I very quickly made friends with one of the staff members (who is a fellow cosplayer). She was so helpful with deciding what fabrics would work best for my Elizabethan dress. Showing me the most perfect burnt red brocade fabric for the cloak with hanging sleeves matched with a slightly lighter red fabric (I can’t for the life of me remember what it is but it is historically accurate)
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The dress fabric is darker I took these as soon as I got home so the lighting wasn’t that great. 6m of the dress fabric and 4m of the brocade fabric used for the cloak and hanging sleeves.
UPDATED Natural lighting
fabrics and dress
Next on the list was the dress fabric for Sansa Stark. The staff member who was helping me squealed when I showed her the photo immediately showing her co-worker who was also just as happy! We weren’t able to find any lilac fabric with a gold pattern on it so we settled on just the lilac fabric. I think it was a silk blend… possibly.
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Again, poor lighting equals shoddy looking fabric. The fabric is a little shiny and a rich lilac in natural lighting. I bought 5m 50cm of this fabric all in one bolt of course.
UPDATED Natural lighting
dresss and fabric purple

I also got fabric for the caped cowl to go with my Demongaze Death Knight armour from WOW. Finding fabric for this at first was difficult as we were just wondering the store looking for the right coloured fabric which was a dirty purple color from photo reference. We then found a heavy weight lining fabric in a dark purple that would drape perfectly.
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I think this is the only photo of my fabrics that the lighting hasn’t effected. It looks amazing and it think it is perfect for the cape and cowl on the Demongaze Death Knight armour. I got 3m of this fabric and it was given to me! I am so thankful for the people at this store they are so lovely and kind!
UPDATED Natural lighting
fabric for vcaopes
And finally I got some black faux leather for my Queen of Midnight cosplay. And its the thin stuff! Not the thick rubbery faux leather you get in NZ. The inside is soft and I don’t think I will need to make a lining for the corset I am making from, unless there are a lot of seams in which case I will. I bought 1m of it and am really hoping that will be all I need..
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Best photos despite the awful lighting I think. Its really nice and lightweight too which means I shouldn’t get too hot wearing it at conventions and for its photo shoot.
UPDATED Natural lighting
assassin and gfabric


And that concludes my fabric haul, I can not wait to get back to NZ and start on these costumes! I will be ordering my black worbla in the next week or so and hopefully it will have arrived by the time I get home.
I will be buying all my lining material as well as corset material when I arrive back in NZ. And hopefully get some trims for my Elizabethan dress.

Thank you for reading
-Nivera