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Wardrobe: Prince in Waiting

We'd be the first to admit that the majority of our costume work is designed with a femme silhouette in mind. However, the Prince in Waiting is an exploration of 18th Century men's tailoring and embroidery. Designed for a character who is masquerading as the Prince Regent but secretly the Once and Future King, Arthur, the character's history is depicted through a series of 23 heraldic emblems starting at the back of the collar and stretching down the length of the C18th custom-dyed velvet gentlemen's cutaway coat and along the hem to the back vents.
As this is a confidential commission, exact details of the heraldry and coat cannot be publicly revealed at this time, however, the client has agreed to allow us to reveal non-confidential details and images to you.
Research for the Prince in Waiting was led by the client's specifications and conducted over the autumn of 2022. In addition to compiling visual references, we also visited the Manchester Art Gallery's Dandy Style: 250 years of British Men’s Fashion exhibition with the client to gain a closer look at extant examples from the 18th Century.
A historically accurate pattern for the coat itself was drafted using Elizabeth Friendship's 'Pattern Cutting for Men's Costume' and a toile constructed for a first fitting. The toile and pattern were adjusted after the first fitting and re-fitted, and a custom 18th Century embroidery pattern was developed for the character in conjunction with the client's specifications with regard to the heraldic emblems and with the aide of Gail Marsh's '18th Century Embroidery Techniques'.
A sample book of dyed fabric was created based on the pantone shade chosen by the client, and provided to them. They selected their preferred dye blend and the 6 metres of cotton required by the pattern was dyed in three batches, resulting in a completely even match across all of the batches.
We made a collapsible 1m x 1.5m embroidery frame to fit the coat front pattern - the largest section to be embroidered. The smaller pieces fitted onto an embroidery frame we already had from earlier projects. The pieces to be embroidered were mounted onto the appropriate frame, and a paper copy of the full design was stitched onto the fabric before the hand-embroidery process began.
The design was stabilised by completing the longer stitch elements of the repeating rose and vine motif. Once this was completed, the metallic thread elements were added next, followed by the small leaf motif that runs the length of the jacket front and edges the pockets. The roses and leaves were filled in next, before the separately stitched heraldic emblems were added as era-appropriate patches. These provided a textural depth to the design.
Finally, the pattern pieces were cut out and the coat was constructed and shipped to the client.

100% cotton velvet, custom dyed to the client's specifications, lined with 100% cotton twill. Two integral C18th pockets. Custom hand-embroidered design executed with silk and metallic thread. Custom decorative buttons.
Dry-Clean only.

Not currently available to hire. If you would like us to work on a similar project for you, please email:

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