Getting Dressed in WW2 – Women’s Land Army

The Women’s Land Army did a remarkable job during the Second World War, replacing the male workers who had been called up to fight. In a war when it was the determination of the Nazis to starve Britain into submission, the work of the WLA or Land Girls kept Britain from starvation.

The latest in our series on the history of dress starred Holly Turner, Jasmine Clark, Laura Jane Johnson, Bryony Roberts, Victoria Louise Newman, Estella Platts and Aimee Tyas.

The Director and Cinematographer was Nic Loven, Costume by Pauline Loven, Costume Assistant, Jasmine Clarke.

Many thanks to Dave Woolerton the owner of the vintage MinneMoline tractor.

WLA Stockings were knitted by Sally Pointer.


Getting Dressed in WW1 – Young Woman

The history of dress is punctuated by periods of rapid change, especially for women’s dress.  This is one such period.

Starring Hannah Gaskell, Charlotte Halse and Sophie Halse

Director and Cinematographer Nic Loven, Costume Pauline Loven, Hair and makeup Emily Johnson.

Filmed at Lincoln’s Arboretum and in a house overlooking it.

The knitted cardigan was created by Sheila Cunnea and the knitting patterns are all available in the Centenary Stitches knitting book by Elizabeth Lovick.


Getting Dressed in 1665 – Delft

Another in our series of films on the history of costume, this one is on the clothing of  a wealthy woman in  17th Century Holland. Watch to the end!

Starring Hannah Douglas, Sarah Whitehouse and Anthony Webster.

Director and cinematographer Nic Loven, costume Pauline Loven, hair and make up Liv Free, costume assistant Kelly Clark.

This was filmed at Gainsborough Old Hall in Lincolnshire.

The shoes were handmade by Kevin Garlick Shoes

The knitted stockings were made by Sally Pointer

The brazier and Delft tile were made by Andrew MacDonald, The Pot Shop, Lincoln 

The Earrings were created by Parures de Lumières



Getting Dressed in WW1 – VAD Nurse

This short film on the uniform and role of the VAD (Voluntary Aid Detachment) Nurse during WW1 reached a million views in its first week:

Actress Tiffany Haynes, Directed by and cinematography by Nic Loven, Costume by Pauline Loven, Assistant, Jasmine Clark.

It was filmed, in part, at the former VAD Hospital, now known as Stanhope Hall, in Horncastle in Lincolnshire.


Getting Dressed in the 18th Century – Gentleman

We have just finished filming ‘Getting Dressed in the 18th Century – Gentleman’, for Lady Lever Art Gallery, National Museums of Liverpool. The film will be part of a new exhibition on costume and is a companion to the ‘Getting Dressed in the 18th Century’ film on a wealthy woman’s attire we made earlier.

The film is currently in post production and the music is being composed by Chris Gordon. 

Here are some taster screen grabs:

The location was South Ormsby Hall in the Lincolnshire Wolds, and it was blowing quite a blizzard the day we filmed. However, were fortunate to reach the hall on time and all the crew get home again before the roads were blocked. This photo (below) is by set photographer Adam Fielding:

The film was directed by Nic Loven, the cast were Philip Stevens (Gentleman) and John Males (manservant), the costume was by Pauline Loven, the production assistant was Adam Fielding and the dresser was Kelly Clark.



Getting Dressed in the 14th Century

We have just filmed a sequence on ‘Getting Dressed in the 14th Century’ – the century when it is considered that fashion began.  The film has just been released on  Crow’s Eye Productions YouTube Channel.

Nic Loven on camera assisted by Lilli Stoddart. Photo: Pauline Loven

Below: Screen grabs from the film:

Lucy Sherre Cooper
Kirsty Hannah and Lucy Sherre Cooper
Kirsty Hannah

Director: Nic Loven, Production Assistant: Lilli Stoddart, Actors: Kirsty Hannah and Lucy Sherre Cooper, Costume: Pauline Loven, Hairdressing Anita Cudbertson, Location: The Saxon House. 

Dressing in the 18th Century

Crow’s Eye Productions has just completed a follow-up to our film ‘Getting Dressed in the 18th Century’ that we made for Lady Lever Art Gallery.  The immense popularity of the first film raised  the question amongst the audience who viewed it and enjoyed the complexity of a wealthy woman’s dress:  ‘who dressed the maid’?  So we made the second film to explain in detail how dress was simplified by working women, and made more practical and affordable, while still maintaining the fashionable silhouette.  As with the first film, this was devised, directed, filmed and edited by Nic Loven, and researched and costumed by Pauline Loven

Nic Loven, Director, with Lilli Stoddart, assistant producer. Photo © Keith Loven.

Our first task was to find a suitable location to film in, but we already knew of an almost unaltered chamber (bedroom) of a one-up one-down 18th century cottage, now part of the Friends Meeting House in Brant Broughton.

Model, Liv Free. Photo (c) Pauline Loven.

The cottage and attached barn had been donated to The Friends in 1701 and, apart from minor alterations to turn the barn into a Meeting House and subsequently to put in power and heating, the core of the building was maintained unaltered. The  fireplaces, floors, doors (with original blacksmith door furnishings), walls and windows remained as they had been in 1701.  Even the original cloak pegs were in place.

Nic Loven and Liv Free. Photo © Pauline Loven

The only problems filming were the small area we had to work in and the fact that the original prayer benches had to be stacked to one side of the room.

Lilli Stoddart and Nic Loven. Photo © Pauline Loven

We chose our model, Liv Free, for her natural English rose looks, but to her surprise and ours she turned out to live in the next village and so it was perhaps her easiest ever commute to a modelling  job!  Not only is Liv a beautiful model and hair and makeup artist, but she also has also created a line of extraordinary and opulent accessories, including headpieces and masks (though we didn’t need any for this shoot!).

Our Voice Over Artist, Martha Milne, is an American who has lived in Lincolnshire for many years. She has been a long term collaborator with Nic Loven and Crow’s Eye Productions.

The script was researched and written by our period costumier Pauline Loven and edited by Martha Milne. Pauline also created the costumes and produced the film.

The film was made on the tiniest of budgets – even the replica period pottery was loaned to us (by Andrew MacDonald from the Pot Shop in Lincoln), and the bed was made at cost by carpenter Peter Halse. So a huge thank you to everyone who made this possible!

Full list of credits:

Director/Cinematographer: Nic Loven

Producer/Costumier: Pauline Loven

Production Assistant: Lilli Stoddart

Woman: Liv Free

VO: Martha Milne

Location: Friends Meeting House, Brant Broughton

Carpentry: Peter Halse

Pottery: Andrew MacDonald of the Pot Shop, Lincoln

Bed Quilt: Martha and Emily Milne

Cockerel: Hughie

Special thanks to the Friends for permission to use the Meeting House and to Wendy Gwatkin in particular for all her support at the Meeting House and the loan of antique furniture too!

Many thanks to John and Sam O’Boyle for allowing us to record their cockerel Hughie!

Lady Lever Art Gallery has now commissioned us the make another film, this time on the dress of a wealthy 18th century man.


WW1 Location Filming

In our film ‘Tell Them of Us’, we told the story of WW1 casualty, Robert Crowder, who died at Passchendaele aged just 21. We told his story through his letters and from the perspective of his family at home. We didn’t however, in the scope of that format, explain what had happened to Robert’s brother William when he went missing and what he had done to earn the DSO. Continuing to tell the Crowder family’s story with a drama-documentary has allowed us to fill in the story of William and his future wife, Violet, and to move forward a little to show how the war years shaped their future attitudes.
Here are two location screen shots from the making of ‘William’s Story’.

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William Crowder (Adam Fox)
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Nurse Violet Pearson (Tiffany Haynes) and patient Trooper Thame (Alexander Doddy).

Here are some of the behind the scenes pictures from the location shoots:

Dave Cash, Pyrotechnics.
Pauline Loven (Costumier) doing the costume check on location.
Saffron Rogers (MUA) adjusting makeup on location.
Nic Loven (Director) and Alexander Pollard (Sound) filming with a drone camera.
Film Crew at Work. Centre: Bryony Hooper (1st AD) Left: Alexander Pollard (Sound).
Mason Carter on clapper board.
Stewart Wall
The entire cast and crew from Location II, Lincolnshire.
The cast and crew from Location 1, Surrey.

Tell Them of Us

With the anniversary of the First World War approaching we (Crow’s Eye Productions and WAG Screen) felt strongly that we should do something to mark it. After much deliberation we decided to tell the story of one small Lincolnshire war memorial, but we should choose it without any knowledge of the stories it might tell. We had in mind a twenty minute drama documentary.

We chose the small village of Thimbleby in Lincolnshire because of its remarkable range of vernacular houses, Victorian village school and working water pump, all surrounding the village church. Only then did we begin to research the war memorial. Many WW1 military records are lost, so we held our breath as we researched, fearing that we may find nothing of the five men listed. We were right too – we found little more than name, rank and number for three of the men on the memorial and only a little more on the fourth.


However, we found that the family of one, Robert Crowder, had held his memory dear and had kept a remarkable archive of unpublished material. The family had erected a stained glass window in his memory in Thimbleby Church and kept all his letters written home from the front line. His brother wrote his memoirs and sister-in-law had kept an autograph album through her years as a VAD nurse in the local hospital. Combined with photographs, family memories and artefacts, we found we had enough material for a full length film. We had just the story we wanted to tell, one that represented so many of that generation who were torn from their ordinary lives and thrown into the hell of war. Robert Crowder was not famous; he was neither an officer nor a decorated hero, though he was undoubtedly incredibly brave. He was just a gardener and a country boy who played the organ in his village church and loved, and was loved by, his family.

The film, Tell Them of Us, had a charity premiere and was shown at Lincoln’s museum, The Collection, with an accompanying exhibition, for four weekends across November and December 2014.

A serialised version of the film is available to view on the Crow’s Eye YouTube channel.

Here are some of the comments:

Nancy Snowdon – Historian: I am just so impressed with your film! I found it so wonderfully sensitive, well acted, beautifully photographed. We were reduced to tears by it (quite unusual for us). And best of all not mawkish, which it could so easily have been. Well done all of you! And the knitting … looked wonderful. What a brilliant idea. I am so thrilled that I can’t stop gushing and showing it to everyone! It’s a small masterpiece and does you enormous credit!

Nicholas Boot, Lincoln Minster School: We took Year 6 and Year 9 to see the film at The Collection this morning: I’m very pleased we did so. It was a very poignant depiction of the family’s perspective and it was very interesting to hear the letters from the sons and see the family’s response. I thought it was a very interesting and moving film: thank you.

Daniel Brown, Media production undergraduate:Just watched @ww1Film what a beautiful, poignant and emotional film. Glad to have been a small part of it. Some channel needs to pick it up!

Chris Williams, Archivist, Lincoln Christ’s Hospital School:‘Magnificent piece of work! My wife and I were at the charity premiere in Horncastle on Saturday 22nd November. We were captivated by the film, and, in passing, the venue’s own history. Congratulations to all at WAG Screen, Crowders and of course the Thimbleby community. A huge effort and a great outcome.’

Deb Gillanders: ‘Having heard about this film & the knitting it inspired from several different sources I went to Lincoln & saw it on Sunday. The whole thing was fantastic – so much attention to detail by so many people & so many angles to the whole project, that all came together so effectively… I hope this exhibition & film travel to as many places as possible. Congratulations!

Jo Turner, photographer: Went to the Collection on Saturday morning to see your film and display – loved it, even though it brought tears to my eye. I wasn’t alone, I think a lot of tissues were in use. The costumes were excellent and the ‘taste’ of the trenches and explosive scene were amazing. Well done to everyone.

Darren J Scales, filmmaker: Go see this!!!! Well done Nic Loven – such gifted filmmaker!

Maria Precedo: I recently day-tripped to Lincoln from London especially for the Centenary Stitches exhibition. I was so enthused about it, I emailed the Imperial War Museum in London to see if they’d be interested in housing the exhibition at all. I’ve forwarded their reply below, and leave it to you to take it further, if you want.

Billy Clapham – award winning photographer: ‘Finally got round to seeing @ww1Film tonight, a stunning production all round that I’m very proud to have helped out with!’

Mari Roberts – Book Editor: What a fantastic film. Beautiful photography, costumes, music, settings. The tension of the story very well held. Terrific acting. We both cried!

Hilary Harrod: Brilliantly done! Get your hankies out, it’s emotional, poignant and true.

Actor Showreel to Bookcover

When Tiffany Haynes approached us to make an actor’s showreel for her, she didn’t expect to find herself featuring on the cover of an American novel as well!

Tiffany had the ambitious idea of creating a synopsis of a book, or a book trailer, and had a book in mind: ‘The Lady of the Butterflies’ by Fiona Mountain. This appealed to us all as it was the story of Lady Eleanor Glanville, a 17th century Lepidopterist who discovered a fritillary butterfly in Lincolnshire – now known as the Glanville Fritillary.

‘The Lady of the Butterflies’ was renamed for the American market as ‘Rebel Heiress’.

With permission from the author we created this short piece as part of Tiffany’s show reel.

The resulting photographs drew the attention of an American publishing company and they requested permission to use on of the photographs – this is the result:


‘Beyond The Valley’ Book Cover.

We donated the small fee for its use as a book cover to an American charity ‘A Home Within‘.

If you would like to have a show reel made please contact Nic Loven.

If you are interested in having a showreel which involves the costume department, you can also contact Pauline Loven to discuss the options.