Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Trip into the Past, Fashion-Wise

On Thursday morning, I headed up to Easton, PA to be a model for a photo shoot for historical clothing. A friend of mine works for Reconstructing History, a company that specializes in creating historical wardrobe for either re-enacting events or costume balls. They make clothes from all different eras and countries, and they hired me to be the photo model for some of the outfits that they sell on their website. The clothes themselves are all beautiful and completely accurate reproductions; they do amazing work. After an hour of driving and an invigorating coffee, I got to the storefront in Easton, met Kass, (who owns the company), Bob (whose clothing I would be wearing), and Chris (the photographer.) We talked, got to know each other a little, and then we got down to work.

Over the next four hours, we worked hard and constantly. I had to get out of there around 2pm for another commitment, so we were shooting fast and hard. And I was having a lot of fun as we were going. I'm the sort of actor who responds very strongly to wardrobe and costuming. Whatever decisions I make about a character are always informed, and in some cases completely changed, when I get the character's clothes. I've been very protective of costumes in the past, including taking care of my own uniform when I played Iago, trying to get the outfit as comfortable and as lived-in as possible. Clothes really do make the man.

The photographer was really great, and we worked on putting a lot of character into the still photos. I had to show off the clothing, but I had to do that by fully inhabiting and creating the character who would wear those clothes. We used props, different poses, and lots of hats poised on my head at rakish angles (because they didn't fit on my head.) The official photos will be posted on their website (www.reconstructing history.com), but they did allow me to take some photos of my own of some of the different outfits I modeled. This was in exchange for plugging their website. Did I mention that the website is www.reconstructinghistory.com? Go visit them now.

And here are some pictures. First up is a formal dinner outfit, complete with tails, hat, and legitimate stiff-front shirt.

Second, a morning suit from the early 20th century. I was tempted to sing "The Life I Lead" from Mary Poppins. I did.

Third, as Mr. Darcy, or Horatio Hornblower, depending upon your preference. I imagined myself as Hornblower. Hence the sword.

And finally, a piece from even further back in history. This one is affectionately referred to as "Little Boy Blue."
Go check out their website for all your historical costuming needs.

2 comments:

JParis said...

Cool costumes. No doubt you did have fun.

jcp said...

Your friend's company sounds suspiciously like the one in this fantasy short story: http://podcastle.org/2010/08/24/podcastle-119-bespoke/