When The Commander in Chief uniforms needed updating and improving her manager contacted me to make them. CIC had relocated to Berkshire and it made sense to come to me instead of travelling all the way to Los Angeles, where she had her previous costumes made. I’m told that the previous uniforms were made by the same person that made Michael Jacksons’ so I had some big shoes to fill.
The uniforms needed to be made so they could be cleaned as well as giving CIC the full range of movement that she needed to play. Drawing on my experience with military costumes for Opera Australia, I mocked up a design incorporating all that she needed and wanted in her new uniform.
I felt we should downsize some of the features to flatter her petite frame so they didn’t overwhelm her. I redesigned the lace ties at her wrists, replacing it with her signature 7 stripes of gold braid. I suggested the v shape to flatter and highlight her hands as well as staying simple and not bulky, so they wouldn’t get in the way of playing the guitar. I had custom made logos made on gold bullion that we used on the collar and hat. We also carried through the theme of “7” with stars on the collar and epaulettes.
Our fittings evolved over time, it started out as just the one jacket and by the end of the order I had made:
I even made a couple of small pins for her to switch around to dress each jacket up.