American Duchess Company

8VwR8oOvGeXTTQf8H6+SXUwyvKoEAAAAASUVORK5CYII=There’s no middle man at American Duchess Company. The company manufactures its own line of reproduction historical footwear, specializing in period accuracy.

Lauren was frustrated with the lack of historically accurate footwear available and realized she knew just the person to fill that void. Herself. Every piece is designed and distributed by them in-house with the care of a true enthusiast.

Z-28Ever wonder where Late Night with Jimmy Fallon gets those wild shoes? From American Duchess Company, that’s where. Theirs are hand-crafted 18th-century, Regency, Victorian and Edwardian footwear, as well as shoe designs from the 1920s. From shoe buckles to silk stockings, you’ll also find historically accurate footwear accessories.

American Duchess is based in Reno, Nevada, but shipping is free on orders over $150. Whether for costumes or your personal wardrobe, these beautiful shoes will take you back to another time.


McClintock Eyewear of London

9k=-31Tucked away off a small street in Covent Garden you will find McClintock Eyewear. Artists, actors, and individuals who are drawn to something fresh have always gone to the McClintock Eyewear store.

From handmade spectacles to traditional… well not old-timey traditional eyewear, you can count on his store for choosing usual eyewear designs but with a wonderful style.

I was lucky enough to enjoy the launch party for their newest collection. YMC v Mc Ginn glasses, a collaboration with a designer company and Brian Bonafide McGinn. From Ireland his unique style of handmade spectacles and sunglasses have taken the London scene by storm. (check out the McClintock blog for the history and story behind this designer)

I couldn’t help myself to a fresh new look and had to snap up a pair for myself. They really are quite wonderful. So when in London, whether you are looking for something usual or a great flashy new look, McClintock’s Eyewear is a shop you will want to visit.


Repro Graphic Supply

9k=-32Need a HP DESIGNJET T2300 plotter for your Art Department or next project? Repro-Graphic Supply has a great June Rental deal for you then. Then go  and snap it up soon, it’s while their supplies last.

Repro-Graphic Supply has been serving California for over 50 years and dealing with the Entertainment Industry needs for quite some time now. They have been a great resource for graphic artists and art department around Southern California.

Even if you aren’t looking for this particular item, look at their website and call them for assistance. Their prices are hard to beat and their service is second to none.


Film Art LA

2Q==-38Film Art LA is a great resource for cleared art rentals. Not only are there readily available in-house rentals, but Film Art LA also has as electronic warehouse of cleared images ready for licensing and digital reproduction to your exact specs.

You can get digital fine art reproductions on canvas or paper of masterworks or works from represented artists. They will ship all over the world, so no worries if you’re shooting outside of Los Angeles.

The client list is long and impressive, which is a testament to the quality and service you’ll receive. Browse the website to view the inventory, and while you’re there, check out the Film Art Blog.


Farley Fine Furniture For Hire

2Q==-39The Farley Group of London is a combination of 4 hire houses under one umbrella with separate buildings. Similar to Omega/Cinema Props in Los Angeles, it consists of 4 buildings with distinct inventories.

One is Farley, with it’s elegant Fine Furniture fit for a king. Mark’s new company Farley Fine Furniture is his new company offering hand crafted furniture and accessories for you to decorate your home and office (it’s nice to have a quality provider that’s not just for the movie business).

2Q==-40His focus for the new hire house is primarily on 16th to 18th century European designs. A wonderful addition to the Farley Kingdom.

While propping at Farley’s you will find wonderful pieces from Regent Chandelier’s to fine Hunting Dog sculptures. Props Galore, Spiller and Lewis & Kay offer wonderful props and smalls that will add an elegance to any set.

Their artwork and paintings are also quite the collection and are even known throughout Europe. Under one roof you will find it a great experience with the Farley family.


Seasons Textiles Ltd

tt_176155_c2607-chinese-silk-panelWhat’s a set without drapery and textiles? You’ll be happy to know that Seasons Textiles not only has a varied stock of quilts, runners, cushions, draperies and more, but also a complete sewing department on hand to stitch up whatever you need. Choose from plenty of samples and place your special order.

Their inventory isn’t simply limited to every kind of fabric you can think of too. Wallpaper and paneling is available, along with tapestries of all types from needlepoint to painted.tts_243248_floral-vevlet-print-cushions

The folks at Seasons Textiles have worked on features, television shows and events, so no project is too large for them to handle and experience is key when in a bind. In the States, I’d say ‘zip on by’; but in London, why don’t you ‘just pop in.’


Trevor Howsam Ltd

Trevor Wallpaper Ad # 1
© B L Kays 2008 All Rights Reserved

For 20th-centruy props and set dressing, Trevor Howsam Ltd is one hire house you’ll definitely want to check out. Trevor Howsam is also known for its retro wallpaper stock housed at its location in Boston, where you’ll find a great selection of original designs from the 1930s all the way to the 1990s.

Trevor Tag Gun # 2Tagging at Trevor Howsam was one thing I found particularly interesting. In the States, our system of using small tags with the show name, decorator and episode is pretty much a standard at most rental houses. At Trevor Howsam they use small tag gun with a key number to mark their items which is key for the show and buyer.

Trevor Photo # 4

But getting back to the inventory, know that this London location just scratches the surface of the vast prop and set dressing portfolio. There’s more tucked away at another location. So when you’re checking out Trevor Howsam, if you can’t find what you’re looking for, ask Marcus; he’ll probably be able to find what you need.


Eccentric Trading Company Ltd. (aka ETC)

9k=-33At each place we toured, Brian Read gave me a little more information on the London lingo. In the States, we usually call the key person at a shop a ‘sales rep’. In the UK, it’s the ‘bookman’ who assists you and helps gather what you need from the inventory.

At Eccentric Trading Company Ltd, the bookman will guide you through a brilliant collection of period furniture desks, bedroom sets, chairs, benches and other great period pieces. There’s lots of linens, wonderful smalls, children’s toys, china, smoking items and more. And it’s all very organized.


The Trading Post Hire

9k=-35Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to walk through the Trading Post Hire. It’s an odd-shaped building with multiple levels full of great treasures. An amazing Egyptian collection greets you at the entrance and the adventure continues with each floor.

From Victorian to Dickens, shops to ships, interior or exterior, the great collection is one-stop shopping. The Trading Post team has seen it all, so they have plenty of experience to help you with the details for your project and see you through their extensive stock. The website is just a very small sample of their vast collection.2Q==-42

I would say that the Trading Post is a hire houses where you could find everything you need for any set. From a ship’s bell to bars of gold, it’s a treasure trove of goodies, like the fake barbed wire used in War Horse and a taxidermy collection of elephant heads, wild pigs, wild cats, rats and loads more.

The Trading Post Hire website is a great representation of the stock you’ll find there, and the opening page hints at the humor that greets you. Definitely a fun place to shop.


Touring the Hire Houses of London

index-5I crossed the pond a few weeks ago and had a delightful adventure set up by Stephenie McMillan, set decorator extraordinaire of Harry Potter (yep, every single one since the beginning), Notting Hill, The Avengers, and The English Patient fame − need I say more.

Stephenie graciously arranged for Brian Read to show me some Hire House sites in London. Now if there is any royalty of decoration in London, then I was escorted by royals. Brian Read worked at the BBC 20 years before being snapped up as a prop buyer for films. My favorite of his of course is A Fish Called Wanda, but Brian has worked on The Avengers, Notting Hill, Patriot Games and the list goes on and on.

It took a while for me to adjust to the word Hire rather than Rental, but it’s the European way. Taking a tour with Brian is like walking through London Hire Houses with a rock star. We went to several that I will cover this week, since each needs its own detailed blog. I’ll try and give you an overview of The Trading Post, Eccentric/Trading Company Ltd., ETC Trevor Howsam Ltd, Seasons Textiles and, of course, Farleys, which is an umbrella of 4 different Hire Houses − Prop Galore, Lewis & Kay, Spiller and Farley. All are very different and all are great sources if you’re working in Europe.