Creating period costumes, from Harry Potter to Sweeney Todd: Jackie, Londoner #99

Creating period costumes, from Harry Potter to Sweeney Todd: Jackie, Londoner #99


This dress that I’m getting ready at the moment
is for a hot drinks commercial, looking at costumes through the years and how drinks
have changed. When I first came here it was all derelict, there was no Surrey Quays, there
was no houses, it was just all corrugated iron everywhere, just the Thames and the old
docks. And then they regenerated the area, built the houses up, so there’s been a tremendous
change. I like things to stay as they are. But this little part where we actually work
has not been changed that much. I like that. Sands Films is a costume warehouse, we make
costumes for films, theatres. We’re actually located about a hundred yards from the river.
We are a little hidden treasure. All the costumes here are made as accurate as we can from the
original. It goes right to the underwear with that authentic. They wouldn’t have a pair
of modern underwear on underneath, you know, they would have crotchless bloomers on and
you know, it would be as authentic as we could make it. We have original costumes which we
take apart, to see how they’re assembled, no machining unless it’s past the period in
time, you know. We don’t use zips or velcro, that’s a taboo word! She wouldn’t be very
wealthy person who wore this dress, she’d probably be some poor cow that works in a
factory. Sorry! As a youngster I used to get very excited, but now if you see your work
on the screen you think – got to make sure my hems OK, the sleeves are in right, you
know, and also that the actual dresser has put them into the costume correctly in the
first place, because the girls have to be really squeezed into that corset. When I was
a little girl I did not have any ambition whatsoever. My mum used to work here and I
used to come and visit her, and I fell in love with the place and it’s just sort of
snowballed from there. Now we’re on the third generation – my daughter works here. So we’re
just trying to train up the granddaughter now. We’ve worked with hundreds, I mean we’ve
been on all the big films from Sweeney Todd, Cinderella, I mean they go on and on, Harry
Potter! But my claim to fame I must say is getting told off by Christopher Lee for having
my shoelaces undone running around the building. The atmosphere in this place is, – you couldn’t
get it anywhere else. It’s just an amazing building. We’re quite unique here.

4 Replies to “Creating period costumes, from Harry Potter to Sweeney Todd: Jackie, Londoner #99”

  1. The 1977 NBC mini-series "Jesus of Nazareth" made me sit down and just be awed by a films costuming. Especially the scene of the meeting of the three wise men. Donald Pleasence, James Earl Jones and Ferdando Rey were costumed in these absolutely amazing royal period outfits. They and their attendants and soldiers are amazing to watch in their brief appearance in that film.

  2. Moon tailors
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