Whispers from the Wings

Prince Clarence costume fitting

April 1, 2014

This is the closest to feeling like royalty I will probably ever get.

Martin Bassindale as Prince ClarenceI'm in Clapham having my costume fitting for Prince Clarence, who is Hal's younger brother. In the room are the designer, costume supervisor and the maker, two huge mirrors, loads of hangers on rails and many pins.It feels a bit like the 'after' photograph of a 'before and after' makeover show.

I arrived slightly sweaty from cycling from Islington and in scruffy rehearsal clothes and I'm now wearing a coronation gown made by hand, bespoke to my body. As well as the gown, I've got a velvet waistcoat, and a cape. Things are getting pretty regal.

There is a point of contention.My trousers redefine the term 'high-waisted'. It seems that for this role my waist is closer to my nipples than my hips. It means that instead of a reasonable 30 inches, they look like they've been made for a ten year old, and they fit almost like a corset. It means that I look very slim and princely and it also means that I cannot put on any weight for the next year.

The thought of sliding into these trousers after a Sunday roast the day before is sobering. All this said they are incredibly comfortable, surprisingly flexible and very flattering. All of us come to a consensus that come 2020 everyone will be sporting nipple-waisted trousers day in day out. I have one last look in the mirror before I get into my boring clothes and try to put my finger on the general look the designer has gone for. He beats me to it: “If All Saints did medieval...”

by Martin Bassindale  |  No comments yet


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