Category Archives: Tailoring

Custom Irish Dance Costumes: BYU

Have you witnessed “Christmas Around the World”?? Absolutely stunning. BYU Folk Dance Program’s amazing production had me in tears during several of the performances (the Samba, in particular– ask me about it sometime and I’ll try to describe how amazing it is– and the Irish dance, of course, had my DNA vibrating at a particularly high frequency).

 

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THESE are the new Irish Dance costumes our shop made for these dedicated lovelies.

All-star performances from everyone and great leadership from champion Irish dance captain Victoria Ringer, Folk Dance faculty Jeanette Geslison and wardrobe manager Amy Handy. The program decided it was time for a costume redesign with a sparkly new look and feel, and we were thrilled to work with them to produce these.

 

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Mesmerizing, in performance at BYU’s Marriot Center

 

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Early prototype skirt in production. With mint green lycra underneath and sparkle netting. It was nixed when they decided their netting added too much fullness.

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Cutting circle skirts. You can usually identify which patterns our shop develops. Years ago. I bought a giant roll of red paper and we’ve been using it ever since.

 

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Sleeves. Being cut in three sizes.

 

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Tops of the bodysuits with zippers installed, inside out and ready for the black shorts to be attached. I loved how they reminded me of pelts.

 

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Fluffy skirts! 2 layers of mint silk chiffon over silver sparkle lycra.

 

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Yaz and Diane. Rhinestoning necklines.

 

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Diane. Ever methodical about her work.

 

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Fantastic attention to placement and detail by Diane and Yaz…

 

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Backstage at the Marriot Center for the Performing Arts-

 

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With Annie!

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So psyched (and grateful) that Eliza Crosby and Annie could come to dress rehearsal! Champion Highland Dancer Annie getting her pic taken with the whole BYU Scottish troupe. And me, too, — because of the Scots-Irish thing, of course…

 

Extra love to good elf helpers Eliza Crosby,Diane Thompson, Yazmine Tatiana and Michelle Marie. My superstars:) xo

 

Happy holidays everyone!

Custom Boots and Spats: Kris Kringle the Musical

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Holy tap-dancing elves!

In 2015 we made a bunch of custom elf boots as well as some elf SPATS for Ohio production and costume designer Inda Blatch-Geib. She designed the new production, Kris Kringle the Musical, that premiered Friday, December 4th 2015 in Olmsted Falls.

 

Thank you Inda for giving McGrews a nice shout out in The Akron Beacon Journal http://www.ohio.com/entertainment/kerry-clawson/kris-kringle-is-a-rich-magical-world-of-color-texture-for-akron-costume-designer-1.643784

 

These stage production pics are from http://www.kriskringlethemusical.com/photos.html

 

 

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The ones in front are boots. The rest are SPATS worn over their tap shoes!

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Great assistant and good helper elf, Peri C.  showing off our hard work!!

 

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A visitor is unexpectedly asked to model some boots in progress-

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Custom Superhero Costume: Littlest Wonder Woman – Josh Rossi Photography

Famous Photographer, Famous Daughter

 

 

A project that’s had 33 million views and counting as of January 2017.

 

When Jessica Alba, George Takei, plus even the new Wonder Woman film director Patty Jenkins are talking about your work, trust us, it’s pretty cool.

 

McGrew Studios and Josh Rossi Photography have wanted to work together on a project for several years, and at last we finally have!

 

10/20/2016

 

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The convergence of his daughter Nellee’s 3rd birthday,  the 75th anniversary of Wonder Woman, Halloween 2016, plus the new Wonder Woman movie trailer all culminated in a personal project for Josh that hit viral status within just several days.  As Josh told KSL TV in an interview at our studio, “All the trending buttons have been hit with both the timing and subject matter of his project,” (not to mention Full Time Photographer‘s original click-bait article title that waves a design and labor rate in readers’ faces).

 

 

Josh’s project has generated a BIG range of discussion, contention, admiration and even scorn– throughout comment threads on all the websites that have reposted the project or created their own new features about it.

 

At McGrews, we are naturally just agog at all this activity and very proud to have played our role in this fantastic project.

 

Some of the videos, articles and links:

 

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Nellee is one cool, three-year old superhero!

 

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Costume made by McGrews’ cartel members Jennifer McGrew with Diane Thompson, plus custom sword and shield by Randy Crit Killen. We love how great Josh’s photos make our work look:)

 

We made Nellee’s costume using several types of leathers along with worbla details, lacing, grommets and a variety of trimmings. We designed her leather bodice to be adjustable in the back as well as on the sides, because she will grow fast!

 

Her leather skirt pieces are sewn onto their own waistband which is attached under the bodice, and this whole element is alterable so it can also be adjused as she grows. Nelee’s armored spats lace up over her boots and should also endure two or more shoe-size increases. We made Nellee’s shoulder straps expandable, and for adjustability over time,  plus created her pauldrons to slide on her straps.

 

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Something Josh brought up after the KSL interview at our shop was the idea of creating and marketing patterns for kids’ costumes. Based on the overwhelming response to this project’s release on the web, it’s something we may seriously consider.

 

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We wanted this costume to be something that replicates the cinematic version and something that she’ll enjoy for a long time. We predict she may wear it until she is five or older!

 

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Would you like a pattern for this Wonder Woman costume that you could create for your own 2-4 year old? Tell us what you think.

 

Tags:

wonder woman toddler photography surreal kid photography child photography comic con photography comic con cosplay cosplay fashion wonder woman outfit marvel costume DC comics wonder woman costume dad spends $1500 on daughters costume josh rossi photography full time photographer

Props and effects wizard Crit Randy Killen’s process photos.
He made Nellee’s Wonder Woman sword and shield.

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Crit even made a cool bag for Nellee’s sword and shield.

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Johnny Killen helped his dad, Crit, with this project.

 

 

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Sword and shield delivered to Josh!

 

Follow and see more from Crit on Facebook-

Barf Pockets

Definitely as awesome as they sound.
Sometimes all a costume needs are the final detailed additions– in this case, new POCKETS!

Heroically, two pairs of khaki trousers sacrificed themselves to become the new pockets and dropseat we added to Bill’s existing coveralls.  Now he is the essence of “Barf” from Mel Brooks’ hilarious Spaceballs film.

Thanks, Bill for having us make your new pockets and for sharing your photos.

May the schwartz be with you!

Photos: Mark Loertscher Photography

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Custom Pageant Gowns: 16th Century Miss Italy

Custom 16th century dress for the lovely Jami Solveig Cirone, Miss Italy/Miss Multiverse 2015.
http://missmultiverse.com/ 

 

The pageant’s historic/cultural segment showcases the contestants in costumes that pay homage to their national and cultural heritage. This dress we made helps Jami honor hers.

 

 

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The gown has more than 12 yards of burgundy velvet in it plus a number of silks and laces. We cartridge pleated five whole widths of velvet (more than 260″ total inches at the waist) onto Jami’s teeny 23″ waistband. We made two petticoats and a hip roll to develop her incredible silhouette and topped it with a hand embroidered bodice. She has hanging sleeves plus quilted sleeves that lace onto her bodice. Within her bodice we installed quite a number of steel stays, lacing stays and grommets. Our hand detailing on the outside includes numerous brass beads and jewels, freshwater pearls, fabric flowers, lace trimmings plus exquisite custom brooches by artist David Powell: @POWELLARTSWORKSHOP on Instagram.

 

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Together we looked at many examples of period dresses, hairstyles and ornamentation in museum costume books plus portraits of notable Italian women.

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David’s wax carvings, ready to be cast in bronze.

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Prepped to cast multiples at one time:

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Freshly cast bronze brooches before they are cleaned up and polished.

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Photography session with Simon Blundell:  http://simonfoto.com/
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Brilliant hair and makeup by Amber Pearson. http://amberpearson.net/

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On display for a time in the parlour of our Pierpont Avenue location.

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Incroyables Coat: Rock Star Clothing

Custom tailoring for Douglas Hunter, a Salt Lake music legend and one of PorchFest‘s founders.  An Incroyables coat in electric blue corduroy with blue leopard fur.
We adore Hunter and the way he looks here in Simon Blundell‘s photos.

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Les-Incroyables

Costume historians differ a bit on the subject of the Incroyables, but generally agree that the wild fashion trends of this hipster-punk subculture developed in reaction to the Reign of Terror, 1793–1794, when even aristocrats’ servants and others merely associated with aristocrats could be and were being executed.  We are told that the giant lapels, shaggy haircuts, bows and scarves of the Incroyables should be understood as an exaggerated mockery or aping of aristocratic fashion.  Wikipedia reminds us that “Incroyable was an 18th-century French nickname for a yo-yo, then a fashionable toy.” The women’s (Merveilleuses’) fashions spawned even more talk and scandal.

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Mini-Me

We tailored a custom suit for Mini-Me.
Yes, that Mini Me. Mr. Verne Troyer himself.

 

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Utah computer hardware giant Fusion IO hired Verne to help them announce their new product at a major tech convention, and they wanted him costumed thusly.

 

However, Mr.Troyer did not own a Mini Me costume. The Austin Powers films by this time were already over 11 years old and any costume pieces that might have been saved from those movies were long gone, unavailable for rental.

 

So Fusion hired us to create one. A custom jacket and trousers.  I was super excited, expecting to have Mr. Troyer in the shop with us to hang out, sign some headshots and take a bunch of fun selfies, etc. But that never happened.

 

The only thing the producer gave me was a sheet of measurements. They were fairly complete but also absolutely unbelievable. I couldn’t find out who had taken them or when they were taken. There was no shop info or tailor’s phone number in L.A. to call to confirm anything.

 

Nervewrackingly, I made the outfit, duplicating the iconic Mini-Me costume from the films, scratching my head the whole time, saying, “this can’t be right, this can’t be right.” But it was.

 

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The producers picked it up, paid their balance, and went on their way. I checked in with them about a week later and they told me the suit looked fantastic, that Mr. Troyer loved it, and that he wanted one of his own to wear in case he was asked to appear again as the Mini-Me character.
“Great,” I said, could you put me in touch with his management?” And they said they would, and then things got busy and well, yeah it never happened.

 

I wondered why they didn’t just give Mr. Troyer the costume as a thank-you takeaway. Like, who else would it have possibly fit? The measurements corresponded to a few standard toddler sizes but there would definitely have been some issues. I’ve always wondered if someone at Fusion took the costume home and dressed up their kid as Mini Me for Halloween! I guess I’ll just never know.

 

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Fusion IO’s YouTube video was shot live. It’s a film inside a film.  The video’s aspect ration is vertical and doesn’t showcase the great technical details and fit of the costume. We never did get any still photos of Mr. Troyer wearing it. But we are nonetheless very proud of this project.

 

Through custom tailoring and styling, my staff and I have dressed many celebrities and models. We’re usually quiet about these events, honoring the trade we are in and its long tradition of discretion.  I don’t think I’ve publicly talked about the story of Mr. Troyer before.  Dredging up files from old hard drives results in this sort of reflection, as well as other thoughts.

 

And these involve telling you a sort of cautionary tale about how you should be careful what you ask for.

 

Around 2004, I was moving our original Pierpont Avenue studio from its loft space to downstairs into a newly available storefront. It was pretty exciting. On impulse one day at a second-hand store, I bought a babydoll with a squeeze feature in his tummy. He’d say one of several pre-recorded things. “I love you.” “Nighty-night.” Or, “hehehehehe.” It was, in truth, a little creepy and visitors sometimes freaked when they saw or heard him. He hung on a peg in fairly plain view, and the key to our basement was attached around his little neck.

 

My idea was that we needed an official key that everyone could always identify, find quickly, and that wouldn’t get accidentally locked downstairs or get lost. This little doll was like our hall pass.  “Grab Verne and follow me,” I’d shout sometimes, “we have to go find those doublets or that file or whatever in the basement.”

 

We’ve since moved from our Pierpont Avenue shop. At our new location, our shop’s basement doesn’t have a lock at the top of its stairs. But I still have Verne. He’s a keepsake. He’s worn a number of different costumes over the years, including a tuxedo vest first sported by a bottle of fancy whisky, given to us by a client.

 

Our Verne is silent now, his squeeze-y talking device batteries long depleted, the whole apparatus dissected from the zippered opening on his back long ago. A few years back, Sora, one of our most awesome interns, lovingly sharpied in his third eye. Our old basement key is still attached around his neck. He still hangs on a peg. This time in my office.  I’ve reflected often over the years about the vagaries of sympathetic magic, but have never experienced a better example of its wily nature.

 

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