Friday, 14 February 2014

Valentine's Day

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in love am I,
And I will love thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry.
- Robert Burns. A Red, Red Rose.

Valentine’s Day is finally here and while the fashion crowd will be spending it with their first love – fashion – as London Fashion Week begins today on the 14th, the rest of us will be focusing our attention on our loved ones.

We are celebrating Valentine’s Day by displaying our ‘Sugarplum Fairy’ costume miniature. A glamorous and decorative tutu made entirely by hand; a sparkling testament to the skill and precision with which The Little Costume Shop creates these miniature works of art.

The skirt and bodice panels are edged in the finest silk taffeta with a rose pink tinged hem on the silk tulle skirt and encrusted with a combination of sparkling Swarovski crystals, seed pearls, and a scattering of very rare, delicately shaped original 1920s gelatine sequins.   

Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

Our Sugarplum Fairy miniature. Photograph by George Chinn

Sarah Lamb as the Sugarplum Fairy at The Royal Opera House.

1920's Valentine flapper.

Our Sugarplum Fairy. Photograph by George Chinn. 

Sugared sugarplums. 

Sarah Lamb as The Sugarplum Fairy. 

Twirling tutu.

Close up of our Sugarplum Fairy miniature. Vin's studio image.


Vintage Valentine photograph.

Photograph by Richard Wilding.
Vintage photograph. Cupid costume. 

Valentine roses.

Close up of our Sugarplum Fairy miniature. Photograph by George Chinn. 

Baby cupid.

Crystallised sugarplums. 

Vintage fairy photograph.

Our Sugarplum Fairy miniature. Photograph by Richard 

Wednesday, 5 February 2014


All this is madness, cries a sober Sage:
But who, my friend, has reason in his Rage?
The ruling Passion, be it what it will,
The ruling Passion conquers reason still.
Less mad the wildest whimsey we can frame,
Than ev'n that passion, if it has no aim;
For tho' such motives folly you may call,
The folly's greater to have none at all.
– Alexander Pope ‘Epistle III. Of the Use of Riches. Moral Essays.’

If you had the chance to see Francesca Zambello’s production of Carmen last month at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, you will have seen the magnificent set and performances in this stunning show.

The beautiful gypsy Carmen warns any man who loves her to beware, but she does not foresee the fierce passion that she will unleash on Don Jose when she seduces him. This dramatic opera shows the destructive power of seduction that can lead men down the wrong path and cause them to lose everything.

The traditional costumes by Tanya McCallin are what bring the 19th century Seville to life in all its bustle and excitement. Zambello’s production has been a mainstay of The Royal Opera House calendar since 2006 and has never failed to captivate people each year so be sure to watch it next year!

At The Little Costume Shop, we are displaying our Carmen maquette in celebration of The Royal Opera House production. The corset is made from period textiles and contemporary woven silks. The underskirt is made from multiple shot silk strips, shaded into the waist and hem, and overlaid with distressed silk tulle. The shawl is made out of fine ‘turban’ cotton, printed with tiny sprigs, bordered with a hand knotted fringe of multi coloured strands. Her shoulder wrap is gossamer fine silk, printed with a subtle gold motif and fringed with ombreed shreds and an edging of 1920s gelatine sequins.

This work of art has been scaled down to perfection and will be sure to delight!

If you would like to see one of our costume miniatures up close make sure you see our ‘Queen of the Night,' which is currently on display at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in their front of house showcase.

Photograph by George Chinn

Vintage Carmen film poster

Vin's studio image

Photograph by Richard Wilding

The Royal Opera House - Carmen

Vin's studio image

Vin's studio image

Vintage gypsy

Carmen costume

Vin's studio image

1950's Carmen -  magazine cover 

Vin's studio pic

Photograph by Richard Wilding

Vintage gypsy adorned with jewels

Vin's studio pic

The Royal Opera House Carmen poster

Vintage gypsy draped in embroidered textiles

Vin's studio image

Vintage Carmen poster