Clodagh McCarthy is a Costume Design for Stage and Screen graduate in IADT. She is currently based in Wexford and is a lover of bold colours, historical costume and all things texture. She hopes to work in the film and theatre industry on the finer details in costume.
For my final major project, I chose Great Expectations by Charles Dickens as the story is highly visual with captivating, colourful and often loony characters. It is a coming-of-age story about a young, orphan boy called Pip in 19th Century England as he grows up in poverty and and comes into fortune as a Gentleman in London. The story battles themes of wealth and poverty, love and rejection and good vs evil. I designed an 1830s gown for the character Estella, the beautiful but cold love interest of Pip. She is admired by many men but has been raised by her adoptive and scornful mother, Miss Havisham, for only one thing, the destruction of men. I chose a ball scene where Estella is taunting Pip by dancing with other men and runs after him through the gardens as he flees in anger. I based my design on a peacock as the bird also flaunts its feathers at it’s mates. I have always had an interest into the way female villains are portrayed in storytelling and this project allowed me to put my own take on it.
My Thesis analysed the portrayal of the female villain in Luke Jennings’ 2014-16 Codename: Villanelle novel and the 2018 BBC adaptation television series, Killing Eve. The two main areas of enquiry were the portrayal of Villanelle and Eve Polastri’s characters and how they subvert the traditional male gaze imposed on them in the BBC adaptation series, Killing Eve. Throughout chapter one, the male gaze present in Jennings’ novel is discussed in reference to the femme fatale, gender performance through masquerade, female monstrosity and finally, in opposition to the female gaze present in Killing Eve. The emergence of the anti-heroine trope through the female gaze is also discussed as both Villanelle and Eve in the Killing Eve series are complex female characters.