Costume visit London
Our costume degree is constantly getting students ready for the world of being a costumier. Our visits play a part in this, due to our links with Angels Costumes, our students were able to access a fantastic behind the scenes tour of the best in the business!
First year costume interpretation with design student, Sophie Lancaster from Richmond in North Yorkshire, blogged about the trip:
Luckily on my course, we have the opportunity to go on trips throughout the year. Our first trip was too London, which I really enjoy, I just don’t think I’m ready to live there! After an 8 hour coach journey, we finally made it to our hotel. Thankfully, I love the girls on my course and we were able to entertain ourselves and each other on the journey. A quick change of clothes and we were ready to go and I was still excited to see Phantom of the Opera.
We got our Oyster cards (a new concept for me, totally strange) and set off to Her Majesties Theatre.
I wasn’t sure what to expect of this play, I really didn’t know if it would live up to my expectations as I love the film so much. But it totally blew me away, I spent the majority of the play covering my mouth to hide my smiles and gasps. Not only were the costumes exquisite, the set and props were also so clever and elaborate.
I am still gobsmacked as to how incredible this production was, I was totally captivated with it. Not only has this made me more excited for a career, it’s made me desperate to visit the theatre again as soon as possible. For anyone able to, I 100000% recommend you to see it, it’s worth every penny.
Tuesday, our itinerary stated for us to go to the Victoria & Albert museum and see the Pleasure and Pain exhibition. The exhibition itself was beautiful, including such a variety of intricate and detailed shoes. My favourite must of been the Louboutin’s.
Alongside seeing this exhibition, we also took the opportunity to explore the rest of the museum, including art work, sculpture, fashion and a selection of other things. I didn’t realise how much the visit would come in handy towards other course modules such as work from Raphael which can contribute towards my Material Culture module.
After time looking round the V&A we decided to take a trip to Camden market to treat ourselves. Never have I seen such amazing buildings! It was insane, so many cool, fresh styles and things going on around you. Vintage, punk, everything under the sun. I almost bought myself a huge fur Macklemore jacket until I saw the price tag. After stops at market stalls, the MAC shop and a sweet little piercing boutique we ended up buying tickets for another show, The Woman in Black. This film has haunted me ever since I first watched it. The play wasn’t what I expected at all, but it was still amazing! We hid the entire time and held hands whilst we jumped and screamed. The most intriguing part I found of the play was its improvisation with the props and set which was impeccably clever. We got really got seats for just £20, it sometimes pays to be last minute!
Wednesday, probably the most exciting day of the planned trip; Harry Potter studio tour! I grew up with Harry Potter all the way through school, the end felt like the end of my childhood. So the chance to get to see this was incredible.
The best part about visiting in December, everything is Christmas themed so to be greater by this beautiful snow covered tree was an amazing start. Going through the main doors and the great hall, we then got a chance to a special tutorial with a gentleman who has worked at the studio for years upon years. In this workshop we got a chance to see costumes up close, hold and touch them, as well as a chance to see the real mood boards and thought processes of the designer to what made the costumes.
The part I found myself incredibly interested in was the special effects area, where they show real props and how they created them, for example the way they created the werewolves, in reality there was a man under that costume with the wolf head on an extension to create height and movement. It was also super sweet to see Buckbeak in person! I was surprised at the size of him in real life, he was more like the size of a horse and I really didn’t realise that.
We got the chance to walk through Diagon Alley and see the shops we’ve watched throughout the films. But the final treat was just round the corner, the scale model of Hogwarts Castle.
This model was totally captivating, it really gave you an idea of the size of Hogwarts and how huge it was made in the film. Overall this tour was amazing and I thoroughly enjoyed it, it was an incredible experience and I’m glad I got to see it with uni and my course girls it’s made me think about my future as a Costumier, mostly excitement for what I could be working on in a few years after I graduate. All good things to come in the future.
Angels Costumiers; one of the most well-known and credited costume houses in the world. Today we got a chance to get a first-hand look at their collection and workshops.
Here stands just a glimpse of what is 8 miles of triple height clothing rails containing costumes to be loaned out. 8 miles…. I can’t even put into works how bizarre but special to walk through these rails and see them up close. It felts like you would get lost at any moment. We got a beautiful insight to different areas of costumes and how they are categorized and ordered, their accessories room, fur room and other incredible hidden gems Angels has.
We toured the men’s wear, women’s wear and alterations rooms. This is an idea of where we could be working soon, or work at with work experience (if you’re lucky enough to be accepted at Angels). I have valued this trip so much, I feel honoured to of been able to see this incredible work space and see this first hand insight of a beautiful talented costume house.
Today is the day! Time to go home, I’ve enjoyed my time in London but I’m not quite ready to live there and I’m happy to be going home. I will admit I wasn’t too excited the weekend before we left, but after the trip I’ve really enjoyed myself and had an incredible opportunity to see amazing things that I would of never seen without my course organising it. To anyone with these chances, take them. You never know what you’re going to see or miss, every chance and opportunity is worth taking.