Taboo is a BBC drama featuring Tom Hardy, it’s going to be an eight part series and it’s being called the anti Poldark. We were lucky enough to make the hat for the man himself. Read on to find out more but first have a watch of the trailer.
The brief was that they needed two hats that were identical, one for Tom and one for his stunt double… sorry ladies he doesn’t do all is own stunts! We were told that the stunt double’s needed to be waterproof which in itself was quite the challenge. The costume department sent us something that they wanted copying so once we had this we could think about how this was going to be constructed! Here is the hat we were bought:
We didn’t have a block here that would get the height and shape that we needed so like most milliners you need to think outside the box, we ended us stacking and gaffa taping three blocks together to make the shape we needed. Once we had worked out that the shape worked we needed to address the big issue of making the hat waterproof.
The outside of the hat needed to be melusine felt and to make this strong enough to withstand the water we tested out lots of materials and found that foss shape thermoplastic worked the best for the crown. We sandwiched this between the melusine and wool felt underneath. We also inserted a wire frame inside to help keep it’s shape. For the brim we had to shellac it to make sure it stayed firm. These were the instructions we made for ourselves:
The hat for Tom was a little simpler it needed to be strong but not as strong as the stunt hat so for this we used a buckram base a wire frame and the melusine over the top. Here are some pictures of it during the blocking process:
Once finished we tried on the stunt man’s hat for size only to find that its was too small! Because we had sandwiched three layers together it had become so much smaller than we anticipated. Usually this isn’t a problem as you can stream it a little and pop it on the hat stretcher but because it was so hard it was virtually impossible to do. Luckily Tina has a metal heated hat stretcher, so took it home and manage to stretch to the right size. Phew! Here she is in all her glory…
We have managed to find some images of Tom on set wearing the hat for you all to see: