In this ASMR video, watch and listen as Senior Textile Conservator Susana Fajardo works on a cloak worn by Vivien Leigh for her performance as Cleopatra in Shakespeare's play 'Antony and Cleopatra', at the St. James's Theatre in 1951.
ASMR stands for autonomous sensory meridian response – a pleasant tingling sensation beginning on the scalp and moving down the neck, which can be triggered by a delicate or satisfying auditory or visual experience.
Watch as Susana carefully removes folds and creases in the cloth 'feathers' of the full-length cloak. She sprays blotting paper with water to create a cold poultice and sandwiches this underneath the cloth, before gently placing glass weights on top to create tension and relax the fibres.
See Vivien Leigh wearing the cloak:
The costume is made from black cotton and gold tinsel brocatelle, in a fish scale pattern. On the main body, this motif is outlined in pale blue paint. It also features overlapping layers of orange/brown 'feathers' or 'leaves' which are made from cotton, and are shaded with black dye and gold paint. Some of these are decorated with a plastic turquoise jewel.
Front of the cloak:
Back of the cloak:
Find out more about the detail of this costume in Explore the Collections.