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Re: [TheCostumersManifesto] Pattern sources/1890's policeman's uniforms

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  • sylvia@ntw.net
    ... shows, but after speaking with the director this morning, who said not to kill myself and that neither she nor the audience will care that the ingenue is
    Message 1 of 3 , May 21 12:01 PM
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      > It's hard for me to compromise as much as I will have to do for these 2
      shows, but after speaking with the director this morning, who said not
      to kill myself and that neither she nor the audience will care that the
      ingenue is in a summer dress when it's snowing outside, I've decided to
      try to let go of some of my standards. And after posting my messages, I
      discovered a keystone cops uniform online for only about $50! God knows
      the quality will be bad but the guy is on the stage for just a short
      time anyway. And I found a cheap judges robe for $24. So maybe I was
      premature in writing you guys but I was initially frustrated in my
      attempts to find anything. How did we ever manage without the internet
      anyway?

      Sylrog
      >
      >
      >
      > Hey, Sylvia:
      >
      > My guess is, if time and money are very short, you're not going to have an
      > extremely sophisticated or critical audience for this production. If you
      > concentrate on the overall line of the costumes, the overall look of the
      > show, get really good color and some of the major details right (the
      > women's hair and hats, the men's hats and mustaches) you can forget
      > complete historical accuracy and the audience won't know and won't care.
      > My philosophy in the past when working on shows short on time and budget
      > has been to spread the scarce resources throughout the show, get the most
      > bang for the buck, and don't waste too much time or money on any one item.
      >
      > Regarding the police uniforms: Simplicity 7274 has a double-breasted,
      > standing collar jacket pattern (made to be a Civil War era uniform, but
      > perfectly serviceable for your purposes with minor adjustments). Even
      > when made from inexpensive, dark cotton twill, it will do the trick (for
      > decorative rows of plastic "brass" buttons, see cheaptrims.com).
      >
      > Your best bet for the judges' robes is to try to borrow them from another
      > theater with stock. You might also call around to thrift stores or any
      > friends or acquaintances who are university faculty or who have advanced
      > degrees. (At commencement exercises to confer advanced degrees, faculty
      > members in attendance and graduates both wear their robes). As a last
      > resort, you could try contacting gown rental or manufacturing companies
      > and ask if they have any old samples, worn rentals, or discontinued items
      > they could let you have.
      >
      > Regarding the evening dress, keep in mind that all you really need is a
      > good princess-line sloper to start the process. If you're looking at
      > balloon sleeves (which to me just scream 1890's when all else fails) you
      > can add them to any bodice, and you probably have lots of bridal/formal
      > wear patterns already. Believe me, your audience will not know or care
      > whether your actress(es) are wearing the appropriate corsets or
      > crinolines, but they're bound to be pleased if you create something lovely
      > that flatters the actress and accentuates her character. Simplicity 5006
      > is a nice pattern for a corset-bodice and skirt (made to be for
      > undergarments, but completely serviceable as outer wear). If it was me,
      > again, I'd put my labor and effort into the decoration of the gown and not
      > worry too much about the historical accuracies. Hey, you could even start
      > with an old thrift store prom dress, because it's been my experience
      > (through more than 20 years as a costume designer) that if you get
      > the basic shape right, that's all most audiences are going to notice
      > anyway.
      >
      > Early in my career, I did a production of "The Matchmaker" (also
      > an 1890's show) in Chicago for a total budget of less than $600, and I got
      > some of the best reviews of my life from all three major papers in town.
      > So don't kill yourself over corsets or undergarments or finding exact
      > patterns or fabrics!
      >
      > Kate Murphy
      >
      >
      >
      >
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