The best supporting actress for the film, Phantom Thread, is, in my opinion, Sue Clark, who plays Biddy, one of the head seamstresses. I am biased because Sue was my tutor and taught me Fashion and Tailoring at Dacorum College, Hemel Hempstead and helped me to gain my City and Guilds qualifications. She supported me enthusiastically when I changed career direction and started my own dressmaking business, Pearce’s Pins, and she continues to act as my mentor.
Sue and her friend Joan Brown (Nana in Phantom Thread) work as volunteers at the V&A’s Clothworkers’ Centre. In July 2016, Sue and Joan met Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Thomas Anderson and Mark Bridges at the V&A. They had been using the V&A publication, “London Couture” for their research and came to the Clothworkers’ Centre, which holds the V&A’s fashion and textile collection to look at some garments from the 1950’s. Sue and Joan were later contacted and asked if they would like to be in the film.
As the newspapers say, Sue and Joan are the real stars because they have the dressmaking skills and experience and have both handled countless couture gowns. Sue and Joan re-organised the set for the workrooms so they would reflect more accurately the London Couturier ateliers of the 1950s.
I do hope you enjoy the film as much for the spectacle of London haute couture in the 1950s as for the story.
Sue – You are my Star!