Tuesday, 27 March 2012

A Career in Costume - Hannah Lobelson

A friend of mine recently gave me a cut-out of the 'Work Life' column published in Stylist magazine: an interesting article on Hannah Lobelson's work day, as wardrobe manager at the Shakespeare's Globe in London - so I'm also sharing it here with all my fellow costume enthusiasts!

Each week Stylist features a different career, offering insight into the daily routines of other working women. It's always good to know what your dream career will actually entail (as glamorous as it may seem in your head!), and this article has lots of info on the real workings of a costume department at such a world-famous theatre.

hannah lobelson

"I still love clothes and I think it’s important for someone in my profession to dress in a way that shows I know about cut, shape and colour, so after waking up at 6.30am, I make a cup of green tea, shower and take my time getting dressed."

First impressions are important, especially in a professional environment. I had never thought of it this way before, but for someone working with clothes, styling someone else (whether it be in period costume or contemporary clothing) it is necessary to convey a fashion consciousness. But that doesn't mean following the crowd and buying outfits straight off the mannequins in Topshop! Oh no! Highlight your individuality and create a look that is your own - only then will you feel completely comfortable with the clothes you're in.

 "A typical production has 80 to 100 costumes, as usually each of the 15 actors has more than one change. The five musicians and three theatre managers wear costumes too."

Many people don't realise the work that goes into costume design and making, in fact some people don't even realise such a thing exists! Nevertheless, no expense is spared in including miniscule details for costumes at large-scale theatres. Unlike film, we never see a costume close-up at the theatre, but all those tiny embellishments - beading, sequins, delicate hand embroidery - are what makes them so awe-inspiring on stage, glistening in the spotlights.
The Merry Wives of Windsor at the Globe, 2010
"These costumes are really valuable, worth about £10,000 each."
Read the full article here.

(For anyone who hasn't heard of this magazine before, it's a women's fashion magazine distributed across the UK on a Wednesday, a great read, and free! - see Stylist.co.uk for more details.)

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