Monthly Archives: June 2010

Goodbye Emily

Marlies Working Hard

It was with sadness that I read an email from a colleague this morning informing me that she had left the country and that she was not able to say goodbye. Her name is Marlies Meijlink and she taught me a lot as a fellow styling/fashion assistant. Marlies has a degree in fashion design as well as extensive experience in fashion merchandise (e.g. shoes) styling as well as fashion styling. She became my sister mentor on the job when I first started assisting Lenya. It was scary at first because I was always making mistakes being a novice at the job. Marlies was quite patient with me and was willing to help me learn from and fix my errors. We had a great time working together and became quite close especially during film shoots when we would have to spend endless hours together and help Lenya cope with high stress situations.

My fondest memory of Marlies would be when she calmed me down from  a near nervous breakdown. We were on a film shoot and it was claimed that a massive continuity error had been made. Tempers flared and the stress rose to levels beyond high. Marlies being the exceptional person she is sat me down and we went through the call sheets figuring out which costumes had been assigned to characters and which scenes had they been seen in wearing which particular costume. Three hours of calmly going through a gazillion call sheets the error had been fixed. I was forever in debt to her.

Marlies and I in the car to my first ever Fashion Shoot

Marlies and I at Crew Lunch

An exceptionally hard-working and focussed styling and fashion assistant, Marlies has taught me a lot. And in this industry its always a good thing to be friends with your fellow colleagues. We learn a lot from each other if we are. None of this bitchy/catty attitude you see glamourised on fashion reality TV shows or films like The Devil Wears Prada. Funnily enough it was always an in-joke that Marlies was Emily and I was Andy and that Lenya was Miranda. I will miss her sorely.

Genesis M.


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Dandy On Set

As I promised there would be more happy snaps on set. Enjoy!

Wondering whether to bulldog clip Lucy

Rolling up Ed's sleeves

Rugging up James at the 5.30am sunrise set!

I have really enjoyed working on this short film. I worked phenomenally well with the director and we both had a vision for the character’s wardrobe which was executed to the tee. I was sneakily given a preview of the rushes and I wanted to tear up. It’s going to be so beautiful. A post on wrapping and some other shots from set to come soon.
Genesis M.


Filed under Assisting, Film Work

Celluloid Prose

Here are a few happy snaps from the film set of “This Is Not Poetry”. We haven’t wrapped yet but we only have a few more scenes to shoot. I am extremely pleased with how each character is dressed. It’s natural and doesn’t look too ‘stylised’.

With the Cast I had to dress.

I had just finished dressing James

The Bag Lady. Holding everything from clapperboard to costume.

I apologise for the image quality. They were taken on an IPhone. More happy snaps to come! Stay tuned.

Genesis M.


Filed under Assisting, Film Work

Pulling Looks

James. Lucy. Ed. Three different characters who I have to give life to through their costumes/wardrobe. Three very different personalities as written by the director. As I mentioned in my last post I would be doing a short film some time soon and that some time soon is now. The first day of shooting is today. You don’t know how excited I am for this short film…

I am a fashion assistant to a stylist, Lenya Jones. That involves being heavily practiced and learned in the styling process. The styling process isn’t as glamourous or as easy as what you might see on the Rachel Zoe project or some other fashion reality TV show. It’s a lengthy and labourious process. And it differs a little for film because you usually have to hire the fashion for longer depending on the shooting schedule, etc. 

The first step is reading the script and going through references to each characters’ wardrobe and sense of style. After you’ve worked this out, you then meet with the director and discuss the theme and the clothing direction you both want to take. Once that is all worked out, the real task  is getting all the clothes sourced from the different brands you want the characters to be in. Budget must also be taken into account. Sourcing ( known in the industry as ‘pulling’) takes the most time as you usually have to travel all over town pullling looks from different showrooms and stores.

You don’t even have time to put your feet up as the next meeting with the director is due. You present your compilation of fashions to the director and then compile the looks for each character and their scenes. Then shooting begins and you have to be on set, making sure the clothes look right and that they are not damaged. Damaged clothes are a stylist’s and fashion PR company’s worst nightmare! You will tarnish your name in the industry if you build a reputation where you are known to return merchandise damaged and/or stained.

So this is the reason why Dandy Sachs has been a little empty for a few days, I am currently in this process and will have happy snaps for all of you to see very shortly. Till then…

Genesis M.

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Indie Romance

Forget 500 Days of Summer. Forget all that American sap in regards to the first flutterings of your heart. The real deal is called “This Is Not Poetry”. A short film that I am doing costume design for. Yes I know, that’s my second short film. Kudos to me! The film is based on a poem written by the director’s cousin when he was madly in love with a girl. The twist being he went from love to complacency in timespan of zero to one. That’s what were documenting.

Today I had a meeting with the director Raelene Loong and our lead James T. Coffees were had, tall mocha for me (such a Fashion person) and Rae and I discussed our character vision with James. We also talked what clothes/looks I could pull from the actor’s own wardrobe as I only have fifty dollars for budget on this film. You may be surprised but I’m quite the artful bargain and treasure hunter. I believe I can make that fifty dollars go a long way. As a fashion assistant and a costume designer-in-training you have to realise the importance of budget. Everyone knows clothes (quality made) aren’t cheap.

Tomorrow is the production meeting where I get to meet the other actors as well as the other crew. I will also be doing fittings and playing dress ups with all the actors. That’s the fun part and I promise happy snaps. From there I can determine where, when and what to wardrobe shop for. Actors are also harder to dress than models as we have to cater to the character’s personality and the director’s vision of the character.

Has Curiousity the Cat gotten you yet?  Not wanting to reveal too much, the costume I have planned for this short film blends elements as diverse as bad ass boys to Romanticism. The colour palette is warm like autumn and the clothes are in between the juxtaposition of trendy and ‘old skool’. Other than that you are just going to have to wait till the film comes out as well as watch this space for behind-the-scenes stills.

Shooting starts next week!

Leave your unrequited love story assumptions at the door.

Genesis M.

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