M. and I (hereby renamed M&M) are on a tour of Europe. We once designed theater projects together in College and now work in two different design fields. This is our account of the trip.
Day 1: We arrived in London late on Tuesday night and headed to our hotel, a nondescript little hole in the wall on a row of similarly tiny hotels next to Kings Cross St. Pancras Station. Upon waking the next morning to a rather dreary, rainy day I promptly blew up my hair-dryer (but managed not to light the room on fire or blow out the electricity so I count it as a win). Appealing to the better natures of the hotel staff I managed to wrangle a new hair-dryer and proceeded with M. in tow to meet my old flatmates, C&C, in Kensington.
We headed to The Muffin Man for a delightful tea with scones & jam. It was a great traditional place with cozy seating and a great tea selection.
Then we hailed a black cab and headed over to the Victoria and Albert Museum. The V&A is by far one of my favorite museums, and houses everything from clothes and costumes, to marble statues, old tiles, pottery, stained glass etc. It’s huge and we hardly had enough time to begin but we gave it a go anyway. C&C led us through the Cast Room which I discovered back in 2004 during my study abroad years. One sections was being remodeled but the other was just as I remembered it. Then, we headed to the theater exhibit rooms (filled with costumes and set models) and the stained glass rooms (which were beautifully laid out).
The Display of the Stained Glass was lovely
Fred Astaire’s Tux
Gorgeous Costumes were everywhere
Sweeny Todd Model
Before we had even begun to take it all in it was time to head off. We bid a cheerful goodbye to C&C and went back to the hotel to grab our bags and catch the train to Paris! The train was exceptionally fast and not too crowded (4:30 on a Wednesday isn’t the most popular time for travel) so we were able to spread out a bit. By 11pm we were happily tucked into bed at our Friend’s apartment in the 16th and passed out. It was quite the start to our Europe Adventure.
One of the many jobs that prop designers have in creating realistic looking paper goods for the actors in a play. This can be anything from letters, to newspapers, to large scrolls. It can be quite fun to do the research, but often takes a ton of time to find exactly the right thing. Recently I decided to move these paper files off my computer and onto a public folder on Flicker.
Before making this decision I did a bit of research and asked around about which file-sharing websites were the best. Flicker now provides a full terabyte of storage for free (which is just a ridiculous amount of space). And while the website does not support .psd files it does allow for folders and categories – and I do like to organize.
You can check out some of my files below but also head over to my flicker account to see more. So far I’ve only uploaded WWII files but there will be many more to come.
A simple but effective costume for Halloween this year. Complete with Mooney’s weapon of choice – a baseball bat. This villain stays classy in gold, red and black but keeps it edgy with dangerous looking shoes and accessories. Don’t forget the pointed nails or the red and black wig.
Hi folks! It’s been a crazy couple of weeks at work. Just about a week ago I opened “Evita” at the John W. Engeman theater in Long Island. The show is currently having several revivals including a national tour and a short stint in the West End to celebrate it’s 35th Anniversary (It opened September 25th, 1979 (See The Playbill Vault for more info).
Our version featured a strong cast of Broadway and Long Island notables as well as an exceptional creative team. Our concept was to create a sepia-toned stage in which “Eva” would be the brightest spot and focus point. The show was directed by Igor Goldin, Scenic Design was done by Daniel T Willis, Costume & Wig Design was by Kurt Alger, Lighting Design was by Zach Blane and I did the prop design. To read more about the show check out our review on Broadway World and photos of the show below! All were taken by Daniel T Willis, Michael DeCristofaro and myself.
I’m going into tech for “Evita” tomorrow so I’m a bit crazed at the moment but as it is fashion week I wanted to take a second to highlight the photography of my dear friend Kyle Fisher.
Kyle has been on the front line of Fashion Week here in NYC and has a great eye for detail. He hails from a film background but has been uploading stills all week and I’m so excited to see more. Check out his work below or on his website.
I’m an old-fashioned kind of girl. I grew up watching Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, learned to swing dance when I was a teen and often wear vintage attire if I can get away with it. So when I started designing my new room I was looking to create a space that would reference the Hollywood Regency style of interior design. As I was searching for furnishings that might help highlight the look, I realized that more and more flash sale sites were carrying gold and white furnishings. Clearly I was not the only one loving the vintage style.
Hollywood Regency became popular in the 1930’s with the explosion of the movie industry. The style utilized Georgian and Edwardian furniture and modern Art Deco architectural lines; geometric shapes, chinoiserie, metallic and reflective surfaces, as well as luxe materials were highly favored. The style was frequently featured in the homes of the Hollywood stars as well as in film set and popularized by designers William Haines and Dorothy Draper.
Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers films often featured the style in their sets. In the above photo Ginger perches on a newer style of bed that features clean lines and cut decals (the star) while behind the bed the tufted satin headboard adds a feeling of an older, aristocratic time.
Old Hollywood Mirrors
Mirrors and highly reflective surfaces pepper the sets and homes of this time. Often they were elaborately framed such as the image on the above right. In the later 30’s and early 40’s cleaner lines for mirrors started to be favored as in the image above left and below but they were often then flanked by more ornate furnishings such as the chinoiserie wall paper in Rita Hayworth’s Dressing Room.
While we may think of Hollywood Regency as being a more feminine style today it was considered appropriate for both men and women’s rooms during the 1930’s. In this scene below, Fred Astaire’s apartment features the large mirrors and tufted furniture (you can just make out the dressing-room screen in the mirror. However the roman bust, Egyptian style phoenixes in the fireplace, and the darker colored table and lamp lend a more masculine air to the room. Fred Astaire singing “Needle in A Haystack”
Above all Hollywood Regency was about high drama. Tall ceilings, large drapes or furnishings and rich materials were key to making this style a success. Next week I’ll go into more detail about how this style is once again sweeping the design scene. But for now I leave you with this exquisite set of a “Hotel Suit” to feast your eyes on.