Author Archives: Paul

The Rashomon Effect

The National Youth Dance  Co's latest!

The National Youth Dance Co’s latest!

For the last 2 weeks I have been working on the costumes for the National Youth Dance Company. They will be performing the Rashomon Effect and an extract from Vertical Road.  Both pieces are by their guest Artistic Director, Akram Khan.

They open on Wednesday 16th April at Sadlers Wells, and are well worth going to see. The show includes some amazing dancing from such lovely young people.

And you don’t just have to take my word for it… Here‘s a fascinating piece in the Guardian written by Akram Khan about his experience of working with the NYDC.

A Celtic twist

This couple wanted to lift their elegant wedding outfits with a little subtle surface decoration.  We settled on a simple Celtic knotwork design to enhance the deep cuffs of the groom’s coat and the neckline of the bride’s dress.

The Rainbow Wedding

How best to dress eight adult bridesmaids who look best in different styles and tones?

As a rainbow of course!

Wendy made the purple dress, 4th from left.

Wendy made the purple dress, 4th from left.

We used the same fabric for each outfit and linked them all together by using golden satin as a highlight on each, in the form of cummerbunds for the jumpsuits and elegant shrugs or wraps for the dresses.

As there were so many dresses to make, the work was divided amongst a number of dressmakers – I made the purple dress, fourth from left.

Contemporary colour

Tessa wanted a contemporary, colourful wedding gown for her special day.

Together, we designed a delicate wedding dress in jade green silk, with a chiffon overlay in a very pale green.  Inspired by the design of her favourite necklace, I hand-embroidered the bodice with silver thread and crystals.

In order to create a magical ‘reveal’, Tessa chose to wear a silver silk cloak over her dress.  The fastener tab cleverly concealed the embroidery on her bodice until she removed the cloak during the service.

The cloak was cut to a classical shape, carefully draped to create a ‘hood’ at the back which I decorated with a piece of Chinese knotwork.  The same crystals and silver thread which I used to embellish the dress bodice were scattered over the cloak to discreet effect.

J’adore Dior

Dior-inspired 1950s style wedding dress in silk dupion

Dior-inspired 1950s style wedding dress in silk dupion

Christian Dior is one of my key design influences and I have always admired the cut and detail of his work, and that of his successors at the House of Dior.  The work of so many skilled individuals goes into each couture piece, as this brilliant film shows.  Don’t look away… you might miss something…

The pirate bride

Rebecca really fancied the pirate look for her special day. Inspired by 18th century costume design in creating the overall look, I gave it a fantastical and contemporary twist in its styling.

Here is Rebecca at her final try-on. She wears a cutaway skirt over breeches, so she can show a saucy bit of ankle. We added red rosettes to her shoes to help bring the whole outfit together. Again, the chains are her own, we just attached them to the jacket. Luckily she loved the dress so much and happily played around for the camera!

I designed and made a dress for Rebecca’s bridesmaid that matched the pirate theme.