A Midsummer Night’s Dream | Design Studio 2 The class was assigned to create a costume design concept for that was given no specifications or limitations for design. The only requirements were that we were to render for six characters using Photoshop.
Midsummer takes two groups with reputations for power, the Athenians and the Fair Folk, and shows them in ridiculous situations. From this idea, I designed the costumes to be beautiful and serious, rather than comic, to let the humor in the actions and situations of the characters stand out. I based the Athenians’ costumes on historic Greek but with unrealistic elements such as giving the workers pants and non-historic draped tunics. The fairies were inspired by mythic creatures of nature that appear to come from the earth itself. The more powerful these creatures are, the more like humans they appear. The lesser fairies have draped outfits that seem to have been made from moss, cobwebs, and other natural materials. The King and Queen have structured garments to contrast with the draping of the Greeks. They too seem to have been made from nature, but are more refined and constructed.
Starting from the second week of January, I acted as an assistant to the costume designer Yao Chen for the 2014 Spring Dance Concert at USF. My work included communicating with the dancers about fitting schedules, attending costume fittings, adapting to the organization culture of the costume shop, varied costume construction tasks, and outlining and communicating tasks for the run crew.
Work in progress for a costume top for a belly dancer. The overlay is just there for me to decide if I like that placement. The actual texture will be like the photo on the right. I will be using the dragon scale embroidery technique created by Michele Carragher for her work on HBO’s Game of Thrones.
Trailer for the USF Theatre production of Ti-Jean and His Brothers. The cricket costume I built is visible at 0:01, 0:02, 0:14-0:17, and in the background in many other scenes. Sadly the cuts are very fast. I built the vest, skirt, and gorget. The headpiece and unitard were built by other members of the crew.
Author: Derek Walcott | Director and Set Designer: Henry Muttoo | Costume Designer: Yao Chen
Skirt (modeled by me though the actor’s waist is three inches smaller than mine) nearly complete. Been passed on to lab students for closure and a label, then it will come back to me for embellishments, then it will be sent off to an airbrusher. Made from orange corduroy that was sprayed with chocolate floral spray, car headliner lining the front and back panels, gaberdine lining the side panels, and black velvet.
Completed pattern pieces for the Cricket. The mock-ups were too heavily marked to use as they were, and some of that was because the outer portion of the vest has armor like pieces. The designer also made some shape changes to the skirt, so I made paper pattern rather than work straight from the mock-ups.
Mock-ups of vest and skirt ready for fitting. Because the pieces were originally to be done in leather, the way I did the mock-up is less true to the final method than I normally create. The boning and use of boiled wool to drape the skirt where suggested by my professor so that I could properly show the shapes to the designer. The vest was drafted using a blend of standard bodice drafting and men’s shirt drafting. Because the pieces were meant to be shaped from leather, I left out darts and will fit as closely as possible without so that the designer can draw the lines of the various pieces accurately. However, due to budget, the material was changed, as were the lines and construction method of the vest.
Lined, gold coated denim jacket. Modified from Simplicity 2172 with hand drafted pleated panel and collar. Collar has handmade bent wire boning. Tailored to between approximately pattern size 12-14. Done for fun and loosely inspired by Victorian jackets. Completed in October 2012.