Re: [TheCostumersManifesto] designing
- In a message dated 1/12/02 6:45:59 PM Central Standard Time, BowieGirl1982@... writes:
I was just wondering, for my first question probably of many, do any of you design costumes? If so, how do you design?
I usually get an idea for a gown from either the fabric itself, or a particular accessory or character that I am designing for. I suddenly envision sleeves made a certain way, or how lovely this particular brooch would look against black velvet, and go from there :o).
-The Celtic Lion
- My advice for designing costumes is to first read the
script--a lot. Get to know your characters. Imagine
what kind of clothes they might wear. Think about the
reason they are in the play and how certain clothing
might illustrate that reason--what colors help tell
the story, what patterns might describe the character.
Think about movement requirements/restrictions. And
do research in the time period, not only to make sure
you get your facts right, but to see if anything jumps
out at you that helps illustrate your characters.
Then do about 3-5 rough sketches and see which of
those you think best suits your characters. Last,
don't forget to keep all your costumes looking like
they all belong in the same play together! It's
always important to talk to the director and get their
ideas, too--and I like to talk to the actors about
character if I'm really stuck. Good luck. --ad astra
--- BowieGirl1982@... wrote:
> I was just wondering, for my first question probably
> of many, do any of you
> design costumes? If so, how do you design? you
> see, so far I've been taught
> to design in a fashion way - start off with five
> ideas, choose one then do
> different sleeves, then different collars, different
> skirts etc. How do you
> design costumes though? The method I've been taught
> genterates like 60, 70,
> 80, 100 ideas for one outfit, which is fine for
> fashion collections but I
> don't think it's the best way for costumes. Any
> advise would be great!
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- In a message dated 1/13/02 2:46:11 AM Central Standard Time, adastra33@... writes:
Think about movement requirements/restrictions.
Yes!!! Also, if you're talking about theater costuming, also think about ways that you can take the same basic pieces (a bodice and skirt, for example) and add/remove accessories to make them look like totally different outfits - collars, vests, jackets, removeable sleeves, shawls, capes, full cloaks, overskirts - all of these (depending on period) can be used to make the same white shirt and navy skirt look like a different costume from one scene to the next, and are far easier on a theater's costume budget.
The other thing is ease of getting in and out ... it's really hard to lace up a bodice in the dark of backstage, or mess with tiny hooks and eyes, so velcro and elastic can be your very best friends. I've put in a panel that LOOKS like it's laced up (grommets and cord and all), but really fastens on the side with velcro. For an actress having to zip from one costume to another in 40 seconds, it's the only way to go LOL - saves a lot of cursing and pulled out hair.
::Caitlin, reliving nostalgic days of theater when costume changes were possible, and I didn't spend 10 straight hours 2 days in a row in the same court gown!:: LOL
-The Celtic Lion
- Hello. I design costumes for professional and university theatre, and I
read some of the other replies. They all sounded like good advice. Keeping
in mind that there are endless settings and purposes for costumes, you
should think about your setting, your audience, and what you are trying to
accomplish with the costume(s). Since I mainly work in theatre, it all
starts with the script. But design is more than just reading the
playwright's notes (ie. "Kathy is wearing a blue dress in Act 1"). Sometimes
you don't even have to do what the playwright's notes direct (Note that many
of these suggestions are only there because that's what was done when the
For Opera, Dance, Film, Experimental theatre, Living Art, Commercials,
Conventions, Festivals, Mascots, Trade Shows, Parties, Television, Costumes
perform a different task.
1. Always have a concept, or theme to tie every piece in a project together.
Look to the text, your director, or other designers on the project for
2. Consider the Scale - how close will the audience be? The audience
includes the camera. Loud patterns and colors are more acceptable, the
farther away we are from them, ex. Opera costumes are usually larger than
3. If you have never worked in that particular area before (listed above)try
to watch or go see other examples of similar projects. Pay attention to
commercials, take photos of other people at conventions and fairs. Take
advantage of discounted tickets to the performing arts (most communities
4. Collect, Horde pictoral research. This doesn't mean you have to spend a
lot of money on books. I take old magazines when my local library is getting
rid of them. I take pictures everywhere I go.
Julia Logan Trimarco
>Subject: [TheCostumersManifesto] designing
>Date: Sat, 12 Jan 2002 19:44:53 EST
>I was just wondering, for my first question probably of many, do any of you
>design costumes? If so, how do you design? you see, so far I've been
>to design in a fashion way - start off with five ideas, choose one then do
>different sleeves, then different collars, different skirts etc. How do
>design costumes though? The method I've been taught genterates like 60,
>80, 100 ideas for one outfit, which is fine for fashion collections but I
>don't think it's the best way for costumes. Any advise would be great!
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