Five women transformed into Miss Havisham, the sinister spinster described by Charles Dickens as ‘the witch of the place’ in coming of age novel Great Expectations, were unleashed on London on Thursday 22nd May.
The Miss Havishams pay homage to the character that was named the most haunting in literary drama in a recent survey.
It was an early start for the five models who spent over 15 hours being transformed by a team of stylists, costume designers, make-up artists and dressers before travelling by public transport into central London this morning.
Renowned costume designer Katya Wildman and her team spent two months sourcing and ageing the wedding dresses, veils, flowers and jewellery, while hair and make-up was created and applied by Deanna I’veska, Nicci Jackson and Julia Townend. The team has worked with celebrities including Helena Bonham Carter, Jerry Hall, Scissor Sisters and The Who.
Once ready, the Miss Havishams travelled amongst surprised commuters on the London Underground and buses before congregating in front of Big Ben at 8.40am, the time Miss Havisham is jilted by her fiancé Compeyson in the novel and stopped all of the clocks around her. The Miss Havishams also visited Westminster Abbey, the final resting place of author Charles Dickens.
Costume designer Katya Wildman said:
We wanted to capture Miss Havisham’s ethereal beauty as well as the decaying of her clothes and spirit as a result of her long period of mourning for the wedding she never had. The result is a complete transformation of our five models that we hope captures the essence of this haunting and very moving character.
Miss Havisham can also be found on Facebook as well as dating sites Guardian Soulmates, Match.com, Tinder and even My Single Friend, where she has been recommended by a well-meaning Pip. See if you can find them!
Adrian Wills, General Manager of UKTV channel Drama said:
We like to think that Charles Dickens, who is buried in Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey, would have been amused to think that more than 150 years after he created Miss Havisham she is standing at the foot of Big Ben at twenty minutes to nine, still pining for her lost love.