How did you get into costume design?
I went to St Martins to do fashion and hated it, so I left after a year before completing my degree in theatre design at Wimbledon. On graduating I was offered a job as an assistant in the costume department at the BBC in Birmingham. So I took it, and when Id been there for a couple of months I heard that they were recruiting for assistants in London. I asked about applying and they said theres no point in getting my hopes up, but that I should just go for an interview for the experience alone. I got it and found myself as an assistant in London which I did for about two and a half years, and then I found work as a costume designer proper. I then worked on a lot of kids dramas, teleplays, light entertainment stuff for about another 2 years.
Have you worked on any other features besides Large?
I did Dead Babies and a film called De Neuve Espast, and then Staggered with Martin Clunes.Do you do drawings before meeting the actor?
Well, I dont generally do drawings until I know whos cast. So, if its a modern piece for instance, Ill meet with the director with tear-sheets - taken from magazines. Ill look at colours, and do colour swatches and things. But you cant do a character, I dont think, until you know whos going to be playing them. After that Ill do drawings and talk them through them over the phone. Obviously I have fun. You should just have fun, I think, even if youre playing a serial killer. Go through all the possibilities and what you throw out and get wrong is just as important as what you get right. Its about the journey to finding out what theyre like: how they dress, how they walk, if their shoes are too tight, if they slump in the shoes. It's a bit of a thrill really. The best aspect of the job is working with people, and when somebody says theyve not noticed the clothes, thats the biggest compliment for me. If the clothes jump out too much, generally then you havent done your job - if people are noticing. And we have a laugh. And of course, the long hours are just wonderful. And working with Liverpudlian sex bitches is great, but I couldnt get one on this so I got Dee Walsh (the Liverpudlian wardrobe supervisor).