Thursday, December 17, 2009

Costume creation : Part Two

In the first post called Costume Creation: Part One, I went through the process of receiving the design from the designer, research, consulting, making samples, and starting the build. If you did not get to read part one, click here.

The next stage of the process is to keep on keeping on and make that costume! I organised fittings through the wardrobe supervisors and consulted the designer throughout this process. Below is the costume before I started breakdown.

Before I started breakdown, the performer wore the costume in a rehearsal. This is where you find out if any changes need to be made to the costume. The performer may have introduced new movements that the costume does not allow for etc. In this case the wig was to restricting and so was not used (well it was for spare parts) and more movement had to be incorporated in to the overall costume.

So the costume may of looked like the design, but in the reality of performance it just needed to be changed. So you change it. It may seem a tad heart breaking after hours of work to cast something aside or cut another thing up, but you want the costume to not only help the performer with their character but ensure that the designer gets the feel and look they want. Its your job and it is these challenges that make it enjoyable :)

So I cut into the waistcoat at centre back and made a split that gave more movement and snipped in to the rolls and messed them up a bit. Then on to my first phase of breakdown!

I covered the dummie to protect it as it was going to get dirty. From talking with the designer Emma the wigs where to look old and dusty. So I did some more samples with different products and methods and the one that seem to sink into the rolls and give depth was a mixture of talc and dye. I made up some diluted dye and then mixed it with lots of talc and dry brushed the solution on. I concentrated on the bottom more than the top of the costume as this was to look more ragged and old.

In the final installment there will be more breakdown and then da ta, the costume on stage dharling!

Until then check out the interview from costume designer, Janie Bryant who designs the wonderful costumes for Madmen, what a dream job!


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