Red & Violet 1780s

Welcome to Costume Spangles

Costume Spangles is the online journal of costume designer Rachel Midgley. I set up this journal as a way of making my work available for a wider audience to see.
  • To see a copy of my current CV, please click here to download a PDF version from Sendspace.
  • To see items I have for sale please visit my Etsy Shop.
For more information about me, as well as contact details please visit my profile section.

I have tried to make this journal easy to use, but just in case, here are a few tips:
  • To search for a specific period, style or project please use the tags to narrow down the entries displayed. These can be found in the navigation strip to the right
  • Images are all shown in thumbnail form for ease of loading, please click each thumbnail to be taken to the full size image.

Whether it's a question, comment or just a general inquiry, I would love to hear from you! To get in contact either comment on one of the entries, or contact me directly by email.Thank you for taking the time to visit my journal, and I hope you enjoy looking at my work.

Red & Violet 1780s

Three Costume Inspired Necklaces on Etsy

I've been doing some jewellery making recently and am currently uploading the pieces I've made so far onto Etsy. They're inspired by historical periods but are not strictly costume jewellery, so if you would like an elegant necklace with antique charm, AND that's suitable for everyday wear then head over to my Etsy store now!!

These thumnail images link directly to the Etsy listing, so you can see more photos and info there.

Red & Violet 1780s

Musicals Wanted, European Tour 2010 - 2011

I recently returned from a 3 month tour working as Wardrobe Mistress for the show Musicals Wanted! produced by the German company  World Wide Events.

The tour ran from December 2010 to March 2011 and visited over 50 venues in different cities across Germany, Italy, Austria and Switzerland. The show was a fast paced 'compilation' of 28 numbers from 18 musicals including Cats, Phantom Of The Opera, Les Mis, Bombay Dreams, Tanz Der Vampire, We Will Rock You and Hairspray. As Wardrobe Mistress I was responsible for cleaning and maintaining the several hundred costumes, as well as buying in and making new items and making sure all the quick changes between numbers went smoothly.

For more information as well as some photos of the production please visit the Musicals Wanted! page on the WWE website.
Red & Violet 1780s

Designs for Esther, 2010

I am pleased to be working with Leyland Methodist MAD Mob once again on their upcoming production Esther. Based on the story of Esther from the Bible, but set in the Medieval period. I am designing and making Esther's costumes and have just completed the design plates as well as the fabric sourcing.

Esther transforms from a lowly serf into a Queen, so she has three stages of costume, as shown in the designs. The fabric swatches for each costume are shown the top left of the corresponding costume design.

Red & Violet 1780s

Belated Halloween & DeviantDead

I'm just uploading a few images to show some different examples of my work and celebrate a very late Halloween. These images all have a darker, more creepy theme, and so even though I've missed Halloween, I thought I would upload them as the night's draw in. The first image is an illustration based on 'The Brides of Dracula' I did around Halloween this year, the second is an absinthe themed image used to try out a different colour scheme and the third was produced as an entry into the 'DeviantDead' online art event, which collected zombie-themed artwork from many artists to create one big collaborative piece.

Please note that the first and third images contain artistic depictions of gore and blood, so be warned if you are faint of heart (or stomach)!

Red & Violet 1780s

Mannequins for Abakhan Preston Shop Window

I am currently working as a Sales Assistant in Abakhan Fabrics in Preston and have been designing and creating display mannequins for the shop window for several months now. These outfits have to use the fabrics and accessories from the shop and can only be pinned in place, so it is always an exciting challenge to come up with each new outfit.

I recently created a set of four ensembles for the Autumn period drawing inspiration from fashions in the 1920s-50s. I designed each mannequin to reflect one of the four decades. As an exercise in drawing inspiration from different styles of fashion illustration, I also created a small 'fashion illustration' for each design. Collapse )

The illsutration for each outfit is shown with the photo of the corresponding outfit below it.


Red & Violet 1780s

Etsy Shop Now Open & Two New Victorian Bonnets

I have set up my Etsy shop and will hopefully be filling it with lovely costume items over the next few weeks, so if you do visit it, remember to bookmark or 'heart' it so you can check back later.

At the moment I'm selling three Victorian/Civil War era bonnets. One is the bonnet featured in this post, which was made at uni, the other two are new ones made in the last few weeks. Check out the Etsy shop for more photos, prices and details about the bonnets!

From left to right: 'Eleanor' coal scuttle bonnet, 'Clara' mourning bonnet, 'Lydia' coal scuttle bonnet (clicking the names takes you to the Etsy listing, clicking the thumbnails below lets you see a larger image of each bonnet).

Red & Violet 1780s

Designs for Return to the Forbidden Planet, 2010

I am currently working on a production of Return to the Forbidden Planet with Leyland Methodist Music and Drama Group. I last worked with this group on their 2008 production of Summer Holiday. The show goes up in September and I am acting as both Costume Designer and Supervisor.

The show is being directed by Paul Duckworth, with Joanne Duckworth as Musical Director, John Hutchinson as Set Designer and Pete Bird as Lighting Designer.

Below are my costume designs for the production:

Plate 1: Examples of Female and Male Crew Members (Chorus), Captain Tempest, Gloria/Science Officer.
Plate 2: Ariel, Dr Prospero, Miranda (Outfit 1).
Plate 3: Example of Backing Singers, Miranda (Outfit 2), Cookie.