UK wardrobe managers go from Downton Abbey and Star Wars to clinical uniforms


CHIPPING CAMDEN, England, Apr 10 (Reuters) – Seamstresses who make the clothes actors wear in productions from Downton Abbey to Game of Thrones and Batman have joined forces to make disposable clothing for doctors who are battling the coronavirus outbreak.

Working from kitchens, hangars, and attics across the country, the team is making uniforms for medical personnel.

Dulcie Scott, who was in charge of the costumes in the BBC adaptation of Philip Pullman’s “His Dark Materials,” is helping lead the effort with a material buyer who once worked on a medical film.

Currently, some 150 costume makers are making the garments, including people who worked on productions like Star Wars, Outlander, and Doctor Who.

“It has gone far beyond what I would have ever imagined,” Scott told Reuters. “The most phenomenal and world-class network of seamstresses is helping us.”

The Pullman series is known as HDM, initials the group used to call itself Helping Dress Medics.

A fundraising campaign was also launched (https://www.gofundme.com/f/helping-dress-medics) for £ 1,500 ($ 1,900) to obtain the materials.

In two weeks it has raised more than £ 44,000 and about 6,000 kits are being produced. In one case, a curtain maker donated fabric, while factory bosses forced to close due to the outbreak are working to cut the material.

“It seems brilliant to me and restores my faith in people, I think it is wonderful,” Scott said. “But it also breaks your heart to see that this need exists.”

Scott delivered his first set to a woman in a nearby town, coinciding just as people publicly applauded the work of the medical staff.

The outbreak of the new coronavirus has fueled an increase in demand for everything from respirators to disposable clothing, and has prompted companies like Rolls-Royce, Formula One teams, soldiers and individual volunteers to fill the gaps.

Scott and his team are being applauded by the actors and screenwriters they once worked for.

“Bis!” Tweeted Hugh Bonneville, the actor who played Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham, on the historical series Downton Abbey. “Well done!” Said Pullman.

(Report and written by Kate Holton; edited in Spanish by Carlos Serrano)