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Sunday, 8 March 2015

Vintage Circus Costumes and Clowns

The best thing about my life is that no two days are the same, despite my best efforts to just hibernate in the warm and take photos in my home studio, the unusual offer seems to haunt me like a shadow... and here's just one such instance.

I met the wonderful Ruth from Admiral Costumes on a photo shoot which I helped to style, Ruth had just taken over an established costume hire company not far from me up the country roads.

Ruth had come across a fabulous selection of genuine vintage circus costumes, and thought I might like to have fun with them. When finally we found a young lady small enough to fit into them, I set about building a little set and rummaging around for props. The final part of the jigsaw was finding that our student model Charlotte was best friends with another young lady who is training to be a makeup artist, the girls were fabulous, they really entered into the spirit of it. 










Ruth has been looking into the different types of clowns and we took some ideas from these.

There are four types of clown, there's Auguste who is the fool or joker, he falls over with his big shoes on and has makeup with white round the mouth and eyes which is outlined in black.

Hobo clown is a happy go lucky fellow who is always looking for work, typically he wears a bowler hat and tramp clothing, he has a dirty face due to his constant travelling.

Harlequin clown originated in France and wears an outfit made from triangles of coloured fabric with a ruff at the neck. Harlequin is nimble and performs stunts and acrobatics.

The Pierrot clown wears distinctive black and white and is known for mime.  He is a melancholy dreamer and hides his pain from his audience but reveals only a single tear drop on his cheek, under his eye.

We combined some of these clown ideas to style the showgirl outfits, the sort a bear-back rider would wear and another like a Jeanie.






With the addition of a few feminine touches like ballet shoes and veils, we twisted the idea from a male image to a female performer, albeit a rather sinister one, but I can't help but feel that clowns are a bit scary anyway. 

You can hire any of these items or some just like it from Admiral Costumes. Kerri Victoria Pocknell our MUA can be found through facebook or myself.  Big thanks to Charlotte our model too. 

Send in the clowns, don't worry, they're here...


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