Secrets of Masked Singer costumes – huge costs, 9,000 beads and designer aged 11

Everyone’s favorite guessing game, The Masked Singer, is back to revitalize the dreary month of January.

As fans try to figure out who’s behind the masks in Season 3, costume designer Tim Simpson knows.

While he can’t share his secrets, Tim enjoys giving people insight into what clothes cost an “expensive wedding dress.”

“Initially we had
65 character ideas, which we’ve reduced to 12.







Tim works for Brighton-based Plunge Creations
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picture:

Adam Gerrard/Daily Mirror)

“All costumes are handcrafted over several weeks. Nothing is on the shelves and we have entire teams that bring designs to life.

“I am very proud of what we have achieved this year.”

Here, Tim gives us insight into the creative process.

bagpipe







Tim wanted to bring the concept of babpipes to life with this creativity
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picture:

ITV)

“I wanted to bring the bagpipe concept to life and give it a fun feel,” Tim says. “It’s really fun for the performer to wear because it swings.

“The tubes have a plastic tube inside and foam outside, so if Bagpipes hit a dancer in the head they wouldn’t damage them.

“Some people have said that the bagpipe resembles one of the clangers and I see the resemblance… the character wouldn’t look out of place on a children’s TV show.”

fireworks







The masked singer hosts Joel McDermott with fireworks
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picture:

ITV)

“This involved a lot of sequins, as well as very sequined fabrics,” Tim explains.

“There are eight battery packs on the head, which contain tiny twinkling Christmas lights and there are tiny little balls at the end of the fiberglass to give the look of an explosion.

“Although it looks like the performer won’t be able to see, the vision is good. There is a space between the fireworks, so wherever the celebrity looks, they can see it. It’s like you’re in a net fishbowl.”

mushroom







This unusual costume has more than 200 small fabric mushrooms sewn onto it
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ITV)

Tim says, “The mushroom head is kind of heavy and the visibility isn’t that great, so it’s not easy to wear.

“The dress is very architectural, with lots of layers of different fabrics like silk, organza and glitter, and has over 200 tiny mushrooms of fabric sewn onto it.

“I also added the roots of the ciliary fungus with a silver thread running through it.

“We originally thought about adding lighting but it would have added a lot of weight, so we had to scrap that idea in the end.”

snow leopard







The eyes of the costume are made from a translucent resin mold with hand-painted irises.
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ITV)

“It was important to us to make Snow Leopard beautiful,” says Tim.

“The head was carved out of clay and was initially a smooth cat’s face with a sharp jaw line before being overgrown with fur and whiskers.

The eyes were made of a translucent resin mold with hand-painted irises.

“We had to pull the tail up a little bit—it was a long time when Gloria turned around and was stumbling. She has a 5-inch-thick core of split sponge, so she moves like a snake.”

traffic cone







It took a lot of time and effort to create the traffic cone
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ITV)

Tim reveals: “The body of the cone is a foam structure covered in squares of sequin fabric, and the top half is a lightweight mesh.

“At the top there is a rotating safety light but when we turned it on the motor was very noisy and distracting to the singer, so we had to remove the motor. This is also why we didn’t give the traffic cone moving eyes at the end.”

“It is a funny character and the way the performer brought it back to life is very charming and silly. A traffic cone can win the hearts of a nation.”

rockhopper







There are more than 400 safety pins in the Rockhopper costume
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ITV)

Tim says: “I wanted to cover the entire head with safety pins, creating feathers, but it would have weighed up to 12kg!

“We are still working with them, and there are about 400 safety pins.

“The costume heads are a lot bigger than they were in the first series because that makes the acoustics a lot easier to work with.

“We’re starting to use more fabrics that have spaces, like mesh, that allow people to sing better and breathe more easily.”

poodle







Tim says the outfit is easy to wear and good to move around
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ITV)

“The inspiration came from a documentary about people who groom poodles in the most unusual ways,” reveals Tim.

“We got 150m of netting and folded it by hand to develop all the little flowers, which were fitted into the outfit by hand.

“Once that was done, we had to cut the Poodle’s hair.

“The outfit is easy to wear and good to transition into. I think some contestants are jealous of singers with less heavy clothing.

panda







The panda costume has a fat suit built into it
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ITV)

This creature has “a lot of little clues in its costume,” Tim says.

If you look closely at the badges that Panda has achieved as a Scout, you may be able to find some secrets there.

“Some runners like to have an influence on the outfit. With Panda, there were very few who wanted to have that input.

“It’s cumbersome. There’s a kind of foam suit to condense it so it’s very warm, and the fur makes it hot.”

lion fish







The Lionfish was the longest costume ever created
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ITV)

“It took longer, about three months,” reveals Tim.

“It’s made of hand-drawn silk, which gives it movement and makes it really light, as well as has a natural sheen. We sent the silk to be steam curled so it has all the folds in there as well.”

“The hull is made of lots of fiberglass poles, while the head is made of clay and covered with a thermoformable mesh called varaform which makes it very breathable. This in turn was covered in velvet and lots and lots of crystals. It’s a neat costume.”

donut







Who is behind the cake?
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picture:

ITV)

“The head has a lot of ventilation and really good visibility, so wearing this part is really nice, but the rest is really hot,” says Tim.

“There’s a lot of foam and stuffing inside – it should have looked plump like donuts.

“We made it from upholstery foam that we rolled into donut shapes, then covered with velvet.

“There’s another layer of lining on top and 600 pom-poms stuck to look like hundreds and thousands with sequins to give it a little extra sparkle.”

Robobone







Robobunny’s idea was Ibn Taym’s idea
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“That was the idea for my 11-year-old son Ted last year,” reveals Tim.

“We both drew a diagram, but neither of them were right. This time, he said, “We need to get Robobone there.”

“The celebrity has an urge to move the mouth, so if you look closely while the rabbit is singing, you might see a slight trembling in the performer’s hand.

“Their head is behind the ears so they have to get past the rabbit to see where they are going.”

Chandeliers – Barefoot Like Heather Smalls







The chandelier has been revealed as Heather Small
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ITV)

“The crystals are made of acrylic beads and there are 8,900 of them in fashion,” Tim says.

“Both the lights above and below the beads are 3D-printed from transparent filaments. There’s a lighting unit in Chandelier too, so Heather had to carry a backpack with a battery in it. It energized before she went on stage.

“It’s always annoying when the first costumes come out, because we put as much effort into those clothes as the ones that stay for the long haul.”

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