22 April 14
This year's Craft Awards 'Costume Design' nominees discuss the process of designing for key characters in television.
BAFTA/ Richard Kendall
The award for Costume Design was won by Caroline McCall for her work designing for Downton Abbey. Her mask was presented by actress Wunmi Mosaku at the British Academy Television Craft Awards ceremony in 2014. The pair are pictured (left), backstage at the Awards on 27 April 2014. Watch Caroline's acceptance speech and backstage interview >
Find out more about each of the nominees and the processes they followed in creating their designs.
On designing for The Doctor: "With The Doctor, as with all the other characters, the main aim was to reproduce this iconic costume as accurately as possible. This involved extensive research (using the tv episodes along with stills) followed by sourcing the correct fabrics. As all the references were in black and white I had to delve further into what colours would have been used along with taking a certain artistic licence with colour and texture."
On designing for the character of Verity: "As Verity Lambert was well known for her style and elegance her costumes were inspired by the fashions of the day. This particular day dress, made from a purple and black houndstooth wool fabric, was typical of something she would have worn to work. Rather than slavishly copying her looks, I took the essence of her style and created a wardrobe that fitted her character while retaining a level of authenticity."
On designing for Da Vinci's Demons: "The premise of the series that 'History is a lie', gave me license to plunder what is known and make up what is unknown about renaissance Florence. As well as forensic examination of renaissance painting I looked at more recent couture for inspiration: Versace for Guilliano, Armani for Count Riario, McQueen for Lucretia, Ossie Clark for Vanessa and Jim Morrison from The Doors for Da Vinci himself. His fevered Scribblings accumulating allover his anti hero leather jacket. Throughout the series I left no stone unturned in the irreverent pursuit of sartorial integrity to the script."
"On designing for Downton: "This episode is set during the summer of 1923, the brief was to clothe the characters as accurately as possible, recreating the glamour, spectacle and excess of the London season.
"The presentation and ball provided the opportunity to design and make the finery for the family since I knew I wouldn't be able hire those costumes. Because Lady Rose conforms to the occasion, we wanted her to look romantic rather than displaying her rebellious streak. Her Presentation dress is in the 'robe de style' inspired by Lanvin, and is embellished with ribbon work roses. We hired ivory dresses for the debutantes, altering them and making trains to meet the rules of the palace at that time.
"Recreating the men's uniforms and the royal family was extremely challenging since we wanted to ensure all the finer details, particularly the medals and ribbons, were correct."
On designing for the character of Susan: "This character needed a costume which reflected her wealthy position in society and this was achieved by the use of fabrics, colour palette with the flamboyant cut of her silhouette .The use of silks,satins and delicate brocades on the blouse,skirts and headwear convey a richness and extravagance to contrast with the rough look of Creed. By using the tones of cream , white in the velvet cape with fur trim and muff completes a soft, pure easing Susan's character against the grim, darkness of the London streets."
On designing for Creed: "Creed's character, a pimp and thug needed a costume which created the look of menace, a larger than life illusion, with a roughness that conveyed the street life of London. It was important to exaggerate the actors build by layers - two overcoats of murky greys and blues in harsh woolen fabrics, broken down brown trousers, scruffy leather boots and a canary yellow waist coat to highlight Creed amongst the darker characters. Lastly the choice of a smaller hat , emphasis the tip of this volcanic size chAracter, like an iceberg amongst the streets."
The Costume Design category at the British Academy Television Craft Awards in 2014, is generously sponsored by CARAT*
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