Question: Can I design costumes if I can’t draw?
Gosh, I sure hope so, or most of my students right now in our Costume Design unit are going to be some sad campers. Because they all say they can’t draw. All of them. And the ones who can draw, won’t admit it aloud for fear of having to draw a slew of bodies for this project for all their friends.
So what really matters in costume design? Ask any designer, and you will get a myriad of answers. All agree, however in this: read the play first. Then ask, do I really know what’s going on in the play? Have I scoured the text for key details that will help inspire me when it’s time to put the pen/pencil to paper?
Today we are reading from Jessica Risser-Milne’s blog, The Costume Design Blog. It’s witty, detail oriented, and while not updated regularly, offers a reality check for today’s costume designer. I think of her posts as being a handy archive of costume design truisms. Her resume and photos of her work are here.
After reading the script a jillion times, costume designers spend a lot of time researching. Jessica Risser-Milne writes:
I research clothing styles, color palettes, current events surrounding the play. I look at fabrics I might want to use, what color, shape, texture they bring to the show, and how the characters interact with them.
With google image search at our fingertips, researching for costumes should be a snap. Yet is it? We might need some help with costume design resources…
Provide a link to any site you think would be most helpful to a costume designer. Describe the site in one sentence [use your own student words…] and give us one reason why we should check it out.