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From Concept to Costume

The whole story!

By Iris Perrin
2003 Show Wardrobe Mistress

Iris Perrin - Wardrobe Mistress Celebrating twenty years of Gang Show in Inverness is indeed a marvellous feat, but itís not only the singers and dancers on stage who should be applauded. Twenty years of Gang Show also means twenty years of costume and make-up, music, props, and everything else that goes on behind the scenes of a successful musical variety show.

As an artistic and creative person with a particular love for theatre and the arts, I was flattered and excited to be given the role of Wardrobe Mistress for the 2003 Inverness Show. For me, fabulous costumes are always the "wow" factor in any theatrical production and I decided from the outset that this Show would be no exception!

Since early 2002, many hours of discussion, colour co-ordinating, designing, measuring and fabric hunting have been going on behind the scenes. The ladies of the wardrobe team are now instantly recognised by the staff of Claire Fabrics and Remnant Kings, not to mention most of the charity shops in Inverness! A lot of hard work goes into creating costumes for a cast of 130 people - and there is much more to it than you might initially think.

For example, when we go to buy fabric we have to consider what the people wearing the costume will actually be doing on stage. If they are costumes for a dance number, we have to discuss with the dance director about the moves and steps the cast will be making, so the fabric we choose and the design we create allows them to move freely.

Something else we have to think about for dance numbers is the style of headdress or hats being used. We have a group of tiller girls in our opening number and have had to experiment with various different creations to get something which will actually stay on their heads whilst they jump around and high-kick their legs! Next time you see those lines of tiller girls on television with their wonderful, three feet high, headdresses - just try to imagine what has been done to keep them on!

Itís not only fabric that is used for costumes either! McDonalds (the fast food people) in Inverness have kindly donated fifty of their 'egg box' type drink holders for us to use. What on earth for? Well just you wait and see how wonderful these drink holders look when they have been sprayed gold!

And, you know those shelves full of sparkly, glittery last-of-the-Christmas-season flowers and garlands which twinkle sadly in shop corners come the second week in January? Guess whoís been buying them all up at ridiculous, bargain prices!

Costuming a Show is a huge, sometimes expensive, creative and very important task. To see it through, a combination of skills and talents are required - and in our happy band of stitchers, creators and titivators, we have the lot!


From Concept
to Costume

Concept to Costume Homepage.
The Whole Concept Story!
The 2003 Wardrobe Team.
The Concepts and Costumes.

Copyright © 2006 Inverness Area Gang Show

Recognised Scottish Charity No. SCO33488