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Thomas Bradley Costumes, courtesy of designer

In 5: Thomas Bradley

Expect tales from the wardrobe, as we catch up with Thomas Bradley.

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SDT: Tell us about yourself. 


TB: I’m originally from Cootamundra, a small town 6 hours drive from Sydney, Australia. I’m currently based in Bruxelles, traveling with Emanuel as a dancer, pedagogue and designer. At the moment I have an insatiable obsession for panel discussions and interviews with Jordan Peterson and Camille Paglia. It’s very confusing because a lot of people mark them as conservatives, and I’ve always considered myself more liberally inclined. In any case, I like to pursue nuanced conversation with opinionated people. I also think the quality of doubtfulness is currently, highly undervalued.


SDT: You’re working on Emanuel Gat’s new piece in collaboration with us this year. What’s inspired the development of the costume so far? 


TB: I arrived to Dundee with a few ideas but once I looked through the theatre wardrobe I knew I wanted to work with some existing garments. There are many rows of jackets, vests and pants, with magnificent, coloured and textured lining. At the moment we’re working to expose these interiors by reforming them inside out and attaching them to other pieces. The selected palette is quite romantic, fit for a Japanese autumn with oxblood, crimson and cumin the prominent colours.

SDT: Tell us what you listen to when you’re at work. 


TB: Usually I have my iTunes account on shuffle so it’s a bit schizophrenic between Baroque, Progressive House, early 00s, Hip Hop, ASMR and Dream Girls. Last time my friend and I listened to a podcast series of a group of friends reading through a porn story one of their father’s had written - hilarious. 


SDT: What’s your favourite material to work with? 


TB: I favour any material that has an inherent strength or rigour to it, like a waxed cotton, calico tyvek, or organza; if I take a fabric in my hand, squeeze, and it holds that applied tension or energy exchange, I’m usually attracted to it. I can’t stand light, airy materials that go with the flow, I need a structure to work with, something I can mould. In that sense, our design process has been quite sculptural thus far.


SDT: What else are you working on right now?


TB: At the moment I’m developing three garments composed of vintage Japanese kimono / koto with some original designs in waxed cotton. They will be showcased in Paris in January at the Theatre Chaillot. I’ve also been working on a personal essay, homoDeathf*ck, on the subjects of love, death and homosexuality which I hope to finish and share early next year. 

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You can follow Thomas on Instagram, @thomasabradley. Emanuel Gat's new work premieres at Dundee Rep as part of our Spring Double Bill, on Fri 3 and Sat 4 May 2019, before touring to Saffron Hall, Walden, on Sat 1 Jun 2019. More information can be found here.

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