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Costume Crisis!

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Word of warning – before saying ‘yes,’ find out what’s involved!

While my Mumbai theatrical ‘debut‘ was a success… I had two challenges:

  1. Costume Crisis – 1890s western women’s costumes are not easily available and – ahem – fuller figured females limited in what they can borrow!
  2. Short hair – Not exactly ‘fashionable’ in the 1890s…
Costume Crisis - Help!

Costume Crisis – Help!

So what? With our theatre connections  – surely someone has something that will work!

Well… in theory yes… and had costume leads except they either weren’t gonna fit, couldn’t be found in storage or….?

Long story short – 2 days before performance, I was still stuck so:

  • Posted a Facebook “APB” for help!
  • Started systematically calling friends in the theatre and film industry
  • Cobbled together a ‘back up’ from my closet but really wasn’t satisfied

I received some tips from the FaceBook post, suggestions of dress wallas I already knew weren’t the solution…

From cloth to costume!

From cloth to costume!

Who galloped to my rescue? A remarkable woman and complete stranger!

How? A dear friend teaches film directing at Whistling Woods. He connected me with a fabulous gal who teaches fashion and costume design there.

Belinda Bawa is a star! First call, she enthusiastically embraced the challenge. Gave more ideas to hunt for possibilities from my closet and arranged to meet the next day with supplies, inspiration and access to a tailor if required!

“I live for this kind of stuff!” 

Belinda efficiently took me from panic to success while keeping her ‘kids’ (students) in line, deftly handling their meltdowns during their final exam… which was happening simultaneously!

The hat maketh the maid!

The hat maketh the maid!

Result? Three fabulous outfits, additional ideas and – amazing woman that she is – the next day she made from scratch a hat to complete a “Mary Poppins” look!

Belinda’s generosity saved not only my costume but provided the essential final touches for others too! A grey jacket here and hat there… and whoosh! Back to the 1890s!

Even better, armed with her tips, she helped me help others unlock their costume creativity!

The three giggling girls characters had put their faith in a ‘dress walla’ to stitch costumes… to utterly hilarious and disastrous results (sorry – no pics!). Suitable white tops, add a few fripperies and voila – success!

Giggling girls? (Photo: Liana Hyde)

Giggling girls? (Photo: Liana Hyde)

As for my 2nd challenge… stay tuned for “Hair today, gone tomorrow!”

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  1. This looks like a lot of fun! Also requesting photo blogs from Malaysia. It’s a lovely place…enjoy!

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