Behind the Wardrobe: Dangerous Liaisons

Q&A with QB costume maker and milliner Vicki Martin

We asked Queensland Ballet costume maker and milliner Vicki Martin a few questions about the upcoming world premiere of Dangerous Liaisons.

Q. How long does it take for the Wardrobe department to create costumes for a production?
A. In the case of Dangerous Liaisons, we are running against the clock because the shapes and elaborate details are very time-consuming. There’s a lot of under structure going on with layers of petticoats, padded hip rolls, mounting delicate fabrics, motifs and trims that are individually placed and stitched, and all the finishing such as hooks and bars. We could easily use six solid months with a team of 10 or more to build a big production like this. 

Q. What has been your favourite part about creating the Dangerous Liaison’s costumes?
A. There have been so many amazing moments, but it would have to be working with all the lush fabrics, beautiful colours and trims, and helping to bring the designer’s silhouettes to life with a team of super talented cutters, coordinators and seamstresses. The hats have, of course, been a dream to create. 

Q. What is a fun fact people may not know about costume making and millinery?
A. Costume makers must be very resourceful and look for solutions in their everyday environment. For example, we may use a hardware item such as VJ stripping (used on the edge of benches) to give support to a costume. In my hat making I use all kinds of items in my kitchen to block a hat shape. I even used a bowl to get a smaller shape for one of the Dangerous Liaisons hats. You’ll have to guess which one!

Book now to see Dangerous Liaisons.