Monday, February 22, 2010

I won - The CAT Awards "Best Costume Designer" for The Wizard of Oz

On Saturday afternoon we travelled to Canberra (Australia's capital city) for the CAT Awards (Canberra Area Theatre Awards) as I was nominated late last year for 'Best Costume Designer" for a Musical' for the production of The Wizard of Oz. It's nearly a year ago since I started work as the Creative Director, costume & set designer. There were fifty five theatre groups from around the country participating in the Cat Awards and seven nominations for Costume Designer

...... and on Saturday night, I won......

"Best Costume Designer for a Musical Award"

The Cat Awards

I was truly honoured to receive this award, I loved working with all the wonderful children in the show and many creative parents from our local theatre group SHYAC. I walked up onto the stage in front of over 1000 people and with super dooper spot lights following my every move, well I was nervous, my legs went to jelly and I forgot everything that I wanted to say.

Our Wizard of Oz Musical

I had designed over six hundred costumes and accessories for the show and they were produced in a workshop across the road from our furniture business. There were so many amazing people that helped me put it all together and this award is for everyone that helped put this fabulous show together.

I know many of you followed me through the production of the show via my blog last year, but if you haven't seen what we did here is a selection of the costumes .

There were two main casts so I had to produce two Dorothy costumes, two lions, two scarecrows, two tin men, one Glinda (the good witch), Auntie Em, Uncle Henry, Hunk, Hickory and Zeke and Miss Gulch. We had one wicked witch, one witch of the east, Professor Marvel, 40 Munchkins, Munchkin Mayor, three Munchkin Councillors, The Coroner, three Lullaby League ballet dancers, three Lollipop guild dancers, thirty Tornado costumes, ten Guards, seventy Jitterbug costumes, seventy poppies costumes, ten flying monkeys, three apple tree costumes, seventy Emerald City costumes including the Emerald City Doorman, The Wizard's Guard and of course ....The Wizard of Oz

Above in the workshop the Emerald City costumes hang on the the rack and above right, Glinda's costume, I had little spot fairy lights attached to her costume and her crown which were connected to a little battery pack hidden inside. As she arrived on stage under a cloud of bubbles she glowed and twinkled, the little children in the audience all let out a sigh as they jumped up on their chairs to see more. It was a wonderful sight to see..

I used anything I could get my hands on, fabrics, coloured garbage bags, vintage tablecloths, artificial flowers, netting, ribbons, string, feathers, bling and more....

Colour, colour and more colour for Munchkin Land and the children loved all their costumes

I spent months running through second hand stores, I pulled old dresses apart and made hats out of anything and everything, I used tablecloths as aprons, I used streamers as skirts and painted white shirts with red paint & glitter for the Jitterbug scene below right.

My scarecrow was made from old weathered hessian and one of my favourite raffia umbrellas .

The lion was made from local Alpaca wool, which was perfect.

This is the poppies scene above where I designed the costumes with wonderful coloured scented garbage bags, we sewed twenty bags onto a piece of ribbon for each costume and they moved and floated so beautifully as the children danced. I can't tell you how many people have run me over the last year to see how I made them. Great, easy costume to make and a perfect tutu if worn around the waist.

Me above in the workshop sorting all the costumes, every child was a different size and shape and keeping track of all the costumes was a huge job in it's self.

My three apple trees left and the tornado scene above right, I had this wonderful roll of interesting cobweb style plastic and tinsel they they all danced with to created the wind.

Some favourites: The three Munchkin Councillors and the Lullaby league dancers

Above: My Thomas being fitted in his Lion outfit, another garbage bag poppy, the bags were such brilliant colours and the guards killing the witch at the Emerald City

Emerald City Salon above, the little hats were made from cushions covers and by the way, did I mention that we had a tiny budget as well, too small to even mention. Everyone that helped sew and created the costumes did it because they loved being involved.

My Thomas the Lion again, Thomas was the whole reason I worked on the show and I just loved working with him, he had so many wonderful ideas and he made many of the props for the show. Thank you my darling, you were such a inspiration.

Photographs above: Coty Farquhar, Mark Kelly & Andrew Farquhar


  1. Coty... Congratulations!!
    How wonderful that you received this acknowledgement for all your clever talent and hard work.!

    These costumes are amazing.. something else.. I can't believe those poppies are made from scented garbage bags.. so not only beautiful but smelling good too!! haha.. I know the ones you mean.. they will never seem the same to me now...

    Well every image is fantastic as usual.. that little girl in the 2 tones of pink really pops out in each image...and Thomas looks fantastic!!! Thomas the lion! Ok... a lot of fun.. Your award is so well deserved.. Have fun xx Julie

  2. Oh Coty!! Congratulations!! I know you deserved this! I remember when you first started talking about working on this monumental task. I so very mucy wish I could see them in person--you know I am partial to the Wizard of Oz :) I am SO excited for your recogition! Thanks for sharing the news and the pictures! Now I am going back to look again...and again!

  3. Wow, just looking back at all your talent, time and commitment to such a beautiful production, it's no wonder you won! Coty, I'm so happy for you! Bravo my dear, bravo!
    I loved our visit this weekend. My best from our family to yours. xoxo Lisa

  4. Coty,
    So well deserved...CONGRATS!! What fun, and all look wonderful, but of course, the poppies have to be a favorite. And what a beautiful job you did of presenting the photos.

  5. Coty, congratulations! you are so very talented and creative. The choices you made are perfect!

  6. Truly wonderful - you are sooo talented. Those costumes were AMAZING. Our school is doing My Fair Lady this year i wish you were there to do it! Pop over if you have time as i am having a giveaway you just might like :) Mel xx

  7. Well done Coty- I can understand why Julie is so inspired by you! Great work! Wonderful costumes for a classic production that is still sooooo dear to my heart too...

  8. oh dear twin I could not be more proud!! Your pictures are a feast to look at and you deserve every price you can get...since you are my twin!!

  9. Congratulations, Coty! I'm so pleased that you've received this very public affirmation of your extraordinary creative gifts.

    Your photographs are dazzling (as always), and they're beautifully organized and presented. I think you're absolutely brilliant!


  10. Extraordinary images! Congrats on such an amazing accomplishment!!!

  11. Congratulations to you, Coty. I can't even begin to imagine a more deserving person.

    You have the ability within you to create beauty and magic, and you so openly share it with everyone.

    I am just back to work this week. It had been so long since I felt like visiting anyone, and I really missed everyone very much.

  12. Congratulations, well deserved. What a mammonth effort you undertook.

    Love your blog, love your styling, it is all divine.

  13. This couldn't have gone to a more deserving Winner - hooray for Coty, her amazing talent, creativity & warm, generous heart!
    Millie ^_^

  14. Congratulations, Coty! Hooray, this was such a huge commitment, and undertaking. Well deserved, each one of the costumes is fun, individually and beautifully creative, and just perfect! xoxo Lidy

  15. Congratulations Coty. One could see in your posts alraidy that it was to be of high quality. You deserve this. Will you do it again ?

  16. Wow! No wonder I haven't seen you for so long - You deserve this wonderful recognition for the millions of hours you put in - To my wonderfully creative and extraordinarily talented friend Congratulations! Any chance of a catch up sometime soon? Lots of Love Mandy xxx

  17. Oh, Coty, I am so thrilled for you! Your creativity is awesome and awe-inspiring. You inspire me each time I walk through your blog. There's just something in the air that touches us all. I was just telling my husband that the one thing that keeps me blogging are the people I've met. Here's a bottle of virtual champagne to celebrate!

  18. Oh...forgot to say...CONGRATS on your well deserved!!! :-)

  19. are amazing! What wonderful costumes! Your talents are truly endless! I love this movie, as a child...watched it EVERY year! :-)

  20. Congratulations, Coty! A well deserved award and recognition for your amazing talent. The costumes are absolutely beautiful!

    I love the Wizard of Oz. Your photographs showcasing the performers and costumes are fabulous!

    ~ Tracy


Your comments and emails truly make my day a very special one. Thank you for dropping by and visiting me at home in Australia, I read every single comment and I treasure each and every one. xxx Coty