Scotland

The woman who makes the costumes for The Crown

Costume designer Jane Petrie accepts the Excellence in Period Television award for 'The Crown' onstage during the Costume Designers Guild Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 20, 2018 Image copyright Kevin Winter
Image caption Jane Petrie has won a string of awards for her costume design on The Crown

The Scots woman who won an Emmy for her costumes on The Crown says she was not sure at first if the big budget Netflix series was her kind of thing.

Jane Petrie was the costume designer for season two of the landmark series about the Queen and the events of her reign but the first episodes had not been released when she was approached.

Image copyright Robert Viglasky / Netflix
Image caption Clare Foy played the Queen in the first two seasons of The Crown

Jane told BBC Scotland's Mornings with Kaye Adams: "Season one had not come out and I thought 'it's about the Queen, I don't really know if that's my bag'.

"The producer knew me and he said 'just read it, it does not matter if you are republican'.

"I read the script and I thought 'this is really good'."

Image copyright Michael Tullberg
Image caption Jane with The Crown actors Claire Foy and Vanessa Kirby and producer Peter Morgan

Jane says she had imagined the series to be a stuffy and polished version of the Queen's reign but in fact it tries to reflect the reality of life in the late 1950s and early 60s.

"The writing is so good," she says.

"It just goes into so many unexpected areas. The scripts are excellent so of course you just want to be part of it."

It was a decision that led to Jane, who grew up in Newport-on-Tay in Fife, being showered with awards.

Image copyright Alex Bailey / Netflix
Image caption Jane won her Emmy for the episode featuring John and Jackie Kennedy

An episode of season two called Dear Mrs Kennedy was put forward for an Emmy award and won.

It centres on a 1961 visit to London by US President John F Kennedy and his wife Jackie, who was considered to be one of the most stylish women in the world.

It also features Princess Margaret, the Queen's sister who reflected modern fashion much more than her older sibling.

Image copyright Alex Bailey / Netflix
Image caption Vanessa Kirkby plays Princess Margaret in The Crown

Jane says: "In that particular episode there was a Royal visit to Ghana, there was tribal stuff from Africa, there was the Kennedy's and Jackie and good Margaret costumes so there was quite a broad example of everything the series had to offer."

Jane, who is now 51, has worked as costume designer on projects as diverse as TV series Black Mirror and Top Boy and films such as Suffragette, Moon and 28 Weeks Later.

Image copyright Alex Bailey / Netflix
Image caption The Queen's younger sister was more in tune with the style of the time

Her career began as a wardrobe mistress on films such as Notting Hill, Star Wars: Phantom Menace and Elizabeth but she says she got into the business quite late.

She was 22 before she even realised it was possible to have a career in costume design.

Despite having a love of historical design since a visit to the V&A in London at the age of 10 she never "joined the dots" about it being a possible career.

She says: "I have had a lifelong interest in historical costume and then as a young person I was into clothes and fashion in the early 80s.

"Nobody around me knew the job existed, it did not enter anyone's head that you could spend all your childhood drawing bustles and crinolines and then it might be your job."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Jane and Vanessa Kirby, who plays Princess Margaret, at a The Crown costume event at the V&A in London

Jane left school at 16 and did not really know where her future lay.

She did a two-year art foundation course then her Highers at college rather than school.

She worked as a youth worker while she tried to find a creative path she might settle on.

"I had some sort of vague notion that I would like to get to art college at some point but I had not found the one thing I wanted to do," she says.

In the mid-80s, she moved to London with a group of friends who had graduated from art college.

"They were watching the Clothes Show with Caryn Franklin doing an insert about Wimbledon School of Art and the costume design course there and I said 'that's what I want to do'."

Three decades later she is at the top of her field and is sent scripts for all sorts of projects.

Image copyright JC Olivera
Image caption Jane won the award for outstanding period costumes at the 2018 Creative Arts Emmy Awards

"That's about the only bit of control I have, whether I decide I would like to design it or not," she says.

"I don't think 'oh I only want to do period films' because I've thoroughly enjoyed doing some good contemporary films."

Despite her success and the plaudits she has received, Jane says she does not watch the shows she has been involved in.

"I struggle to watch my own work," she says.

"I get all hot under the collar."