Costume Designer Julia Smith has spoken to us about her approach to the 1920s-themed style of Miss Julie, designing and printing her own fabric and how she’s been influenced by, amongst other things, beer!
Setting the play in the 1920’s poses quite a direct challenge for costume as everyone can probably describe key elements of 1920’s style so it gives a very strong steer. It’s also not a style I’ve really worked with before, so in true “I’ve not done this so I’ll go the whole hog” fashion I decided to not just make the dress but print my own fabric for Miss Julie’s evening wear.
A key characteristic of 1920’s fashion was print and embellishment – with graphic or botanical references. So this was my starting point. I’m naturally more drawn to the botanical so my first question before I saw the script was to ask if there were any references to drink, and the answer was ‘yes, beer’. This then gave me my botanical focus.I’ve been working to create a print using hops plant imagery and also taking colour influences from it too – so pale lime, chartreuse, buttery antique gold and cream. Some of which will be picked out using beading on the gown in addition to the print and fabric.This will form the evening dress Miss Julie will wear for the major part of the play.
Julia Smith is also the owner-designer of The Mistress Collection – producing handmade luxury silk knickers, sleepwear, steel-boned corsetry and wedding dresses. To see some of her previous work with Hedgepig, take a look at the beautiful costumes from Playhouse Creatures – all designed and hand-made by Julia.
Miss Julie runs from 15th January to 7th February at venues across Yorkshire. See http://www.hedgepigtheatre.co.uk/miss-julie.php for all details.