I started work with Black Swan in January 2011. The first production I worked on was ‘Boundary Street’, which was also the first play to open the State Theatre.
My most memorable moment was designing the costume for ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’. It was the most complete build of costume we have done to date. Kate Cherry the director wanted the costume to reflect the period it was written in, the late 1800s.
I was quite certain that I wanted to use some very specific checked wools, tweeds and silks in the show, in order to define the status and traits of the characters. The wools used for both Jack and Algernon’s four suits came from various mills in Scotland. Hand woven Harris Tweed for Miss Prism’s costume and Donegal tweed for Dr Chasuble’s trousers, heavy linen for his jacket. Elaborate embroidered silks for Gwendolyn came from Nottingham and we hand dyed lace in house for Lady Bracknell.
We made almost everything you see the actors wearing. The women’s build included all the underpinnings, chemises, corsets, petticoats, as well as blouses, bodices, jackets, skirts, hats, reticules (bags) and even four parasols to match the outfits. The men’s build included their suits with matching cravats and pocket squares.