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Costume Design

Costume Design

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Costume Design

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  1. Costume Design Communicating character through clothing

  2. The Plan… • Objective: Explain the steps to creating a costume design. Pass a peer-generated “quiz” on the basics of costume design. • Agenda: Journal; Notes; Quizlet; Summary and Reflection. • Journal: Please explain how costume design can show character.

  3. The Process • Read the script. • Make a list of five key words to describe the character. • Conduct image research- for each word from step 2, find 3 images of garments that communicate this word or idea. Justify each image with a one sentence explanation. Remember color, line, and texture! • Create a change plot. This is simply a list of all of the costumes a character wears in order.

  4. Process, Continued • Create a costume collage. This is like the image research, but taken one step further. • Repeat steps 2 through 5 for each character in the play. • Create a Color Plot. This will help you visualize what the stage will look like and how different characters’ costumes will work with/against each other.

  5. Change Plot Most people do this in a list format. Simply list each scene in which a character appears, then write their costume needs for each scene. This includes not only specific garments, but pertinent information like time of day, season, location of the scene, etc.

  6. Change Plot Example Act One, Scene 2: Hal’s living room, 2am -Hal is coming in from a New Year’s party in Brooklyn. -He walked 36 blocks home. -Jeans, boots, sweater, jacket- not too stuffed, scarf and hat, gloves possible, but not matching. Act One, Scene 3: Hal’s living room, 3pm -Hal is leaving for the Hamptons on summer vacation. -Lightweight casual pants, short sleeved shirt– but not a tee, casual leather sandals (Rainbows?)

  7. Color Plot Spreadsheet -scenes listed across the top -characters down the side -each cell filled in with the color(s) each character is wearing (in scenes in which they appear) This takes some time to make, but is an invaluable resource in ensuring that each character relationship is reflected in the costuming, each important color for the play at-large is reflected in the costume design, and each scene has color balance.

  8. Costume Collage • Now that you have a lot of images to guide your design choices, and a list of the actual garments needed, it’s time to do denotative image research. • Find pictures of several examples of garments that you believe would work for each change. • Literally cut and paste these images together, grouped by change. • You MUST find MORE THAN THREE images for each garment. Remember, this is not the final DESIGN, it’s RESEARCH.

  9. Important Ideas to Keep in Mind • Relationships are almost as important as time, place, social class, etc. • Complimentary colors can imply conflict. • Families or other “grouped” characters can be linked by color, line, or texture. • Analogous colors are next to each other on the color wheel and can provide good variations within one group of characters.

  10. Lines and How They can Help • Chevrons can make a character appear older (if they’re shaped like the letter A) or younger (if they’re shaped like the letter V). Think of it as pulling down or lifting up. • Horizontal lines, especially strong lines, can make a character appear wider. • Vertical lines can make a character appear longer and leaner. • Wherever you place the waistline, it will affect how the audience sees the form of the actor.

  11. Moving Ahead • Construction vs Pulling • When dreams don’t match reality • When the director thinks your design doesn’t work, even though you know it’s perfect.