WOW Wardrobe Manager, Leonie Trathen, shares her top tips for designers to consider whilst creating their garment. 

Leonie’s Top Tips!

Vision is my number one safety concern. 

When designing your garment there are a number of factors to consider –

  • stage lighting is very different to home or studio lighting; it is much brighter and there is a lot more of it
  • your model needs to have 2 out of the 3 vision fields; peripheral, central and ground (ability to see from your feet to 1.5m ahead)
  • jewels around the eye area can create a kaleidoscope effect and make it difficult for the model to see
  • if you have some sort of lens covering the eyes, make sure it is not reflective or too small or too dark.


The stage can get very warm and movement can also restrict breathing, there needs to be sufficient breathing holes and breathing space in headpieces; insufficient breathing holes can fog up eye coverings and become very dangerous. Balaclavas need to be open or have mesh for the nose, mouth and eyes.


If your garment includes shoes, please use good quality or new shoes, especially if they are high heels. Well-worn shoes can be dangerous or have damaged parts that soon become broken.


Label your garment where it cannot be seen; if that isn’t possible then use a safety pin to attach the label or put the component into a separate bag that is named. If using a pen, we recommend using a laundry marker so the ink doesn’t run or rub off onto garment or skin.

Dressing Instructions:
Provide really clear dressing instructions for every component; photo instructions are very helpful and if you know the height or measurements of your ideal model then please include that information too. If your entry consists of more than one garment, ensure the instructions and labels are very precise as to which garment each component belongs to e.g. Model 1 of 3 floral – right arm piece, model 2 of 3 polka dot – left leg piece, model 3 of 3 pointy shoulders – under top.


Model Requirements: 
We use your model height from the photos you provide as a guide for us to select your show model. If you would prefer a taller or shorter model than the one photographed note this in your dressing instructions e.g. “I was unable to get a model tall enough for my garment, I would prefer it if the dress sat above the knee (my model was 169cm tall & a size 10)”.


Garment Care: 
The WOW Wardrobe team takes the utmost care of each garment. If the components of your garment are not washable, it is very helpful to add under garments or removable sweat pads. And if you have any particular advice about cleaning or maintaining your garment, please include this information with the dressing instructions.


Repair Kits: 
These are worth their weight in gold; please provide wherever possible. If you are unable to send glues, paints, etc., include a paint swatch or provide specific details of the product/s used.


Spare Parts: 
If your entry has pantyhose or similar parts, we recommend sending more than one pair, ideally 3 pairs. Batteries need to last the entire show and rehearsal period so we recommend sending spares.