Dear Shaded Viewers,
This is super exciting I’ve not been able to talk about it for over a year but imagine having Daniel Day Lewis as your intern? That is exactly what happened with Marc Happel, Director of Costumes at the New York City Ballet. It is a really funny story but one day Marc called Sara Mearns, a principal dancer at the New York City Ballet and said you have to stop by the atelier and meet my new intern. He was very insistent and Sara thought that was a bit strange as it was his new intern…anyway she dropped by and nearly dropped when she saw Daniel Day Lewis sitting behind a sewing machine. I was dying to have Marc talk about this experience when he gave a master class at ASVOFF 9 but it was all under wraps. Now…it is out. Here is an exclusive interview with Marc Happel about training Day-Lewis for Phantom Thread:
DP: How did it come about?
MH: I was originally contacted by the costume designer for Phantom Thread who is a friend of mine.
DP: How long was he interning with you?
MH: We worked together off and on for almost a year. During the summer months we had an intense period of work researching and making an exact copy of a Balenciaga day dress.
DP: What was it like having the iconic director(actor)as your ’student’?
MH: As we quickly became friendly with each other comparing notes on life in London(I had spent some time there as a bartender in my younger days), it was all quite natural. He was very eager to learn everything he could about the ins and outs of dressmaking, down to the exact way you handle straight pins, always showing an incredible respect to the art.
DP: What exactly were you teaching him?
MH: Everything possible to make it look as natural as possible during filming. He was of course aware that you don’t become a dressmaker in a few months but wanted to become at ease cutting fabric, handling tools of the trade, sewing from the most basic to more complicated examples.
DP: and anything else you want to add?
MH: It was a very rewarding experience for me, watching someone observe what I take for granted sometimes.
What I didn’t know until I read the article in Indewire was that the film is based on Charles James which makes it even better, Charles James was the designer that inspired me to be a designer back in the day when I had my own brand.
Phantom Thread will be released Christmas in the states.