By patrickjack84, Mar 19 2018 12:45PM
Short film Written & Directed by Jonathan Schey
Costume Designer - Patrick Jack Whelan (www.patrickjackdesigns.com)
Staring Toby Jones.
Short film Written & Directed by Jonathan Schey
Costume Designer - Patrick Jack Whelan (www.patrickjackdesigns.com)
Staring Toby Jones.
So anyone who knows me, KNOWS I am a huge fan of RuPauls Drag Race!!
I feel like it’s encouraging to people of all generations to be creative. Whether that be with Makeup, costumes, altering your own clothes etc. You see people from all different walks of life on the show making gowns or customizing corsets! Get out your sewing machines girls!
I for one am hooked! I just adore seeing the costumes and makeup looks these girls create. I also find myself gagging in anticipation to see what look Rupaul is going to be serving down the runway each episode. A lot of you will know this by but pretty much all of Ru’s outfits are custom made. His hair and makeup have been styled and applied by the one and only Mathu Andersen for over 30 years.. (until recently).
This leads me nicely onto why I find myself writing this blog! “Whatever Happened to Mathu Andersen!?”
So here’s the tea.. Mathu has been a creative producer on the show since I believe series 2. He also was responsible for Ru’s Hair and Makeup from series 2 to series 8. HOWEVER.. he has not returned for season 9! (Nooooooo! •gasp• •gasp*)
My sources have told me that he was all lined up to return and take part in the newest season, then suddenly just days before the first filming day he pulled out due to a disagreement with Ru! Mathu had been on a troubled road in the lead up to the show. Deleting ALL his social media outlets claiming to be board with the constant trolls.
Now as you can imagine this left the show in some dilemma.. let alone Ru! Who the hell is going to be painting the mother of all drag?
Filming had to continue as planned – so ep 1 was shot. BUT with one major change. RU PAUL WAS NOT IN DRAG!! I hear it was seen as the safest options as there was no time to test run any new makeup artists. So the ep was reconstructed to suit the situation. Luckily with Lady GaGa there to steal the lime light – it almost balanced out.
Now, while Rupaul inc went to business about finding a replacement makeup designer filming had to continue – so Ru took it upon himself to do his own makeup. Now I imagine he hasn’t applied his own makeup in at least 10 years. This is a big deal! Makeup has changed and so has the application! Contouring! Baking! Highlight! Strobing! These weren’t such a big thing in the 90’s – plus HD and 4K shooting didn’t exist! You could hide a lot more.
Drag makeup is very different to straight glam or TV ready makeup. It takes experience to know how to paint drag. So it would take some time (and many Camera tests) to select a suitable candidate to fit with Ru. Its big boots to fill after Mathu – Ru and Mr Andersen had worked together for over 30 years! That’s some serious time to perfect a look!
Now Ep 2 Aired – well I imagine most people were pleased to see Ru back in drag. But it was very clear something was very different! He just didn’t look as “finished”… plus there was some seriously heavy filtering going on over Ru’s face (VERY EXPENSIVE PROCESS ON MOVING IMAGE) plus… very few if any close ups!
So a friend who is in with the close circle of the Drag Race team informed me that Ru wasn’t happy with his look so had demanded NO CLOSE UPS, and as much beauty blur as they could apply.. and boy they definitely did apply it! But never the less he did it, got through it, another ep down! On another note.. worst outfit I think I have ever seen Ru in… to Quote Michelle Visage .. It was just very “Pedestrian”.
Back to the story, while the show must go on the team were contacting makeup artists to come in and do camera tests. I am not sure how many were approached but I imagine it was a select few! One of which was our own season 2 contestant “Raven”… Yes Raven! Who is a very successful Makeup Artist. He had even fairly recently done a “How to Achieve the Rupaul Makeup Look” Tutorial on Youtube . So he seemed a natural candidate.
Long story short he was hired! So Raven was so stepping in to fill the shoes of Mathu for makeup(I am yet to find out who has taken over on hair).
Supposedly its been known for some time now in the drag community that Raven had taken on this role. But no one had confirmed this officially – I believe its something they wished to keep under wraps!
After ep 2 of Season 9 aired. There was a lot of shade about Ru’s makeup – a lot of people were questioning whether this was Raven’s work – now obviously Raven doesn’t want his fans to believe he was behind this so on his facebook page posted a link to the video of Shaggy’s song “It Wasn’t Me” to subtly inform people that he had NO involvement in that look.
Then episode 3 aired and obviously there was suddenly a vast improvement from the last week, but also quite a dramatic change to the overall look… it was a move away from the typical Andersen paint job. It instantly had the look of a Raven face. To confirm his involvement while the episode aired he put a status on his fan page again of three paint palette emoji’s . I’m not sure why it needs to be such a secret, but it is.. he is also either not being credited or going under another name in the credits! (Odd)
I think its an exciting change. Don’t get me wrong I am and always will be a fan of Mathu’s work – I fell in love with his instagram page(sad its now gone). Just seeing his Art was so inspiring. It does however leave me wondering what the hell happened to make Mathu leave the Show!? Where is he now… what he is doing? In other words.. Whatever Happened to Mathu Andersen!?
But on a closing note I feel change is a good thing! It keeps things Fresh. I look forward to seeing how the looks develop over the series! Go Raven Hunty… you got this!!
1 - Rupaul with a Mathu Andersen Makeup job
2 - Rupaul and Lady Gaga Season 9 episode 1 - NO DRAG
3 - Rupaul Season 9 Ep 2 - Painted his own Face
4- Rupaul Season 9 Ep 3 - Raven Hunty paint job
5 - Raven - you can see trademark Raven techniques have been used on Rupaul from looking at classic shots of Raven.
We shot over four days completely on Green Screen, Stills and moving image.
There was a cast of 14. Obviously when working on Green Screen there are certain limitations – no green in the costumes for one! Also white is very difficult against green screen so avoid where possible. The client had requested white shirts for some of the business looks plus the biggest thing we had to contend with was the fact that a traditional Qatari mans dress is something called a thobe. It’s a completely white pull over robe, which has a shirt collar detail and cuffs. Its usually heavily starched and worn with a head dress- this is called a Kaffiya. This is also white. There are various ways this can be worn. Cobra style is my personal fave! White tends to reflect green and in the edit its hard for the editor to place backgrounds behind – so each frame has to be cut out! WORK! So hence why production are usually very keen to avoid white in costumes where possible.
It was really interesting getting to research these looks and learn out to wrap a hijab and style a cobra.
Below are some images from final edits!
Its all Fun and Games here at Patrick Jack Designs HQ!
It was for a BBC learning series which will be out later this year.
Your see my initial designs in the images below. I try to adapt my design process to suit each job. So here for example I worked in a much more cartoon/comic book illustrators style to try and start bringing our world to life.
The story was based around a family of superhero’s and their arch nemesis. With different characters popping into the story line.
After working out the overall look of everything we need to establish a colour palette that was going to run throughout the show. After this was done the design process could really begin.
Its important to consider key points when designing like budget (every job is different), time, fabric, team (who, how and where are you having made/making the costumes), doubles/multiples (will you need more than one of each costume?), practicality of the costume, longevity of the garment… the list goes on.. its never as simple as just sitting down and sketching lovely things. Although that’s not a bad place to start to get your ideas going.
Really to get the look I wanted we had to make the costumes in a stretch fabric. I chose a 4 way stretch lycra. NOW this is a tricky fabric to work with.
I have an amazing maker that I use that is an expert in the stuff! So I like to communicate with her when finalizing the design to really make sure things are going to work. Like how things are going to sit, fit, shape the body and also move.
I do love a cape – but they’re never an easy thing to work with… but that’s another story.
We had to make the gloves and masks from scratch. Then customize all shoes and accessories.
We had quite a short amount of time to turn out all the costumes. On top of the superhero family we had all the other characters to consider. Including the super villain – who you can see in the images below.
I’ll post a link for the show once it is announced. But for now their are some images below of my designs and the finished costumes!
Each Ep would be topical and based on celebrity mishaps counting down the "Top 5". So for example - our pilot was based on "the Top 5 celebrity Splits". Covering Gwyneth Paltrow & Chris Martin, Rpatz, Miley Cyrus, One Direction and a range of other famous faces.
I LOVE designing the costumes on comedy-based shows like this - especially Sketch shows. It’s fast past, with a high turn around. You need to find the funny in the characters your designing and exaggerate it. Allow the audience to quickly read who it is and immediately find the funny (well that’s the plan anyway). Its giving the actors something to work with, to help portray the person they are putting across.
I worked with the producers, Make Up Designer and director to establish where we were heading with the looks, and then it was down to me, the make-up designer, and obviously our amazing teams to create them.
Click here to watch the show
We had 4 days to turn around 25 Walking Dead Zombie Costume, 25 Viking Costumes (including all amour, weapons and shields) & 15 Orange is the New Black Prison uniforms. YES it was madness! But I lived to tell the tale.
I’m always up for a challenge, and I’m NEVER beaten.
Myself and my team worked relentlessly to make sure we were fully prepped.
My supervisor was pulling weaponry and furs for Vikings from The Costume Studio in North London, two assistants were in my studio breaking down Zombie Costumes, My trainee was collecting shoes and accessories, I had a maker on board to recreate the designs of the Orange is the New Black Uniforms and while overseeing all of this I was buying/designing/arranging and basically just doing what I do but at SUPER lightening speed.
Everyone was amazing on the job and I couldn’t have done it without them.
I also had two dressers on hands on the two shoot days at pinewood to cope with the sheer amount of cast and on set checks.
But we did it, with a lot of coffee, chocolate and team spirit we got there. And I have to say it all looked pretty wonderful in the end.
My amazing friend Liz Hart designed the Make-Up and Prosthetics and did a brilliant job.
You can see the commercial here.
There are some images below of the costumes and a team selfie just to prove amongst it all we still managed to have fun. (its never dull in my costume truck!)
So throughout the day we set up 4 different scenes, which were;
Titanic - When Kate and Leo are at the front of the boat (oh it brings a tear to your eye, just thinking about it)
Lady & The Tramp - the famous Spaghetti and meatballs scene
Ghost - at the pottery wheel
and Love Actually.
Costume wise it was great fun for me and my assistant to recreate these iconic looks as ZOMBIES!
I think my personal favourite was the Kate Winslet dress.. (you can see some pictures below of Steph & Dom before and after performing in the Titanic Scene).
the creation of Zombie costumes seems to come quite naturally to me and the team in the studio now, as we have done so many. We counted up how many we had to make last year alone and it came to nearly 60!! I now feel the pain for Eulyn Womble Costume Designer for The Walking Dead and her team having to create many more than that for each series.
Click here to watch the Titanic commercial.
So last month we wrapped up on a new show called Virtually Famous for E4. We had the pleasure of styling the wonderful Kevin Mchale from Glee, the lovely Chris Stark from Radio 1 fame & the Hilarious Seann Walsh. (there are a couple of sneaky pics below).
"Virtually Famous is a British television panel show produced by Talkback and presented by Kevin McHale. The programme made its debut on E4 on 21 July 2014. In each episode two teams of three compete and they are captained Chris Stark and Seann Walsh. The questions and tasks are about things on the internet."
Seann has quite a strong sense of style and wore some classic looks for The Kooples. Chris was very happy for us to have a play and perhaps put him some things that he wouldn’t of considered before… Obviously I’m very pleased to say he loved all the looks we put together (phew!)
Kevin was an utter joy to style as he knew what he liked but also was always willing to try something one before casting judgment.. (Although there was one shirt from a certain designer that shall never see the light of day again! Eeeek HORRID!) as we all know some things can look very different on the body, rather than on a hanger!
We wanted to get a good blend of designer meets high-street, casual meets smart! Basically showing off how wonderful Kevin can look in practically anything!
So from the high-street we had some pieces from Topman, Zara, COS & River Island. Mixing those up with some higher end names such as Sixpack France ( from their Fall 2014 collection), Paul Smith and a couple of others..
We absolutely adored working on the show and we hope you all enjoy watching it.. heres to series 2 (fingers crossed)
Hel Y'al .. Heres the article I was asked to write for Guise Magazine to discuss the importance of using social media as a creative... have a read!
To Tweet or Not? By Patrick Jack Whelan - Costume Designer & Stylist www.patrickjackdesigns.com
Whats your twitter name? Are you on Instagram? Do you have a website? Oh my God you HAVE to join Tumblr... have you heard of Pinterest? Oh, and do you use LinkedIn?
These are all questions we hear more and more often in our world overrun by social media. It seems every week there’s a new app coming out to share images on or a new fangled social media site to be updating.
Having been working as a Costume Designer and Stylist for the past eight years, I've come to believe that in this day age, us creative folk need to have a strong social presence to succeed in our industries. Word of mouth and a good reputation are no longer enough. Employers, clients, colleagues and fellow costume/fashion fanatics want to see your work in all of its glitzy glory. That might be to check out your credentials for a job, see current examples of your work, even see if you have your own fan base (yes, a fan base.) Or perhaps fellow costumiers/stylists want to see their competition(don't deny it - we all do it).
Whether we like it or not, having a visual presence online is vital to building a career as a designer or any artist for that matter. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying without a website you will fail but I bet you'll find a lot more success if you have a well-established virtual self. Networking plays a massive part in a creative's life (as most of us are freelancers) so why not use the power of the web and social media to help you do so?
There’s no doubt about it, building and maintaining your presence online does take time, but once you've done the initial leg work its pretty easy. You're probably thinking, on top of your busy working schedule(designing, buying, altering costumes 'til 4am, 16 hour shoot days, breaking down scripts, meetings, editing photos, etc etc.. , you also have to make time to update your digital self. Scary? It doesn't have to be. We now all have the ability to connect to the cyber realm via our phones at the click of a button or the tap of a screen...
It's usually the first stop for any interested employer as there they can gauge whether you're suitable for the job. Some fellow designers I know have their websites built and run for them. That’s fine if you're willing to pay the money, but remember this does then also restrict the control you have and how regularly you can update it.
There are so many great providers online now to, allowing you to "Build your own Website" and they really are pretty easy to use. I use MoonFruit, there are endless options to play around with, and you can make it as simple or as complicated as you like. Other providers are; Mr. Site, Wicks, Photo- Deck, SquareSpace - the list is endless. Play around with trials and see which one suits you best. Plus, most of these website providers offer predesigned templates if you don't want to start from scratch. If the task is still quite daunting to you, my suggestion is get someone, ideally a friend in the know(they are cheaper!) to help you build the site and teach you how to update it, then it's still in your control.
Make sure the site tells viewers what you do and the services you provide on the first page. Then within your website (ppeaking from a designer's point of view) you should really have an up to date CV, gallery, blog and clear contact details (usually you can set up an email account through your website provider e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org).
Does anyone really understand it? All I know is, its probably one of the best(if not the best) online tools for self promotion and networking. It's a way of connecting with clients and fellow creatives. I have been approached about several jobs in the past via twitter - so it definitely works.
Use twitter to share what you're up to, discuss which production you're working on, who you're working with or just to simply voice your opinion.
A powerful way of getting your posts seen is to use hash tags (#). These magical symbols suddenly allow your little tweet to be seen by thousands more people. Use them well and virtual doors shall open.
With Twitter and most of the apps we use on a day-to-day basis, they can all be linked together to share things quicker. Cutting down on the time you spend in the cyber world. If you look online you can find application like HootSuite and Tweetdeck, allowing you to link your social media profiles together for easier viewing and updating and scheduling in your posts in advance. If you know you're going to be busy on set all day, schedule in a tweet that morning, then you won't have to do it on the job.
Another great feature is that your app feeds can be embedded onto your website, making yourself and the services you provide more accessible to a wider audience and client base. Obviously it's up to you how active you are in the virtual worlds, find out what suits you. I have my twitter feed on my homepage. But if you prefer you could simply put a link button to take your website visitors to that particular page.
Why? Because it's all about the imagery! We creatives are said to generally respond better to more visual stimulation, and I for one will vouch for that. Plus it's an excuse to take pictures of pretty things and play around with filters! AND now you can also create videos: which is a whole new level of fun - especially if you're left with time to spare on a job.
Similar to twitter, you can use hash tags to promote and share your posts. But unlike twitter, within in the Instagram app you can choose to share your post onto other applications like twitter, facebook & Tumblr(I'll touch on these later). This is another way to condense the time you spend "socialising".
Instagram is also a wonderful App for self promotion of your work. For example, a make-up artists can post pictures of the faces they have recently painted, stylists can promote brands they have borrowed from or hair stylists can upload a "how to" video on the latest celebrity hairstyle trends.
Facebook is probably the app we all know the most about as the majority of the worlds population has a profile on it.
In my experience, the advice I would give would be to keep your profile private and not use it as a form of public promotion. Instead, set up a Facebook Page which you can use for business and promotion. They are easy to set up but you need to decide if it is something that you personally will benefit from. For example a Facebook page is something that could benefit a you if you're setting up a company dealing with alterations or even bridal wear - it's an app best used for businesses. Photographers also seem to benefit well from a regularly updated Facebook Fan page.
With the increased popularity of the site, it has become more common for employers to view a potential employees' LinkedIn page. This is because friends, colleagues and companies can endorse a person for their skills, acting as both CV and reference. The more endorsements you have, the more successful you appear to the outside world.
The whole idea of the site is to expand your professional profile and to help you reach others within your industry. It's also brilliant for people seeking a new job as LinkedIn will send you "Recommended Jobs" based on the skills-set you give them and your previous work experience. When inputting your work experience you can link each job with the said company you were employed by(as long as they are on LinkedIn too) which can only help promote your work and skills further.
LinkedIn is worth setting up and it doesn't need very much upkeep, only when you want to update what you're working on. It's well worth having a presence on this particular network, especially as a fee. One last thing you should know about LinkedIn is that it tells you which other members have
Sorry I haven't posted in a looooooong time.. Works been crazy busy. So I haven't had enough time to sit down and write a blog entry. Right now I should be compiling some expenses, but instead I thought I would write an over due blog entry while consuming an entire bag of chocolate buttons.. yes that’s a whole bag!
So last week I was designing the costumes for the Commercial and promo for the second series of the worldwide National Geographic show called "Scam City" with Conor Woodman...
In the program Conor travels the world finding scams and unveiling them through hidden cameras.
So with the commercial they wanted to capture elements from different cities.
So we had a New York back street, a New Orleans Mardi Gras scene, a London Roof top bar & a Singapore bedroom.
It was great fun creating looks for all the Mardi Gras revelers. I found a brilliant headpiece thanks to the wonderful team at The Costume Studio.
The Little black dress company supplied me with a beautiful dress for our leading lady.
The commercial should be out in the next few weeks, so keep your eyes peeled.. Obviously I will share when I can.. but for now here’s some pics from the day i managed to grab!