Rosalie Ham | The Costume Department - Rosalie Ham
October 3, 2014

The Costume Department

Five years of Home Economics means that, as a cook, I’m quite capable. Four years at Drama School definitely qualifies me as an extra, but after my tour of the Costume and Art Department at Docklands Studios, I was uncertain that my three years of secondary school needlework truly qualifies me to design couture. Then again, people tell me Tilly’s creations for the women of Dungatar are quite fine. My tour suggested that the costumières will do quite a good job. They might even start a fashion revolution based on Tilly Dunnage creations. Think Princess Diana and the years of meringue brides and leg-of-mutton arms. But rather than be fearful and piqued, I’ve decided to be pleased, engaged by the possible venture…as I was about being an extra. It was genius, I thought, to secure myself a minor role during the in-spirit film option discussion with Sue over many rounds of golf, and given the costumières have my measurements, and since I might travel post-production to promote the tie-in novel, I’ll consequently promote the film too, so it will help everyone if I look the part, so to speak.
         For Appearances I’ll need a few ensembles – slack suits and skirt suits – and couple of little black numbers for dinner, an evening coat and wet weather protection, shoes, and shawls. Hats will be necessary (scarves for some countries) and in the spirit of the 1950s, matching gloves. Of course I’ll need a selection of costume jewelry but I can ease cost by mixing and matching belts, brooches, earrings, totes and purses. Also, I’ll require off duty calottes and a comfy caftan for travel. Imperative are pajamas that won’t crush and togs for hotel pools, all transported in a set of stylish matching luggage. I noted the costume department had a special person purely for underwear, so I won’t purchase new season socks and underwear next time I’m supermarket shopping.
         I’ll discuss the needs of my amanuensis once my wardrobe is settled.
Gosh, what if The Dressmaker is made into an Opera like The Turning, The Handmaid’s Tale, Werther, or Frankenstein?

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