One of the most useful items I brought out of Costume History (which is, admittedly, a different class), when I took it, was a sketchbook full of costume renderings from different time periods. It was one of the assignments, each period we discussed, we were supposed to research and sketch a man's and woman's costume from that period. Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, etc etc etc. I went back to that sketchbook on several occasions.
I like the idea of giving them random characters...maybe do three different projects, use established characters in plays that they are likely to encounter. Personally, I think I would do three projects over the course of the semester--one upper class/royalty, one middle/working class, and one lower class. They could choose the order in which they were going to do them, or you could assign it. The first project would be just doing a costume rendering of the costume. The second would be a 'pull and alter' design. The third could be either/or (if your school has the resources, you could have them build one item from the costume, even if there might be stuff in costume storage to pull the whole costume, just to give them the experience of having to construct an item that will fit with existing costume pieces--a baldric, a blouse, simple knickers, etc...that can be a real challenge for some people!)
Pick several characters from various plays for each type, the students can either draw them out of a hat or pick them off a list. This would be hands-on work in addition to all of the practical and theoretical information they'd be getting about fabric, color, period silhouette, etc...
--- In TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com, lanorte1@... wrote:
> I'm teaching a college Intro to Costume Design class in the fall, and am looking for some ideas.? I took a similar class many, many, MANY years ago, and can remember only a few of the projects we did.? For the most part, I'm self-taught, so I don't have past class experience to draw from.?
> The main things I want to emphasize are?silhouettes of different time periods, use of color and texture to express qualities of a character.? They should also be able to identify certain garments, do renderings, and I may?have them construct one or two simple pieces.? If anyone can offer some specific suggestions for project ideas, I'd greatly appreciate it.??Thanks!