The Brontë Museum, based in the village of Haworth near Bradford, is one of the UK’s most popular literary tourist attractions. The venue is set to attract more visitors, as new reports indicate that a costume design exhibition is set to open at the Brontë Museum. Helen Beaumont comments.
As an aspiring costume designer, you should conduct extensive research, when creating period costumes. This is because you need to maintain accuracy in your clothing, allowing you to craft outfits which help actors transport viewers to fictional worlds. There’s a wealth of resources for you to utilise, from online journals to historical costume exhibitions, which are frequently held across the UK.
Another resource will soon become available to you, as a costume display is set to open at the Brontë Museum. This building houses artefacts which shed light on the lives of the Brontë sisters – Charlotte, Emily and Anne. They wrote some of the most iconic novels of the 19th Century, including Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights, many of which have since been turned into productions for stage, TV and film.
An article on Keighley News, a local online news service, reveals more details on the display. Opening 1st February 2017, the exhibition will run for a year, hosting costumes, props and photographs from Sally Wainwright’s film To Walk Invisible. This drama, which won major critical acclaim, explored the dysfunctional Brontë family, which notably experienced many great tragedies across their lifetimes.
The display is billed as an exclusive, behind the scenes look into the making of To Walk Invisible. The photos depict the efforts the film’s crew went to, in order to re-create the Brontë’s world. This included building a life-size replica of the Parsonage in which they lived, which now houses the museum, on Haworth’s Penistone Hill. They used the village’s Main Street for filming, drawing on its distinctive Victorian look, and recreated the Parsonage’s interiors for filming in a Manchester studio.
The Brontë Museum’s staff collaborated extensively with the production’s crew, over several months, to maintain accuracy. Commenting, a spokeswoman said: “This is an exclusive opportunity to see the costumes from Sally Wainwright’s acclaimed Brontë drama, in the historic setting of the parsonage. Designer Tom Pye closely with experts and academics to create costumes which are authentic to the period and which evoke the separate personalities of each member of the Brontë family.”
This exhibition, appropriately called To Walk Invisible: From Parsonage To Production, could prove an invaluable resource. Not only will it help you understand just what goes into making period costumes, but it shows just what goes into making a historical film. Everyone pulls together, to ensure that they create a compelling fictional world, that makes people feel like they’ve travelled through time.
About Helen Beaumont
Helen Beaumont’s career started at Camberwell College of Art, where she studied the History of Art and Design, specialising in costume during her final year. After completing study, Helen became a costume buyer for theatre and opera. She has since become a professional costume designer, with a keen interest in period clothing. Throughout her career, Helen has created authentic costumes for prestigious companies such as the Universal Studios, Disney, BBC, Tiger Aspect and the Young Vic Theatre.