The 1970s saw a slew of excellent BBC costume dramas, including the 1974 mini-series The Pallisers, based on several novels by Anthony Trollope. Raymond Hughes, who worked on projects such as Doctor Who and Return to Oz, helped to design the hundreds of costumes required for The Pallisers, which spanned many years and the ever changing silhouette of the Victorian era. The costumes for The Pallisers have since gone on to be used in numerous productions over the years, including The Paradise, The Buccaneers and the Onedin Line.
This beautiful embroidered gown, which appeared in The Pallisers on Susan Hampshire as Glencora Palliser, Duchess of Omnium was used again in 2006 in The Prestige, where it was worn on Scarlett Johansson as Olivia. The gown was eventually put on display several years ago as a part of Cosprop’s Cinematic Couture exhibit. Photos of the exhibit allow one to better see the incredible amount of detail that went into every aspect of the costume.
Costume Credit: James
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There’s a lesson here.
I’m not saying “you might want to wear your animu costumes 45 years from now so make sure you make them well”, but I am saying that a well-made, well-kept and well-maintained costume should reasonably last you at least a few years.
If you wear it once and it’s so fucked up that you have to retire it or remake parts of it, odds are you should consider putting more time into your costumes and learning more about quality construction, good materials, etc. We’re all guilty of rush jobs sometimes, and very very few (if any) people in the hobbyist costuming community are making things that have to stand the test of time so that they might one day grace Scarlett Johansson’s rockin’ bod, but upping your skills never hurts.
After all, a well-made costume can not only be reworn, but it can also be sold, re-used for parts, and so on. Do it to the best of your ability, and learn something so you can apply those skills later to make something even better!