Costume for Theatre and Screen Starts Tomorrow!

I started University just over a month ago and our first unit was not relevant to making costumes so I’m just going skip over it as its not that interesting!
Tomorrow marks the first day of my costume course which is really exciting. We’re starting off with corsets so I’m happy to have some previous experience going into the unit.
Each week (I’m planning on Saturday) I’m going to be posting a diary type blog post where I’ll talk about what I did in that week which I’ll be filing under one category. I’m really interested in documenting my progress both in and out of class so later I can look back on my posts and hopefully see some progress.
My at home project for October was making 18th century foundation garments which I’ll slowly being releasing posts of this month. I’m hoping to make a 18th century Redingote this month to go over said foundation garments so I’ll also be updating the designing process and the pattern drafting here too. Unfortunately October and September were really slow months for me and I was unable to update but thats defiantly changing this month onwards with weekly posts again.

And thats it really! Just a short sweet update on things to come!

Thank you for reading
-Nivera

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I got into Wimbledon College of Arts!

 

This is a post I could have written early February but as I hadn’t received official confirmation or a written offer I decided to leave things until I knew I was in for sure.

Lets start at the beginning, through UCAS I applied for 5 universities/colleges all for their offered costume courses. My main two choices were Wimbledon College of Arts and the London School of Speech and Drama. I had thought about applying for RADA but decided not to later on.  I received interviews from both of these courses as well as interviews for two of the other courses outside of London (The last school asked for more documents from me which I didn’t send as they were last on my priority list). Wimbledon (my first choice) offered me an interview second to LSSD but as the interview for Wimbledon came first it was the first one I attended. This was on the second of February, and to my knowledge it was apart of the first sets of interviews they were offering.
The second of February came around and I went to London with my portfolio and my other costume related documents as well as my 1500’s ensemble. My interview went really well and there were defiantly a few times during the interview where I could see the tutors eyes light up at my response to her questions and when I explained my method of work. This left me pretty happy afterwards and was told I would hear back from them in about two weeks. Which I didn’t think was too bad a wait. So I left my interview and hoped on the tube ready to go home. it took about 50 minutes to get to my stop (after a few station changes) and literally as I got off at my stop my phone rang. I almost didn’t answer as I was really tired after the day but I’m so glad I did.
A woman was on the phone from Wimbledon and she said that they had just finished up the interviews for the day and wanted to give notice to those they were offering places to. She said that the tutor (who’s name I’ve forgotten!! I’m terrible) was very impressed with my interview and my portfolio and wanted to notify me that I would be receiving an offer from them. I nearly cried when I hung up the phone, I’m not kidding. To be offered a place so quickly at my first choice school was mind blowing and has really given me a confidence boost in terms of my work.
After receiving my offer from Wimbledon I withdrew from my other applications and accepted Wimbledon’s offer. Which makes me ridiculously happy, I’m going to study costume in London!
But, yes of course there had to be a but.
Because I haven’t lived in the UK for three years I must pay international fees. I’ve been a British citizen since I was born and all of my mothers family live here but that three year rule tripped me up.
The fees literally double to nearly £19,000 a year as an international student which is something I really don’t want to pay.
However if I defer my entry to next year (September 2018) I will only need to pay one year as an international student as by the time the second year rolls around I will have been here for three years depending on how they calculate everything. I’m currently waiting on a document from NZ to arrive so once thats here I’ll ring the International department and talk things through with them and possibly a tutor.
Regardless of all of this, IM IN. And will be attending if its this year or the next.

But I want to know what other people think, should I go this year or wait a year to cut my costs slightly. If I do wait for next year I want to speak to one of the tutors and ask what I can be working on during my year away. That way they know I’m 100% interested but also keeping with costume making. I will be working during the year and would love to travel around Europe before study but this will all depend on what my fees look like.


 

Ana Amari update coming soon followed by a new costume.

Thank your for reading and feedback is always appreciated!
-Nivera

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)
336px-Clairin_-_Ophelia
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