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After The Dance

Conceptual Costume design, making and styling project, RWCMD.

Photography by James Clarke


For my BA3 specialisms I knew that I wanted to improve on my making skills, and then style my the garment for a final photoshoot. I wanted to push myself throughout this project and therefore wanted to a time period and garments that would challenge me and my skills set. After doing some research as well as reflecting on my previous two years at Royal Welsh I settled on the idea of making a bias cut dress accompanied by a two piece suit. I decided on these garments as I knew that the process to both these projects would be tedious technically, yet would result in two atheistically pleasing exhibition pieces. 

Even though I knew what garments I wanted to make, I didn’t want to just pick two design from a book and recreate them, I wanted to be able to design from a text.

Since I knew that bias cut dresses where most popular during the 1930s I decided to pick a texted based in this time period and used drama online to being looking through scripts set in this time period. I settled on ‘After the Dance’, a play by Terence Rattigan which is about a group of hard-drinking Mayfair hedonists on the eve of war and an attack on the hedonistic lifestyle of the ‘bright young things’ of the 1920s and 30s. David is a high-living, hard-drinking, successful writer involved with two women: his wife Joan and an earnest-minded younger woman, Helen. When Joan commits suicide, David considers following her, but instead returns to a life of parties and drinking. I settled on this play as I felt it had larger than life characters and therefore it would be fun designing and styling their personalities through costume.

Images Inspired by Cecil Beaton

Photography by James Clarke

Images taken on location at Westgate Hotel

Styling images from Beechwood house
'Joan comes in from her room. She has a hat and coat on.'

Moodboards and Costume drawings

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