BA [Hons] Design for Stage + Screen Costume Design
I am a designer and illustrator passionate about stories of any genre or style. I love to get to know the intricacies of a text in order to design and make costumes which communicate the world of the text beautifully and suitably. I take an interest in exploring the characters and their personalities in my designs to create a complex and believable world.
On this page you will find my work from my 4th Year at IADT. This includes the Minor and the Major Project, each of which involves a constructed costume and a collection of costume designs in the form of sketches and illustrations.
For my Graduate Project I made a Costume for a TV adaptation of
Dune, by Frank Herbert. This science-fiction story is set on a Desert Planet in the far future. The costume I chose to make is a Stillsuit which is a utility suit worn to reclaim the body’s valuable moisture when traveling through the desert. The Design I made is what is worn by the Fremen, the indigenous people of the desert planet. My concept is to make the Fremen look less stereotypically advanced than the rest of the people groups in the story by giving them a textured and organic appearance. This represents the way in which they are underestimated by the people that don’t know them simply based on their outer appearance.
I found that the turban is an iconic and centuries old part of the clothing of nomadic people groups in the Sahara Desert. This particular style of turban, the tagelmust or litham in Arabic, fulfilled the criteria that my costume needed – to cover the head, mouth, nose and neck. As this garment has proved its usefulness in the hash desert climate I did not want to abandon it in favour of any western-fashion garment like a hood and scarf.
All the theoretically technical workings of the suit of reclaiming the body’s moisture when in the desert, are worked into the seemingly mundane materials. The only plastic tube comes over the shoulder for drinking water. The inner layer displays an intricate surface which maximises the are for capturing any drop of water inside the suit, and the outermost textured tunic is for storing any reclaimed water as well as waste materials.
The costume is full of details that are mostly hidden on the inside which, while also being decorative for scenes where the characters take off or put on the suit, represents the way in which there is more to these people than meets the eye.
The Episode I designed costumes for begins with the two main characters stranded in the desert after having been attacked in their home the night before; they are still wearing their night-robes.
Stranded in the Desert Paul and Jessica Atreides
Here you can see how the Stillsuits would look in a group. Each one has an individual appearance while being of the same make as the rest. This way the costumes still portray the characters wearing them and do not end up looking like uniforms.
Meeting the Fremen Paul, Jessica, Stilgar and Chani
For the designs I chose to work with colours and patterns more so than with complex pattern cutting and tailoring techniques. I wanted to give the Fremen a colourful and more relaxed appearance when at home, in contrast to the restricted colour palette that they wear when appearing in public.
The characters all have their own specific style but are still clearly part of the same group of people.
Everyday Life Paul, Jessica, Stilgar and Chani
The Episode ends with a ceremony which a number of the characters take part in. The ones taking part are wearing symbolic colours and garments that are different from their casual clothing.
Ceremony Paul, Jessica, Stilgar, Chani, and Ramallo
I have added my sketches and process work for this project in a PDF file below. Feel free to browse and see how I work.
My Minor Project was "The Importance of Being Earnest" by Oscar Wilde. This project includes costume designs for the play, as well as an 1895 Walking Suit. I have also included this in a PDF for your perusal below.