Sunday, 6 July 2014

Costume Evolution Part 1

I'm well ahead with my costuming for Gothla, which is unusual for me, so it seemed like an opportune moment to have a muse about the costuming process, and how I get from the first doodles to the finished (for a given value of finished) product.

Most of my costumes start off as a series of doodles, which appear all over my desk at work, on the back of sticky notes and in the margins of minutes. Sometimes the music I'm working on sparks ideas, other times I get hooked on someone else's visual, and have an urge to rework it. Once I have concreted my ideas (and in the case of troupe costumes, everyone else's ideas too), I break out my favourite drawing pad (yes, it's cheesy, but it's exactly what I need) and start a concept sketch.

With the current piece, we wanted an earthy, organic feel, with a sprinkle of voodoo imagery. We also wanted to wear something that wasn't black! 
Next comes the process of transferring ideas from the concept into something that meets the following criteria:
a: easily made or 
b: cheaply purchased
c: suits two very different bodyshapes, neither of which are size 6 and 7ft tall
d: stands a chance in hell of being finished before being needed 

In this case, C scratched the hi-lo skirt hems as being unflattering, and found some suitable broomstick skirts on eBay. I ruled out the turkish vests as I suck at tailoring, and the tatty hems for being way too time-consuming.

Next step? Amassing stash. Oh man, I am so good at this. I hoovered up vaguely boho skirts and jewellery from every charity shop I stepped in. A lot of it bypassed the costume pile and went straight into my wardrobe instead!

Out of shot - Irish setter with sequin stuck to nose
This lot was culled almost wholly from charity shops and the discount section of Claires (like the awesome animal rings lurking at the back). Not shown, three more dismantled necklaces, a packet of feathers, two belts, seven gypsy skirts, two plain vest tops and a brown crochet tankini.

C and I compared amassed bling at each rehearsal, and eventually reached a point where it was time to start putting things together...

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