Friday, 23 August 2013

Opening night of Quadrophenia!

Last night was the opening night of the show Quadrophenia at the Mercury Theatre in Colchester.

I am obviously going to be bias as I am part of the team but I though it went fabulously! And in my opinion it was better than the rehearsal and everyone pulled it out the bag. I would like to see what the general public thought of it.

As I am part of the wardrobe team although I also sing although yesterday I was allowed to sit and watch the whole production which I loved. I now know and respect what all the backstage people do such as the wardrobe team, the technical team, all the sound and microphone people to all the props and queues that have to be managed and ensemble. But it was also great to see what the actors had been working on and seeing from the front all put together.

If I’m honest half the time I just wanted to be up there with them on stage, as I had watched some rehearsal scenes and knew what was coming!  I think it’s opened up a lot of questions for me personally in what I want to do, if I do want to work in theatre or if another path for me would be more appropriate.

But on the Quadrophenia story; I believe there are a few spare seats available and I would strongly recommend going. I sat next to an original Mod last night as he came to watch it and I kept asking him his opinion of it of which he kept saying that he thought they had done a good job. He also was one of the people up on his feet at the end jeering and applauding!

I know one of his favourite songs as well as one of my favourite scenes in this show is the 5.15 scene. I though it really glammed it up and the lighting and movement all on stage was really electric. I won’t spoil it for anyone if you are going, but my favourite moment is in this scene and consists of the character of the psychiatrist as he appears in one of Jimmy’s trippy moments-it’s so good! The finale is also amazing and starts off really deep and meaningful to build into a full chorus on stage and then into a party! The end was really fun and everyone enjoyed it, audience members were up on their feet and it was a right good feel factor. The main characters especially “Jimmy” played by Chris is amazing and I think he portrays all the feelings and confusion that is Jimmy. It is also good to see him rock out at the end!

If anyone goes to see it this weekend, please leave a comment as I would love to know what you think.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Last Rehearsals of Quadrophenia at the Mercury Theater.

“It is time” always makes me think of Mufasa in the Lion King!

But the two weeks of rehearsals and measuring everything ready for the show at the Mercury Theatre is over and now there is only 3 days left until the live show!

And so begins the beginning of Tec Week; which is only really 3 days. These 3 days though will be dedicated to running everything through using the stage, lights, sound and including costume and make up and altering or understanding the play better ready for Thursday.
The stand of costumes in order with each characters garments.

One of the girls Mod dresses; which needed to be taken in on both back seams and shorten the hem. Although situated on the mannequin it is a little obvious.

I’m really excited for the coming week although I know it’s going to be a long one, I’ve been pre-warned that it will easily be over a 10hour day! As well as helping with the fittings and wardrobe department I am also taking part in the final song at the end of the show. Therefore I also need to take part within the rehearsals as well as helping out with the backstage events.

So tomorrow is the first Tec and I need to be free from 2.30pm to listen to the live band and recognise my intro to my little line which I’m going to be singing!


I didn’t want to give too much away but this was a little sneaky peak at the rehearsals this week. This was the rehearsals of the last scenes of Quadrophenia…can you tell what’s going on?

Monday, 12 August 2013

Intern work at the Mercury theater-first day.

Today was the first day working a full day at the Mercury theatre, assisting the sewing department. And I’m happy to say I really enjoyed it!!

I wasn’t too sure what it would include but I arrived this morning and was taken into their sewing studio. The costumes for the show are the combination of their own costumes taken from the archives in the theatre, Merc clothing form Metro in Colchester and rented costumes hired from a costume shop in Bristol.
 The original Quadrophenia album cover by The Who.

Part of my jobs today where to take a pair of trousers up-which were quite well done even if I do say so myself! They were professionally measured form the crutch and the waist down and then hand sewn in a hem stitch that crossed over to ease the fabric.

I was also able to search into the theatres archives to find four matching belts for the “trolley dollies” and a dress shirt with a 15 ½ inch collar for one of the main characters as well as a knitted cardigan for the Mum in the show. This was fun as I was able to look at all their other garments from hats and shoes to fairy dresses as well as different fabrics. There were rails and rails of clothes and tubs full of different types of garments. It felt like a children’s haven for dressing up-which I was very tempted when I saw 40 style hats!
The fashion as showed in the film of Quadrophenia.

Towards the end of the day, I also helped to make covers for the microphone packs that are situated on all the actors on stage-which was something I had never thought of! Of course when you think about it of course microphones have to be on the actors-which have to be sorted out where and how they will be attached and also hidden from public view. So we ended up making little pouches from a calico fabric and with Velcro and elastic which will attach like a belt around the waist.

I enjoyed the day as it taught me other aspects of the costume studio and all the different things that have to be done, made or found to achieve the overall look of the show. I’ve learnt that as well as making items it includes altering items, renting items and finding items that can be used in any way at the cheapest way possible. Tomorrow I will be going to a makeup rehearsal so that should be quite exciting to see how they are going to do 60’s make up!  I’m looking forward to seeing what else I can learn within the next week or so and next time I’m going to try and get some photos to include in here!
  Examples of 1960's make up.

Friday, 9 August 2013

Quadrophenia at the Mercury Theatre.

So it is now August, and I have finished my education!

My 4 year Fashion and Textile degree is over and at the end of it, I have received a 2.1! For people who are not familiar with it it’s around an 8/10 or a notable.

So during this in-between stage, I decided to investigate theatre and costume. As some of my tutors had mentioned that I have a more costume flare which I think is a fair point, I had decided to apply to help out at the local theatre here in Colchester; the Mercury Theatre.

They were advertising for young talent to help with an up and coming show at the theatre. The show was….. Quadrophenia! So if there was ever a show that I think I could help out with, I thought this was the perfect one!

For the past few weeks I have been taking part in classes every Wednesday, to learn about the behind the scenes of the shows and what is needed to pull everything together; I have genuinely really enjoyed it. There was workshop’s on Stage Management, Light, Sound, Costume and Design all of which I found I enjoyed a lot more than I thought I would.

But now it has come down to the nitty gritty and I am now taking more interest in the costume and fittings part of the show.

Last week I was lucky enough to travel down to London to visit Merc, a retail brand that specialize in Mod style clothing, and take part in a meeting with them where they have agreed to donate some of their garments towards to show. So this evening I am going to the fittings of the main cast into their Merc clothing!

I love the garments and I think they have been true to the old mod style by having the polo shirts, parker jackets, suits and shift dresses for women.

I’m really looking forward to the next couple of weeks, trying to take as much as I can in and learning about everything! The show is on from the 22 to the 24th of August, so not really very long but long enough to learn what I need to know!

Monday, 17 June 2013

Graduate Fashion Week London 2013

So this is it! The end has come; my final collection has been displayed at Graduate Fashion Week in Earls Court London.

Graduate Fashion Week is an exhibition showcasing the latest graduate’s collections in fashion and textiles. It is held in London for a total of 4 days of which students and people from the industry alike can come and visit the stands and universities. There were also talks and workshops with people from the industry such as Henry Holland and Mary Katrantzou.
The Colchester School of Art at Graduate Fashion Week.
The black and white hounds tooth outfit is one of mine from the collection on the left of this picture.
The postcards lined up on one of our benches kindly donated by Off Cut.
The portfolios layed out on the stand.
On the whole it was a busy couple of days with each of us from Colchester going in and helping out with the stand. I went up every day and walked around having a look at what other stands and universities where doing. The most enjoyable day there was the gala evening on the Wednesday and even though I don’t have tickets to go, people could still go up to the bar and receive free cava and ice cream! Also this was when people started to turn up, I caught the sight of EVE; the American singer and rapper who looked amazing and I also caught Mark Heyes from the Lorraine show on ITV, who does the fashion part of the program.

Through the exhibition my collection didn’t get very much interest although there were some girls on my stand that got some interest from companies, brands and independent designers which has led onto further contact.
My garment on the stand with my card at the bottom of the stand.
The rest of my collection on the rail.
Me with one of my final pieces.
For now I’m concentrating on the independent exhibition being held at the Colchester School of Art in Colchester which is running from today until Wednesday the 19th of June. Then the week after is New Designers which is another exhibition for graduates held in London.

I also may have an interview for an internship in London next week as well as possibly helping in the costume department in the Mercury Theatre in Colchester, so plenty to keep me busy!

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Cruel Intention Collection-Photos Revealed!

So yesterday I went to pick up the edited photos of my final collection; and they look amazing!

I met up with photographer Jason Little and he showed me my final edited pictures that he had improved and they are perfect. I think you can tell it has been done by a professional photographer as all the garments are shadowed beautifully showcasing the different textiles or depth in pieces and fabric. The background also looks really good- even though it is simple but it showcases the pieces better and I feel that the red of the tops really stands out.

The whole picture looks really professional and I am really happy with it. To display this in my portfolio, I feel will give me an advantage as it showcases my pieces off to their best ability.

Now looking at them I do feel quite proud-with all the input from everyone including the model; Abbie Martin, the makeup by Michelle Court and of course the photographer Jason Little; all makes my garments come alive and look so much more “fashionista” or even couture! I could now imagine them on a spread in a fashion magazine or on a billboard!

Look 1.
Black chiffon undertop with one sleeve and a half a jacket on the right side.
Made from houndstooth woollen fabric, it includes half a collar
and a lapel. The top is fastened with a conceilled zip
placed at the back.
The skirt is a long tubular skirt made from a matt sequin fabric.
The skirt is fully lined with a conceilled zip at the back.

Look 2
This is a shirt with a balooned back panel and balooned sleeves.
The fabric is a red metal threaded fabric which holds the structure well.
The top is fastened by a conceiled zip situated at the back.
The trousers are made from a PVC fabric with side pockets lined with a houndtooth fabric.
The bottom of the trousers have white chiffon panels giving a more femenine feel.

Look 3
Based on Look 1; this top also has the chiffon undertop although this look is in white.
The half jacket effect has been manipulated to a front and back lapel also fastened
at the centre back.
The skirt is a high waisted pencil skirt made from a wool mix in a
houndstooth fabric. Fully lined with also a conceiled zip at the back.
Look 4
A fitted dress made from a woolen mix with half the dress covered in
the matt sequin fabric. It has a stand up collar which carries on towards the back
where the collar dips down to the waist.
Both the collar and peplum are made from a pleather type fabric.
The dress is fully lined with a conceiled zip situated
at the centre back.

Look 5
This shirt is the sister shirt to Look 2, with a balooned front and back.
The shirt is made from the same metal threaded fabric although this design has
white leather panels on the shoulders. Fastened by a conceiled zip at the entre back.
The trousers are made from a woolen mix with a leather waist
and leather bottoms. A train appears from the waist band down to the floor
and is lined with houndstooth fabric.
 Look 6
This dress is made from the same PVC fabric as Look 2, made into a skin tight
dress with sleeves. A white chiffon and a black chiffon are inserted into both shoulders.
The back panel of the dress is in the matt sequined fabric which then
evolves into the train.
The train is lined with the same pleather type fabric as in Look 4 and
has red foiled houndtooth print going from the bottom and dispersing to the top.
Hope everyone likes them as I now feel they make a good solid collection.
Please feel free to write any feeback or opinions

Friday, 24 May 2013

Photoshoot by Jason Little

So….. I had a fab day yesterday; having my professional photo shoot!

I have somehow managed to finish my 6 final outfits in around 6 weeks and although I think it’s hard constantly looking at something for a long time-I was really happy. Looking at the garments separately, I found it hard to see them as a group and was worried they could be a little boring and not stand out enough. But after seeing them on a beautiful model with amazing hair and makeup done; they looked really good.

Me and few of the other girls in my group had booked a photo shoot with professional photographer Jason Little based in Chelmsford Essex. I would highly recommend him as he was fantastic! He was easy to talk to, to explain the look you wanted and also to help recommend new ideas. The studio was amazing, really big and full of light. The atmosphere within the studio was relaxed and calm with music playing in the background; it was just an amazing day.
Some of my outfits and some of the other girls.
The makeup was by Michelle Court-Court on Camera, who did both the models. She had a really good vision of what people wanted and the mood that each person wanted to create. I was really happy with my makeup on my model as it was really striking and attention grabbing, which was what I wanted.
The hair and makeup corner.
Abbie getting her makeup ready with Michelle.
When it was my turn, my shoot contained a white background with the model standing in angular poses in the centre of the shoot. My model Abbie did an amazing job and executed every pose and look the way I had envisioned. Jason the photographer also did an amazing job in directing her and helping to get the best out of each shot.
Jason stting up the shot.
Jason taking the shot.
The end result will be revealed on Tuesday when I go up to Chelmsford and meet up with him again. I saw each shot of the 6 garments on his computer screen as he was shooting, and I have got high expectations!
Abbie in my fifth outfit of the collection.