Elizabeth Elwell-Cook

B.Des (UNSW); Dip. Management; Cert IV TAE.

Bess in her workroom.

Known to everyone as “Bess”, Elizabeth graduated with her Bachelor of Design from the College of Fine Arts, UNSW in 2005. Having spent five years training to be a graphics and new media designer, her interest in history and historical costume (lifelong, but nurtured in the Society for Creative Anachronism – SCA – since 2000) drew her towards costume design for film and television in 2004.

Drawing on her extensive background in theatre, growing up around the Australian Opera (and completing work experience there in Wardrobe), as well as research in museums around the world, she made “Undies out” historical clothing a specialty.

Bess gained experience as a Costume Supervisor and Standby Wardrobe Mistress, with the Australian Film, Television & Radio School (AFTRS) most recently on Kings Caravan (where she put her head together with longtime friend Karl to form Cote & Cutler). She has supplied fabrics and consultation services to other television series and stage productions over the years, recreating costumes for everything from Viking, to Henry VIII, to Elvis Presley, and has also carried out significant restoration and reconstruction work on vestments at St James King Street, in Sydney. She was also asked (as Australia’s foremost expert in late 15th-early 16th Century Florentine menswear), to recreate the clothing of Leonardo da Vinci for the waxwork effigy of the great man, exhibited in “Da Vinci Secrets: Anatomy to Robots”, which travelled from Melbourne, to Canberra, to Sydney, and on to Korea.

Bess took a break from Cote & Cutler to have her two beautiful children, Cara, born in 2007, and Giles, born in 2011, and to assist her husband, Karl, in setting up his fine jewellery company, Von Ander & Cook Fine Jewellers in 2009. She continued to consult, and to supply ecclesiastical brocades during this period, and has plans to expand the business once again during 2012 and beyond.

Bess, Karl, Cara and baby Giles, 27th July 2011.


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