Playbill takes a tour of the wardrobe department of Disney's "Mary Poppins", which operates on eight floors of Broadway's New Amsterdam Theatre. Here, you'll find over a dozen stitchers, costumers, wardrobe supervisors, day workers and dressers tending to the hundreds of costumes in the big-cast musical. The science of keeping a company dressed in pristine condition throughout a run is a daunting task! Doing 12 loads of laundry a day — which includes sorting hundreds of garments, from socks to caps — while juggling last-minute repairs, cast changes and wardrobe malfunctions keep this costume shop busy.
Costume designer Lou Eyrich has two Emmys but even she was a little intimidated when she was assigned to dress the fashion icon Lady Gaga for “American Horror Story: Hotel.” Eyrich joined Variety’s Maria Cavassuto to pull back the curtain on The Countess’s dressing room.
See through the eyes of the textile conservators as they wash the 17th century Mortlake tapestry ‘February’ in a wash bath built specifically for our largest tapestries at Hampton Court Palace. The tapestries are cleaned using de-ionised (soft) water and a special detergent mixture. Now, that's some hand-washing tub ...
For the most part, show laundry is the same as regular, home laundry. Costumes worn by performers need to be cleaned; one way or another and the cleaning can be unconventional at times because costumes are often made of unconventional materials. Those breathtaking costumes made with fabric, feathers, grasses, sequins, crystals and painted plastic require special care in order to look good for each show. Costumers are aware that costumes last longer if they are stored in a clean, dry condition; make-up stains, sweat and body odour left in a costume may not come out.
The book The Costumer's Notebook is a 295 page comprehensive handbook for Costumers for stage and film including a full Glossary of stage and film industry terms. Sections include methods and tricks for laundry, dyeing, breakdown, Dresser guidelines and protocols for Stage or Film and various size charts for men and women from shoes to gloves. Other Sections include diagrams showing How to Iron A Shirt, How to Tie a Tie and How to Tie a Bow Tie. Costume fittings, costume lay out and costume storage are also discussed.