Having made costumes that range from the medieval period through to the present day for ballet, opera, museum tableaux, West End productions and Hollywood movies, Janette can tailor a costume lecture to just about any period your students are studying. Each lecture touches briefly on the history of each period, so that students can understand the importance of all the influences that affected costumes of that time. Most lectures will also have information boards with fabrics and images of the relevant historical clothes, plus photos of Janette’s work. Some of the work shown will be historically accurate, whilst others offer a designer’s interpretation of the period.
The Middle Ages
Initially, both men and women wore basic tunic-shaped garments. They were made of wools, silk and linen in surprisingly bright colours, and worn with brooches and leather belts to keep the garments in place. By the end of the medieval period, men’s costumes had evolved to doublets, breeches/hose, cloaks and cote-hardies. The women’s principal garment was a tunic or kirtle worn with a girdle. The loose tunic eventually became a more fitted dress, with lacing to emphasise the upper body. Medieval women wore winged towering headdresses with veils or wimples; their dresses had long sleeves decorated with streamers and tippets.
Relevant work: Samson & Delilah – Royal Opera House Henry VI – TV Scarlet – Film Henry IV – Theatre Henry V – Film Stealing Heaven – Film Euro Disney, Paris – the parade Henry VI – Museum in Wales Hunchback of Notre Dame – Musical
The Renaissance, Tudor and Elizabethan
This period is associated with sumptuously decorated brocades and velvets, vibrant colours and men in form-fitting hosiery. The vertical dress line of the earlier period had now become more horizontal. Elaborate ‘slashing’ of men’s doublets and breeches was popular, with neck ruffs appearing for the first time. These evolved into vast ‘plate’ style ruffs, favoured by Elizabeth I. Corsets, farthingales and wheel farthingales were now an essential part of a woman’s wardrobe.
Relevant work: Gloriana – English National Opera Donna Del Lago – Royal Opera House The Changeling – BBC A Man for All Seasons – Birmingham Rep Theatre Prince of Pagodas – Royal Ballet Othello – Northern Ballet Romeo and Juliet – New York Ballet & London City Ballet Giselle – Royal Ballet Henry VIII & his six wives – Madame Tussauds Elizabeth 1 – Film A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
The 17th Century
The time famous for both its flamboyant cavaliers and the austere dress of the roundheads and puritans. The starched ruffs of the 16th Century had become ‘falling’ collars with borders of costly lace. Women still wore corsets but farthingales had been replaced by ‘bum pads’. This was a period when men were ‘peacocks’, with their elaborate be-ribboned doublets and breeches and their long powdered wigs.
Relevant work: The Changeling – BBC Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg – Royal Opera House Falstaff – Royal Opera House Florentine Intermedi –TV The Flying Dutchman – Royal Opera House Countess Alice – BBC Dangerous Love –Film To Kill a King – Film
The 18th Century
The dress line of the 18th century, having already been set at the end of the 17th century, followed on and settled into the now famous ‘Madame Pompadour’ look. The enormous influence of the French court of Versailles reached all over Europe and French style became the most fashionable. The sack back and robe en Anglaise dresses of the period were adorned with silk pleated trimmings, quilted and embroidered exposed petticoats and deep square décolleté necklines. Fantastic, elaborate powdered wigs, pocket hoops and panniers dominated the period until the 1760s/70s. By the 1770s women’s dresses had evolved into the ‘pouter pigeon’ effect, and by the end of the century the ‘Empire line’ had appeared.
Relevant work: Der Rosenkavalier – Royal Opera House Manon – English National Opera & Glyndebourne The Barber of Seville – Royal Opera House Don Giovanni – Glyndebourne Queen of Spades – New York Opera The Rake – Glyndebourne Love’s Labour’s Lost – BBC Boswell & Johnson’s Tour of the Western Isles – BBC The Gondoliers – Sadler’s Wells ballet Sleeping Beauty – Royal Ballet The Lady and the Highwayman –film Washington II – Berman and Nathan Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – film Wuthering Heights – film Interview with a Vampire – film Dangerous Liaisons – film Frankenstein – film Rob Roy – film The Rivals – BBC
The 19th Century
The 19th century was the first period during which the style of women’s dress changed rapidly throughout. The period started with white, high-waisted empire line muslins, the much beloved Jane Austen look, but by the mid 1830s women’s dress had returned to the natural waistline. Skirts gradually grew bigger until they evolved into the well-known Victorian crinoline silhouette, worn with shawls, pelerines, capes, cloaks and ribboned and ruche-lined bonnets. By the 1870s the crinoline had been replaced by the bustle, worn with skirts decorated with a multitude of soft flounced frills. The 1880s started with a harder looking version of the bustle, giving a more streamlined look and by the 1890s, the ‘A’ line skirt had appeared, worn with large gigot sleeves and veiled, flowered and feathered hats. The end of the period saw the Edwardian style of dress emerge. Men’s costume did not change as much and by the end of the Victorian period they were sporting the very recognisable morning frock coat, waistcoat and trousers that epitomise the Edwardian era.
Relevant work: 1800-1820 Cenerentola – Royal Opera House Queen of Spades – Glyndebourne War and Peace – English National Opera Northhanger Abbey – BBC A Hazard of Hearts – TV film1830-1840 Blowing in the wind – TV Eugene Onegin – Glyndebourne Turn of the Screw – English National Opera The dwelling place – Tyne Tees TV Ruddigore – Sadlers Wells ballet Oliver – musical (1994) 1850-1880 (caged, corseted and constrained!) Arabella – Dutch Opera House Don Giovanni – Scottish Opera Family Album – BBC The Merry wives of Windsor – Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre Les Miserables – West End musical Phantom of the Opera – West End Rigoletto – Royal Opera House Die Fledermaus – Royal Opera House La Vie Parisienne – Dutch Opera House Dandy Dick – Guildford theatre Miss Julie – BBC H.M.S. Pinafore – Sadlers Wells Much Ado About Nothing – Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre The Merry Widow – Saddlers Wells
The 20th Century
This was another fast-paced fashion period, with even more extreme changes. It started with very properly dressed Edwardian ladies before the style changed into an elegant, pre-war Empire line, with hobble skirts and very large hats. After the frantic flapper girls of the 1920s and the deceptively simple looking cut of the 30s came the emergent ‘new’ look by Dior in the 1950s. The initial outrage at discovering just how much fabric Dior had used in one dress meant that women quickly accepted the constraints of girdles and waspies. By the 1960s, the influences of the explosive rock ‘n’ roll movement and flower power meant that people wore anything from jeans, hot pants, free flowing gypsy dresses and blouses, to tank tops and bell-bottom trousers. Clothes had become unisex. By the end of the century fashion trends were ever changing, as designers constantly searched for inspiration from the past, whilst also being influenced by modern fabrics.
Relevant work: 1900-1920 Osud – English National Opera The Irish R. M. – TV The Importance of Being Earnest – BBC Rainbow – BBC Proust – BBC 102 Boulevard Haussman – BBC The Ginger Tree (part 1) – BBC Romeo and Juliet – Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre Admirable Bashville – Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre La Traviata – London City Ballet The Rainbow – TV1920-30s Ariadne auf Naxos – Royal Opera House Charlie Come Home – London Weekend Television The Ginger Tree (part 2) – BBC Red Peppers – BBC Kiss me Kate – The Old Vic Imagination – Production Company Zeigfeld – Berman & Nathan Napoleon – West End musical Thoroughly Modern Millie – West End musical Sheltering Sky – film The Wings of the Dove – film Chaplin – film 1940-70s The Cool Light of Day – BBC The Darling Buds of May – BBC The Mirror Cracked – BBC Caribbean Mystery – BBC Strathblair – BBC Scotland Hands Across the Sea – BBC The Blonde Bombshell – BBC My Week with Marilyn – film War Plays – Royal Shakespeare Company Chess – West End musical Charlie’s Girls – Berman & Nathan Grease – West End musical Miss Saigon – West End musical Crazy For You – West End musical Contact – West End musical 1990’s Look of Love – Ruby Wax – TV show Eyes Wide Shut – film Estee Lauder – advertisement Jasper Conran – fashion show Della Jones – dress for the Last Night of the Proms Kiri Te Kanawa – Millennium Concert Gown
For prop-style costumes Janette has worked for the last 14 years on the London West End musical ‘The Lion King’ as well as on productions in Paris, Hamburg, Amsterdam and Madrid.
Costume lectures start from £50 per hour. Schools outside of London will incur some travel costs.