As I may have said elsewhere on this blog, I did more or less study costume design. So I tend to costume my own pieces. So here are some production shots of things I've costumed.
With Jane Eyre, the design had to do with textures from books -- parchment, leather, ink. Because the actors were constantly shifting from one character to another (often in the space of less than a line), it was essential that the costumes evoked the feeling of the play rather than specific character.
|Photo Credit Bill Knight|
|Photo Credit Bill Knight|
|Photo Credit James Thompson|
|Photo credit James Thompson|
|photo credit Bill Knight|
Pride & Prejudice
Similarly to Jane Eyre, for Pride & Prejudice it was essential that the actors could have fluidity of character within their costumes. But while Jane Eyre was very much focused on one story, P&P had many story lines woven together, so I was less interested in costume as uniform and more about how costume could enhance the character and help to tell a different part of the story. All photos by Bill Knight.
For Twelfth Night, function was essential. With 8 actors taking on more than twice that number of roles, many of them requiring multiple costume changes, it was really important to me that everything worked really well. The venue was also important - the performances were outside in a medieval fort without much set, so, in many ways, the costumes set a lot of tone for the piece. These costumes ended up being some of my favourite pieces, taking inspiration from Alphonse Mucha and La Bell Epoque.
With Persuasion, it was important to me to evoke a certain kind of melancholy and also a certain kind of uniform. I've found that with the kind of work I do (small number of actors playing numerous characters), in some ways, the less distraction, the better. In that, if none of them are changing costume, then none of the costumes should necessarily be connected to character but more connected to story and theme. Maybe. Its just a thought. Also, I got a bit obsessed with grey ribbon. All photos by Bill Knight.
Midsummer Night's Dream
Director Helen Tennison and I were really interested in creating fairies that were not traditionally beautful - fairies that seemed more like insects than 19th century fairies with wings. We were also focused on creating a stark difference between the oppressive atmosphere in Athens versus the freedom of the wood - so we took inspiration from 1930s fascist states, black and white imagery, and clean lines. The mechanicals were all about creating a hodge-podge of colour and pattern - except for during the play-within-the-play where their costumes were white, homemade-feeling, and gestural. As a play, Midsummer is a joy to costume because everything is so clear and costumes are so important as a story-telling device. I love these costumes.