June 30, 2011

Costume Portraits

More production photos from Four Acts / One Night can be found at:

http://www.annquilts.com/costumes/One%20Acts/Tifles%20-%20The%20Rocker.html

Costume portraits of each character are at:

http://www.annquilts.com/costumes/One%20Acts/Costume%20Portraits.html

A few stories, and examples of the teamwork involved to put on a show:


This dress came to us with a broken zipper in front and too-short sleeves.  Annie restructured the whole thing:  She turned it around so the new zipper was in back, put darts above the waist to fit the actress and make the look less frumpy, and opened the neckline a bit.  She added lower sleeves, yoke, and sash, made from some curtain fabric bought resale, and also added the lace bib front, made from half a dresser scarf, plus some trim and buttons.  A masterwork, and looks so pretty now.

This jacket had (as Patty's research showed) Viet Nam War arm patches and stripes.  We took those off, and added (a splurge, but nothing else looked right) real military gold braid that Mina found at an army-navy store.  It's priced by the foot, folks!  Use sparingly....  The jacket was missing a couple of buttons, the whole set was replaced with buttons I bought for $2.00 a scoop at the fabric store.  I made the medal and bars, totally inauthentic, but giving the right impression.  We bought the pants resale, since we didn't have any black pants in the right size.  They are tux pants, and the waist sliders were broken, so they had to be stitched into place to stay on him.  

The medal was a doo-dad I picked up at a garage sale a year or so ago.  The bars are ribbon wrapped on cardboard.  I went with just blue and white ribbons, no red, yellow, green, etc., which in the real world are often used as well, because of the decision to keep the colors in this play very neutral, echoing the black and white movie look. 

The sleeves of this jacket were way too short for the actress.  Mina's first idea was to let them down all the way, no hem even, and cover the edge with a black braid.  She decided it would look better with braid around the collar as well, so she added that.  The sleeves were still too short.  The blouse we'd chosen is short sleeved.  So Mina came up with the idea to add false cuffs to the jacket lining, so they would look like the blouse sleeves sticking out.  She found a good match of fabric.  I went to the fabric store for more lace - I'd just added lace to the blouse collar and short sleeves for our previous show.  Happily, the store still had more of the same lace!  That's one of my favorite parts of costuming, all the tricks we get to play.  

And beyond all the fun stuff, there is always lots of plain old alterations and repairs, so important and never noticed by the audience.  I've decided that lots of the time, the better the costuming design and execution, the less it is noticed!  

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