Charles and Patricia Lester have established an international reputation for their work with period costumes that the have designed for films and stage. As film costume designers they have the unique position of being able to design the cloth as well as the designer clothes they make. Each piece of fabric is hand painted, hand printed or pleated by hand, the fabric is then made into romantic period costumes and rare pieces of wearable art. These designer costumes are not made in volume as the time it takes, from the first painting layers of colour onto the cloth to the finished costume, limits the number possible. A select number of wearable art designer costumes are ‘one of a kind’. Even the luxurious accessory collection of shawls and scarves is not produced in any volume. All their designer costumes are as wearable today as they are appropriate for period films.
Fashion designers in the world of film
Having established their identity in the very specialised area of luxury women’s fashion, including their unique bridal collection, plus-size and regular fashion collections, they decided to adapt their skills for designing costumes for the film industry. Their costumes, often straight from their designer collection, have been used in many films. ‘Wings of the Dove’ was their greatest and most successful venture into the world of film and period costume design. Their costumes have however been used in many other period films as well as modern films such as ‘Greenfingers’, starring Helen Mirren, ‘Grumpier Old Men and ‘Great Expectations. Their work has featured in other period films such as ‘Caravargio’ with Tilda Swinton wearing a designer costume by the Lesters and their designer fabrics being used by the costume designer Alex Burne for the period film ‘Hamlet’ directed by Kenneth Branagh.
Film and television designer period costumes.
The Lesters have for many years been producing a couture collection that is sold around the world. Costume design particularly for period films is a recent departure from their normal designer work extending their horizons working for films and the worlds of opera and television costume design. Their unique work as a couture fashion design team is admired and collected by Royalty and icons of the film, opera and pop music world – those who appreciate the aesthetic luxuriant quality of the wearable art pieces that they design for period costume films.
Examples of Film and TV costumes made by Charles and Patricia Lester:
The Wings of the Dove
The Ten Commandments
Belle du Seigneur
These Foolish Things
Jack and the Beanstalk: The Real Story
Grumpier Old Men
Morris: A Life with Bells On