Once the gowns are prepared, Clayton dons them and completes the look with accessories, makeup, and the attitude of the character that inspired her to make the gowns.
Angela Clayton, 23, has been in the news many times thanks to her affinity for historical fashion and costumery. But what makes the young woman stand out from her others is the fact that she sews her own garments to recreate exquisite looks fit for royalty. Now the projects that she undertakes are no joke as they involve an incredible amount of skill and patience to design and create complicated ruching, bodice, and hand applique work. Once the gowns are prepared, Clayton dons them and completes the look with accessories, makeup, and the attitude of the character that inspired her to make the beautiful dress in the first place.
She seemed to have a natural knack for the art as creating complex patterns just took three years of sewing practice to achieve. Clayton is mostly self-taught thanks to the interest that hosts a treasure of tutorials about anything and everything. Apparently, she was interested in creating cosplay looks but eventually, she decided to combine her love of makeup, photography, dressing up, and creativity. "I was into cosplay, making costumes, or wearing costumes to conventions, and I couldn't afford the costumes that were available online," she shared.
"I was like, 'Oh, I'll make mine! That will be great and easy!' It really wasn't but I really enjoyed it. Then I stopped wearing costumes to conventions, but I continued making the costumes because I enjoyed the sewing aspect of it. I decided to just give myself more freedom for focusing on historical projects and original design," she added. The Long Island resident uploads tutorials of her creations on YouTube which is viewed by thousands of people. This in turn helps her earn money to pay for the materials that are required to prepare the dresses.
According to New York Post, Clayton said she began these historic looks after watching The Borgias. "I fell in love with the costumes and decided to re-create them," she shared during the 2017 interview where she expressed her desire to design costumes for movies and theater. But to her dismay, her dream job seems to be out of reach. "I would like to be a dressmaker to kings and queens in Renaissance times," shared the then 19-year-old who has never seen the movie Crimson Peak but created a dress inspired by it.
The 2015 film, which is set in the Victorian era, conducted an exhibition of its costumes, and this piqued Clayton's interest. "My dress is based on a pattern in a magazine from the 1890s," she said about one of her creations which took $70 and three weeks to complete. "Everyone hates watching historical shows [and movies] with me. I’ll say, 'There’s a button [on that dress], but it should be an eyelet!'" Clayton is inspired by everything, including renaissance art and Disney princess. She has even recreated the ensemble in Raphael and Giulio Romano's painting which took her 35 hours.
When asked how long it takes her to sew a typical customer, she told Cosmopolitan, "It depends on the project. I have one that I've been working on since January and I'm still not done with it, but I hopefully will be finishing it soon. And I have others that I've made in a week or three days. It depends on how elaborate the costume is and how much time I am willing to invest in it." While sewing these dresses, Clayton came to an important realization to skip college. "I am more interested in getting hands-on experience because a lot of the jobs in the costume world require four years of experience in a workshop. I would rather go straight into that if I can instead of spending four years at school," she explained.
Cover image source: Instagram | angelacostumery