When decorating a set, an art department has to work within practical and financial constraints, and must find ingenious ways to solve problems. So Japanese lacquer details in Goring’s flat were simulated with painted wood; blinds from Ikea were painted to resemble bamboo panels; stained glass’ windows were made by applying green and mauve coloured gels (used in stage and film lighting) to panes of glass coated with Vaseline as an adhesive. Frames for Goring’s mirrors doubled for the paintings of Whistler in a scene at the Royal Academy, and the OPPOSITE La Liseuse by Georges Croegaert. Such period paintings, and photographs, provided inspiration for Michael Howells. La Liseuse depicts a late-nineteenth-century Aesthetic interior, crowded with Oriental objects. THIS PAGE Film stills: 4 Exotic style in Lord Goring’s flat. 6 Lady Chiltern’s ball, filmed at Halton Hall, Buckinghamshire. 7 Rupert Everett, as Lord Goring, prepares to breakfast off Imari-pattern china by Royal Crown Derby.
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