GUISE & Wear Wimbledon

Last week, I had the pleasure of meeting up with Jen Davies, Costume Supervisor at Wear Wimbledon, for a catch up. A debrief since the costume networking event we held, we discussed moving things forward with the possibility of another event. This time we hope to host a panel with guest speakers, discussing various aspects of costume. It's all TBC at the minute but I look forward to seeing our plans evolve over the coming months.

Jen also asked if I would be Wear Wimbledon's guest blogger this week, to which I happily obliged. They wanted a brief introduction to GUISE magazine - the concept and its development. Here's what I came up with...

GUISE magazine, launched in 2012 as part of a personal project by me - a fashion journalist interested in costume design, has garnered plenty of attention in costume circles since its emergence on the web. Launching a publication of my own accord was difficult to begin with - but with the assistance of a very smart web developer and super creative graphic designer, I was able to kick start the project with few glitches. What surprised me most, was that on the day it launched, over 600 people visited the site. I had built up a social media following by this point, and people were eager to see what I'd been banging on about for months.

The result was (and is) a publication that discusses costume in all aspects of performance - from stage to screen and everything in between. The aim is to highlight the work that goes on behind the scenes, making people more aware of the costume workers that so often go unsung. The idea is to start conversations about costume design - as a separate entity to fashion. GUISE discusses how costume adds to a narrative arc or to a character, as opposed to how it is interpreted by fashion designers or how an actress wears it. This is probably why the website has been so well received. It's read by those working in the industry alongside those aspiring to work with costume - an indication of our wide ranging market.

We held our first GUISE gathering event, sponsored by Wear Wimbledon, in January of this year. Costume workers were invited to attend for an evening of drinks, canapés and costume chat in the heart of London's West End. The event was a great success and everyone attending was so supportive - it only encouraged me to continue with GUISE. We now have a big team of contributors, along with some special guest writers - and the team is constantly growing.

It's humbling to meet such lovely people in the industry, and I'm so happy that I have the opportunity to engage with these people on a day-to-day basis. It gives me great pleasure to hear first hand that costume workers appreciate what I am doing with GUISE and working with the team at Wear Wimbledon has only served to emphasise how worthwhile the whole venture is. Here's to more events, more costume chat, more recognition for those working behind the seams...