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Like to own a piece of North Bay movie history?

"We have 14 racks of costumes and clothes worn by the actors and background players from the three movies we have shot here in North Bay."
Syrokomla, Joanna, costume designer 1 turl 2016
Costume designer Joanna Syrokomla displays one of the ballroom gowns used in the Hallmark series that will be sold off at bargain basement prices.

Here's your chance!

The Flower Shop Mystery movies... you know, those filmed in North Bay recently with Brooke Shields and Beau Bridges, is selling off some of the costumes used in the films.

The wardrobe sale is this coming Sunday the 13th, between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at 845 Jet Ave, just off Main St. W.

"We have 14 racks of costumes and clothes worn by the actors and background players from the three movies we have shot here in North Bay," costume designer Joanna Syrokomla told BayToday. Shopper are urged to bring their own bags.

But don't expect to pick up some threads worn by Brooke and Beau.

"We have to keep the things worn by Brooke, Beau and Brennan Elliott in case they make more movies," she explained. "We keep the top five actors stuff because they might come back."

What you can buy is contemporary fall and winter clothing in many different sizes, men's and women's, that appeared in the movie, but not worn by a big star.

The big draw might be the ball gowns from the wedding sequence shot at the Empire Living Centre.

"We've got three movies worth of stuff," laughed Syrokomla. "The murderer, the detective, the receptionist, the shop owner, the characters that come in for just one's their clothes we're selling off."

So it's possible you could see your new coat in a scene with Brooke Shields.

In the past, sales like this have even attracted movie memorabilia collectors.

"It depends, people want to have a memento from the movie. If I could comment that I was selling off Brooke's things I'm quite sure people would come from quite far for them, but I'm not allowed to sell off her stuff because if they want to make another movie we have to have her clothes."

Looking for a deal?

Most things says Syrokomla, are marked at 50 percent or more off the purchase price, but there are lots of greater deals because they'd rather sell it than just give it away later.

High praise for North Bay residents.

"I had a tremendous experience here in North Bay," offered Syrokomla. "The people were incredibly lovely, easy going and accommodating. It was such a pleasure to meet them and dress them. I love this town, it's so easy to get around and for me it's really fun to be able to find all these different people and resources and crafts people and artisans and be able to bring them out to support the costume department

"The people were very enthusiastic. They really enjoyed the process, meeting the cast and getting dressed up."

The weather however was...well, northern Ontario weather.

"It was a bit of a challenge because every single character needs to have a winter coat because they are coming in and out of the various sets and scenes, so we had to keep trying to find a different winter coat for everybody. A lot of the shopping for the clothing was done in North Bay and Sudbury.

"On TV you don't want the big puffy coats because they don't read so well and they're also really noisy, so you want a lot of wool coats and natural fibers.

"Another challenge of shooting in winter is you need the actors to be warm enough so they aren't shivering on camera. So even though they look elegant and they've got these cute little pieces on, underneath they have silk long underwear, heating pads, hot shots and incredibly good quality socks."

The costume department starts with a script to get a sense of the characters and what they might need. For example, a murderer might have some little dark edges, a studded bracelet or sharp looking buttons, but practicality also plays a role.

"How cold is it going to be? Are they going to be in a fight, so do you need several copies of it? Colour is important as well since you have to consider what colour the sets will be, what colour the furniture is," explained Syrokomla. 

Discussions are held with the director to see what is needed, and when actors are chosen, the clothing must suit them.

"It's extremely collaborative, but at the end of the day I need to find a great suit that fits the character, that doesn't scream 'I'm in a costume' and lets the audience believe the character is playing that role."

Syrokomla fondly remembers the wedding scene at The Empire as among her favourites.

'Dressing 100 people in evening gowns and tuxedos was so much fun, and unusual. You don't do that many black tie sequences, especially out of town."

See Chris Dawson's related story: Local seniors get a chance on the big screen

The Toronto native got hooked on the movie business when she was 14 after seeing the Phantom of the Opera. She was fascinated with the costumes and started doing school plays, before going on to Ryerson.

"The one little independent movie turned into another little independent movie and they just got bigger and more interesting, and I love telling a story with clothing."

The murder-mysteries are about a former lawyer, turned flower shop owner (Shields), who is dealing with the murder of a friend in the peaceful town of New Chapel, United States.   

See related story: Hallmark movie shot in North Bay to air soon.

Jeff Turl

About the Author: Jeff Turl

Jeff is a veteran of the news biz. He's spent a lengthy career in TV, radio, print and online, covering both news and sports. He enjoys free time riding motorcycles and spoiling grandchildren.
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