'Copper' period costumes cut from whole cloth

For some shows, costumers need only shop to build characters' wardrobes. But when shopping is impossible, costume design comes into play.Before a word is uttered in a period drama, costumes instantly tell you when and where the action unfolds. In BBC America's "Copper" Sundays, it's 1865 Manhattan.With the exception of a few pieces -- which are treated like the priceless treasures they are -- costume designer Delphine White creates the series' clothes.From her perch on an exercise ball behind her desk on the set in Toronto, White runs a very impressive wardrobe department. White's office walls are covered in photos of period dress: uptown, middle class, Five Points, Eva's Paradise (the brothel) and Native Americans.Workers dye vats of fabric and distress boots by roughing up new ones. In a vast room that looks like a time warp department store, racks of clothes are organized by uptown, teen boys, prostitutes, posh men's hats, petticoats, corsets."It is...



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