Jump to content

Costume Panic


Shimmer
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone

 

I have ended up being in charge of the costumes for my graduation show. The choreographers all have very specific ideas about what they want which is fine but I only have a small budget and all of these great costume ideas would take at least half of the budget each. So after lots of crying and tearing my hair out I wondered if anyone on here would be able to help. I am looking for 17 ankle length black or red full skirts for a spanish number, 22 knee length white skirts (not see-through), 11 peasent/gypsy style blouses and 7 mid-calf length skirts (see-through or not, doesn't matter) in autumn colours. If anyone know of somewhere I could get these REALLY cheaply or of anywhere I could borrow them from that would be fantastic!

 

Shimmer x

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lots of dance teachers have big stores of costumes from old shows. I kmow that many of the schools near us hire sets out to each other for a minimal charge. I have often been to a local dancing school show and recognised some of the costumes! Might be worth contacting schools local to you as this will also minimise transport costs. Also agree with aileen about Primark. I have a very simple pattern for gypsy style blouses and often make these from sheets which works out much cheaper than buying material e.g. recently brought king-size flat sheet from Asda for £6.50 as needed clean white but even better value are sheets from charity shops.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can you sew or do you know someone who can? It is very simple to make skirts and now adays there are lots of beginners patterns that take you through step by step. Unfortunately my stack of skirts is a couple of thousands of miles away from the UK so a bit tricky! If you are going to make them try fabric shops like www.abakhan.co which sell fabric very cheaply (even better if there is a store near you) I couldnt costume my shows without them!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for all the replies. I have managed to track down some bits from primark and some cheapish white skirts from amazon (didn't realise they did clothes!). I have suggested character skirts to the choreographer as we all have them and could turn them inside out, but she is adamant they are too short. I've contacted a couple of places about hiring things but it depends if they have adult-sized costumes or just child-sized.

 

I don't think I am ever going to manage a whole show for my own school, this costuming lark is far too stressful!

 

x

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's a terrific amount of work and responsibility for you, Shimmer. IMO, if the choreographers (and school) are that fussy you should have been given a larger budget and/or more help or the students should have been asked to pay for, or at least contribute towards, their own costumes.

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Definitely! Our students pay towards their costumes as they get to keep them afterwards. If it's a reasonable amount and people are given plenty of notice, nobody minds. Sometimes the teacher hires costumes as it works out much cheaper. I think we only paid £5 to hire cat-print catsuits and a mask for a dance from Cats.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a subject that has bugged me over the years.  At one ballet school we had to pay the full price for the costumes and obviously we got to keep them, but if your dd is in 5 dances then 5 costumes comes in rather expensive!  I would rather contribute a percentage towards the costumes and not have to find room for them.  I know it is expensive for the schools to have to store costumes which is probably why we end up paying for them and keeping them, but surely they could rent the costumes out to other ballet schools and then all our pockets would be better off!  Sorry, rant over

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

At my dd's dance school we pay a nominal fee to participate in any shows and this covers the cost of costumes but the school does have the facilities to store them and they tend to be altered and re-cycled each year!

My two nieces however attend a dance school in quite an affluent area and my brother has to pay a fortune (over £100 each) for their show costumes which they get to keep afterwards.  However, I have seen the dance catalogue that these costumes are purchased from and they cost no-where near what this teacher is charging parents. It obviously generates additional income for the the school but I personally think it is very unfair!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My friend was telling me yesterday that her dd's dance school doesn't let them keep their costumes afterwards - but she still has to pay what seems like an exorbitant amount for each one. For the latest one she's had to pay £70!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Agreed that is an awful lot of money and sounds more like a way to raise money.  Our school you do have to pay for your costume but usually only one, no matter how many dances you are in and you keep the one you pay for.  But they have a lovely lady who makes the costumes for them so it is usually no more than £10-£15.  You are charged however for items like different coloured leotards or tights but the children are allowed after a show to wear their non-uniform items to class until they grow out of them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At my dd's school you don't have to pay anything for costumes (except perhaps coloured ballet shoes). Many are re-cycled and the principal has had the good fortune to have a mother who has been willing and able to make costumes. Some new costumes may have to be bought for a show but they are then kept for future shows. I feel that it's a bit of a cheek to ask parents to buy their children's costumes. Does this happen with LCB, EYB, NYB etc? At my dd's school when the show budget is drawn up a figure for costumes is included, and a lot of effort is put into the raffle as it can raise quite a lot of money which is put towards the costs of cleaning existing costumes and purchasing new ones. It is quite fun to see how the same costumes are used for different productions. I'm desperate to see my dd in one of the long white "Swan Lake" tutus one day. This year she was a bit disappointed that, as a Corn Girl in Coppelia, she was wearing the Waltz Girl outfit which she wore in Swan Lake but she was thrilled to wear a pretty green tutu as the Ballerina Doll which had previously been worn by one of the Fairies in Sleeping Beauty. Mind you, I do sometimes have the suspicion that casting for these shows is a bit like Prince Charming trying to fit the golden slipper onto the feet of lots of girls (ie students are cast according to the costumes that fit them!)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Shimmer

 

Having spent years sourcing costumes for my dd's dancing school annual show at a very low cost, I know exactly how you are feeling!.  Try dance direct for the long black skirts, but give them a call rather than ordering on line as they can give discounts for dance schools.  Their website is www.dancedirect.comAlthother good company is Images - again, ring rather than order online.  www.imagescostumes.com  Images will made to order for you.  If you want to try and make the skirts yourself, which is quite easy for long circular skirts, both images and also dance gear direct sell fabric by the roll or by the metre.

 

Hope you find what your looking for.  By the way our dance school usually asks for parents to pay for the cost of the costume, and we get to keep them afterwards.  We do try to keep the cost to £15.00 per costume or less though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At dd's school we are paying a £40 production fee which is mostly towards costumes (£30 if child is only in 1 act). Some children will only get 2 costumes but others have maybe 5 or 6. They recycle about half of their costumes and buy the rest in new. £40 is affordable and I think it's good value as they perform in a professional theatre too. I happen to know the ones they buy new cost on average £30 each for a child's size so buying all the costumes would be far too expensive if in more than 1 or 2 dances!

 

The show is optional too so I guess anyone who can't afford it just doesn't take part. We don't have to buy any extra tights or shoes or anything, if something other than the regular uniform is needed it's covered by the school.

 

I believe in America most people have to buy their own costumes from the dance studio (who make a profit on them) and it can run into a few hundred pounds each time!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My DD school hires out some of their costumes to the students and some the parents buy. its usually 1 hire to 1 buy and the school never adds money onto the costume price and tries very hard to get cheapest ones from primark or Matalan etc. The ones the parents buy they keep or sometimes they are brought back

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of the schools I work for charges a one off fee per participant(less than amounts quoted above) and they pay £10 for additional dances.

 

This covers most of the running costs and we recycle our vast store of costumes as much as possible. Then we pay remaining costs from ticket sales. The rest all goes to charity.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Aileen, I am sure you're right about casting being influenced by, if not determined by, who fits into which costume/s! I understand that it happens with ballet companies as well, at least with children's roles eg Nutcracker; I remember the statement in 'Life at the Royal Ballet School' that which child gets to be a party guest/mouse etc was heavily influenced by the size of the existing costume stock!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My DDs used to go to dance schools where it worked out a lot of money for shows but now we are so lucky as the Russian school they go to now we don't pay for any costumes they all come from the Bolshoi, the tutus are amazing, we don't get to keep them.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...