Thursday, June 21, 2012

Inspired By. . .

When I sit down to design a new costume, often a lot of the work goes on, in the initial stages, inside my head. I see an image somewhere, often completely unrelated to what I'm doing, and it fires a synapse and gets me thinking in a new direction. My costume for Labyrinth of Jareth started like that, with an image of a sunset in purples, pinks, and blues. Thus the Twilight Faery was born.

But, you can't build a costume from a picture of clouds. So, I started to look at lots of other images, and for this costume I went to an area I haven't before: Eastern Europe. Usually if I say one of my designs has Eastern influences, you can safely assume I'm talking about Japan or China. The change is exciting to me; I got to do research in a totally new area.

Once I knew that I wanted a "bodice faery", I started to contemplate the headpiece, and I found several images of a Rssian traditional headdress, often worn by brides, called a kokoshnik.

I started with the images as reference, and then looked at Russian and Eastern European design motifs in art and architecture for ideas as to the specific design.

The above borrows on some of these elements while also leaning on my love of the swirly, freeform Art Nouveau style. My intention is to do a two-layer leather crown, with the outer layer in gold and the under layer in a purple-blue gradient.

Unfortunately, I don't have time (or money!) to do this in time for LOJ. So, I took the above image as inspiration, and I built out the kokoshnik frame in wire, which will then be covered in gold foil Dresden paper lace. I'm hoping for a delicate, fragile look.

The costume itself is very much inspired by Eastern European traditional garb, with a front-lacing bodice and two layers of skirts, the top skirt heavily ornamented, the chemise very blousey and full, the bodice with embroidered motifs. In the end, I think I have a fantasy costume that owes a lot to real garments, fantastickal and familiar at the same time. I'm hoping once I bring everything together with the makeup, it will turn out well. Stay tuned for pictures after the 30th!

1 comment:

Dani said...

I love the inspirations! I've been looking to update some costumes for the Russian Variation in the Nutcracker and I love your choices. Easy to embellish for stage!
Best of luck to you!