My review of the splendid ‘American Duchess Guide to Eighteenth Century Dressmaking’:
Going viral – again!
Crow’s Eye Productions has just completed a follow-up to our film ‘Getting Dressed in the 18th Century’ that we made for Lady Lever Art Gallery. The immense popularity of the first film raised the question amongst the audience who viewed it and enjoyed the complexity of a wealthy woman’s dress: ‘who dressed the maid’? So we made the second film to explain in detail how dress was simplified by working women, and made more practical and affordable, while still maintaining the fashionable silhouette.
As with the first film, this was devised, directed, filmed and edited by Nick Loven, and researched and costumed by me and, like the first film, this too has gone viral.
Our first task was to find a suitable location to film in, but we already knew of an almost unaltered chamber (bedroom) of a one-up one-down 18th century cottage, now part of the Friends Meeting House in Brant Broughton.
The cottage and attached barn had been donated to The Friends in 1701 and, apart from minor alterations to turn the barn into a Meeting House and subsequently to put in power and heating, the core of the building was maintained unaltered. The fireplaces, floors, doors (with original blacksmith door furnishings), walls and windows remained as they had been in 1701. Even the original cloak pegs were in place.
This film was self-funded and made on the tiniest of budgets. I made all the clothing (except the shoes and stockings) from linen fabrics I had already in stock. The replica period pottery was loaned to us by Andrew MacDonald from the Pot Shop in Lincoln. The bed was made, at cost, by carpenter Peter Halse. Martha and Emily Milne made the bed quilt from scraps of 18th c. style fabrics for the bed dressing. The Friends were also very generous in allowing us to use the Meeting House. So a huge thank you to everyone who made this short film possible!
We chose our model, Liv Free (above), for her natural English rose looks and she was perfect in the role.
Full list of credits:
Director/Cinematographer: Nick Loven
Producer/Costumier: Pauline Loven
Production Assistant: Lilli Stoddart
Woman: Liv Free
VO: Martha Milne
Location: Friends Meeting House, Brant Broughton
Carpentry: Peter Halse
Pottery: Andrew MacDonald of the Pot Shop, Lincoln
Bed Quilt: Martha and Emily Milne
Special thanks to the Friends for permission to use the Meeting House and to Wendy Gwatkin in particular, for all her support at the Meeting House and the loan of antique furniture too!
Many thanks to John and Sam O’Boyle for allowing us to record their cockerel Hughie!
Lady Lever Art Gallery has now commissioned us the make another film, this time on the dress of a wealthy 18th century man.
The video we made for Lady Lever Art Gallery on ‘Getting Dressed in the 18th Century’ raised a couple of interesting questions. One that frequently occurred was ‘what is the wooden thing that goes in the front?’. The answer is a ‘busk and we have made a short film to explain what a ‘busk’ is:
The replica busks were made by Arthur Roberts and carved by Coral Evans of the Sudbrooke Carving Club.
The second frequently asked question was ‘who dressed the maid?’ So Crow’s Eye Productions plan to make a short film showing just how a working woman dressed and how she managed to be fashionable too!
In 2015 we (Crow’s Eye Productions) were contacted by Pauline Rushton, costume curator of The Lady Lever Art Gallery, to make a short film of the sequence of dressing in the 18th century. The film was to be part of the media interpretation of the 18th century gallery which featured many portraits of wealthy society ladies. The idea was … Continue reading “‘Getting Dressed in the 18th Century’ – Viral Video”
Breaking down fabrics, or artificially ageing them, is often part and parcel of creating costume for film or theatre. I recently created Anglo-Saxon clothing for a short film, made by Urban Apache Films, which needed to be bloodied and muddied as though straight after battle. However, I wanted to retain the Continue reading “Breaking Down Fabrics”
Recently I reproduced Mona Lisa’s clothing for a film by Gardener Creatives for Italian television. The gown was worn by a descendant of Mona Lisa… Continue reading “Mona Lisa”
When we are filming the priority is, obviously, filming. So I don’t always get an opportunity to record the costumes made.Sometimes clothes can be on the screen for seconds that have taken weeks to make, or they may not even be in shot at all… Continue reading “Georgian Dress”
Just occasionally a challenge is thrown in my direction! Recently I costumed a third year Lincoln University film (on a voluntary basis – I do this occasionally), but (as with all barely-funded projects) there can be challenges; last minute changes of cast being one.
Here is a sneak peak at the making of a short museum film on the layers of 18th century dress. It was commissioned by The Lady Lever Art Gallery and made by Crow’s Eye Productions, directed and filmed by Nick Loven. Continue reading “Eighteenth Century Dressing”
As part of our WW1 drama-documentary, William’s Story’, we have followed the story of the Crowder family into the post war years. This necessitated making a 1930’s suit for Grace Crowder and filming her at the home she moved to from Lincolnshire: Sutton Poyntz in Dorset.
We have just completed a WW1 drama documentary ‘William’s Story’ which included a flash-forward to the 1930’s and gave me the opportunity to make some lovely 1930’s children’s clothes. Here are some screen grabs from the shoot.
Occasionally, a crazily short notice request arrives. Phil Stevens of Urban Apache Films had be tasked with making a short film, The Empty Throne, with the Lincoln School of Film and Media. The timing left me just one week to assemble/make costume in time for filming…
During the making of the First World War film, Tell Them of Us, we became aware of just how much women supplemented the basic military uniform by knitting for the men on the front line.
Occasionally I help out with student films, especially if they have already volunteered on one of our projects. In this case the talented producer of Five Specs Productions, Bryony Hooper, had already volunteered to help with a PTSD charity film so in return I supplied costume for their third year final film. Continue reading “Five Specs Productions”
‘Tell Them of Us’, WWI Film
Even before the script was written for ‘Tell them of Us’, I spent a year researching and gathering vintage resources to begin creating the costume. The film was to be set in the Lincolnshire village of Thimbleby during WW1. As I worked I became aware of just how much clothing was hand knitted during the period and realised that to only include sewn clothing would have been a distortion… Continue reading “Knitting for the First World War”