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Making the cut - Docklands January 2011

Posted on 12th Sep 2012 @ 11:03 AM

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 Q’aja on the silver screen


 AS well as kitting out sports stars I’ve done the odd design for television and films, most recently a fairly wild, hand-stitched jacket for Mr Blonde himself, Michael Madsen.

Wondering how fashion design works on a film set I spoke to Australian Costume Designer Hayley Nebauer to find out. Hayley worked on films in her native country including Mary Bryant and Ghost Rider before coming to the UK and working on Steven Spielberg’s Munich and zombie comedy Doghouse. Along the way she has dressed actors including Timothy Spall, Honor Blackman, Rhona Mitra, Melissa George, Vinnie Jones, Michael Madsen, Bob Hoskins, Karel Roden, Danny Dyer, Stephen Graham, Billy Murray, Noel Clarke, Freddie Jones and Ralph Brown.

So Hayley seemed the perfect person to ask what it is a costume designer does?

“They’re the person responsible for everything worn by a person in a film. From the choice of socks to accessories and handbags, everything that appears on an actor or extra is the result of decisions made by the costume designer.” She explained. “A costume designer is essentially not just a creative conceptor, but also a projects manager. The majority of a costume designers’ work is in balancing the ideas and personalities of creative heads of department and ideas of actors, relevant to the look of the characters in the film. The costume designer is also responsible for crewing their department and ensuring all the needs of the cast and department are run smoothly.” 

So from a designer’s perspective how is the work different from what I do?