Research

Reanne and I (Costume Designer), spent various different days meeting up to go and visit charity shops and meeting up with friends or family to see if they were able to help with wardrobe and costume when going out to look for items. Our main priority was finding shoes for our Actor Lemon and a shirt which our Director specifically requested as a blouse/shirt/top with an African designed pattern or an African feel.

We started off in Clapham, where we visited various places including The British Heart Foundation, Traid and ACE. These were all charity shops with loads of options to choose from. The only problem is, that we still do not know what our actors look like or what sizes we are working with, making it completely impossible to purchase items, have a dress rehearsal and see how it fits well with the actor/ess. What we did instead, was take pictures of many different items and send them through our phones to both our Director and Producer to hear an opinion and our Producer was then able to tell us whether we could spend as much as we needed for our department.

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As we were shopping for this, we could not find anything like what was requested from our Director. I then had an idea of looking at the different materials they had on sale. I called the director and she was happy with my idea.. I just needed to know when we will be able to measure the actors and we were told by Directors the next day, but this was not the case and we had to wait an extra week before we could measure and meet our Actors. My idea was to buy African printed materials and use my skills as a clothes designer to make a blouse for the actress to wear. We found two favourites. One white (on the left) for £3 and one deep red and peach pattern (on the right) for £5. This would be perfect as I would be able to show my different skills and also, we would save a bundle of money. However, we were not allowed to purchase anything until we had measurements which didn’t take place until last minute.

 

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We later took a trip to Brixton, this time in an average store yet one where the prices were knocked down and everything in the shop cost £5. We came across two black options as the Director wanted black to be the dominant colour as our character works a lot with funerals. These were long sleeved and had beautiful detailed patterns down the v slit and the shoulders. We found two different styles but the same sort of theme. Our Director had told us the day before we visited, that she would have her phone on her to answer any messages or calls. When we sent her pictures of these to hear an opinion to see whether we could buy them or keep them in our Diary’s to buy when we have our actors measurements, there was no answer or reply for up to two hours. This was a shame as all Reanne and I wanted to do, was find a solution before we kept looking. When our director finally got back to us, she said she didn’t like the look at all and changed her mind once again about what she wanted. This time she asked for bright colours, A full blouse with floral prints. This was frustrating as we always provided what she asked for and once she saw it, she would change her mind meaning we had to go out and look for more.

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One last thing we came across were these beautiful shoes which were perfect for what we were asked to bring from the brief of our Director. They were going in one of the Charity shops we walked into, for £15. Our producer was very happy with them, along with our Director. Again the only problem we had, was not being able to buy them right away. These were a UK Size 9 MENS. Once we got to meet our actor, he told us he was a size 9. When my partner returned to buy them, we found out that the shop had closed down and the week we went to view them, everything was being sold for £2 including the shoes. This was unfortunate as this was our favourite find.

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