Costume Studio in Wembley closes after 21 years of business

Lisa Gunning is closing her Costume Studio in Wembley. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au   d488174f
Lisa Gunning is closing her Costume Studio in Wembley. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d488174f

COTTESLOE resident Lisa Gunning will close Wembley’s Costume Studio after 21 years of business to rekindle her love for costume designing.

The mother of two has worked in the Australian film industry since 1987.

During her stellar career, she has costumed Hollywood favourites including Gregory Peck, Patrick Stewart, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Olivia Newton-John and Judy Davis.

Her idea to take a break from the industry and open a costume shop evolved when she started a family.

“The shop started when my husband wanted us to start a family and wanted me to stop travelling interstate for my film work,” she said.

“The customers have all been gorgeous and a regular customer came in the other day and was in tears when she heard I’d be shutting – she’s been coming for 21 years.”

Mrs Gunning initially launched her business in Shenton Park and later relocated to Wembley where she has been for 13 years.

Many of the costumes up for rent were sourced from her international trips to America, China, Barcelona and Hong Kong.

They were also sourced from Movie world in Queensland, The Man from Snowy River TV series, WA Opera, Melbourne Opera and local Perth entertainer Max Kay.

Ms Gunning said she had more than 3000 one-of-a-kind costumes currently up for sale at discounted prices.

“All my stock is now for sale and many customers would be able to find a treasure,” she said.

“I have some amazing things that would be great for local theatre groups, theatre departments and your average Joe as well.”

The costume designer said her decision to close the business was due to a downturn in retail and her enthusiasm to enter the film industry again.

“It’s a labour intensive business and the economy has tightened, which means less and less staff,” she said.

“In the last few years Halloween has become huge, and unfortunately everyone has jumped on the band wagon and is now selling Halloween stock, which has had a huge impact on my small business.”

One of the most memorable moments for the costume designer was a customer sales experience.

“I choose a Wonder Woman costume for a lady who entered the store once and she came back to me and said she was so excited because she met someone that night,” she said.

“She later came back to tell me she married him.”

Mrs Gunning said she looked forward to her next film industry venture in December where she will work as a costume designer for WA-produced film Below.