The Little Costume Shop

Jennifer Jedda

Posted on September 25 2013

One of the many great things about my job is that I constantly get to discover. On a daily basis I discover new places, new people and new creations, and frankly, some are too extraordinary to keep to myself. Such is the case of the exquisite creations of costume designer, Vin Burnham. She is the creative genius behind London's The Little Costume Shop, known for its detailed quarter-scale replicas of opera and ballet costumes for collectors.

Snowflake (Nutcracker)
Photo Credit: Richard Wilding and George Chinn

Vin, an international award winning costume designer, has done design for theater, film and television. She is best known for her work at the Royal Opera House and on feature films such as Jim Henson's 'Labyrinth' and 'Dark Crystal' (<- I remember vividly the strange beaked characters in that movie!) and Tim Burton's 'Batman' and 'Batman Returns.'

To learn just how much work goes into the couture creations she makes, check out an interview that Vin did on creating the "Living Dress" for Lady Gaga and her Monster Ball tour here. This magical dress and Vin's story on its creation left me speechless.

Her current work at The Little Costume Shop pays homage to her roots and work at the Royal Opera House.  All miniature ballet and opera costumes are of her own design.  Each is hand made in London to order and only sold in limited editions.

"Back to Black" - made specially for Amy Winehouse Foundation gala auction
Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Richard Wilding and George Chinn

A current endeavor that particularly delights me of Vin's and her expert team is her miniature wedding dress line. Like the opera and ballet costumes, they recreate in quarter-scale the most important dress any woman will ever wear! As she states, "Your original dress should not be relegated to tissue paper in a box. Instead it can be recreated in miniature to act as a joyful memento of the 'big day', to be displayed as an eye-catching work of art in the living room or on your dressing table."  

Ah! It almost makes me want to get married again :).

Shown below is an image that Vin and her team sent to me of the miniature replica she created of Kate Middleton's wedding dress!

Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Richard Wilding and George Chinn

She sourced the same fabric used to make Kate's dress but had to scale down and hand apply all the lace (I was told it was quite tricky). The miniature tiara was made with precision laser cuts into stainless steel and was decorated with Swarovski crystals. The veil, a gossamer fine silk tulle, was edged in lace.


Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Richard Wilding and George Chinn

I didn't ask if Kate had ordered one :), but she must!

I invite you to have a look at her website, both original and wedding.  You will be enchanted by the details and artistry of these unique creations made on the other side of the pond. Vin is truly a master craftswoman, and that is something to be celebrated.

Enjoy discovering for yourself!


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  • ivajesus: April 28, 2018

    Nice work and designs. Great to see this kind of designs. Looking forward for more this kind of design and works in your blog in near future.

  • Jen: September 26, 2013

    Her work absolutely is, Victoria. I love learning about amazing artists like Vin. Inspiring!

  • Victoria Buckroyd: September 26, 2013


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