• R Mansfield

From Fashion, to Florentina

While progressions in the jumpsuit spelled for a weekend of alterations, despite the fit on the mannequin, previous use of the stretch blocks demonstrated the discord between the mannequin fit and on models. However, I found myself involved in a much more mystical and macabre project, veering away from fashion and into the world of Film. Aiding with the costuming of the main character, the titular Florentina in the short Film “I, Florentina”, the aim of the weekend became to create a Victorian style skirt to a brief of a design, which could fit the actress without knowing her exact measurements, and allow for reliable and easy use throughout the course of filming in a few short days. The skirt required needed to have some body to it, while also allowing no impeding factors to the scientific ventures of the lead role. The skirt consisted of initially a single layer of gathered tulle, fine to allow for comfort while being worn in a variety of positions, and repetitive motions for the actress, and to create a more subtle final effect greater relating to the illustrations and visions directing Florentina’s realisation. However, despite 3m of tulle being gathered into the waist, it did not have the impact desired, and hence, there was a second layer of 3 metres added into the layer, which gave a far greater effect, without over-doing exaggerating the shape beyond the appropriate evolutions of the Basis in the Victorian Era. These were then hand sewn to a ribbon to create a waistband where the gathers would be held in place, and would provide greater stability to such a delicate fabric, facilitating the addition of the fastenining. The outer layer, which would be seen on film, was a Black Poplin, a simple fabric which gave the gathering pleats desired, without too greater expense, and of the correct weight and handle to suit the brief. This was gathered, though only approx. 2m were gathered, and then upon securing this, a waistband was stitched and then sink-stitched into the seam, creating a 3cm waistband which appeared without a single stitch. These layers come together, with the Blouse hired from the Maddermarket Theatre, to create the costume look for the enigmatic and brilliant Florentina.

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