Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Freya Meldrum 

BA [Hons] Costume Design

Freya is a Dublin based costume designer with a passion for creating visually rich costumes for theatre and film. Born and raised in Brussels, she’s always had an interest in how clothing can shape perspective and express character. She has just completed a BA Design for Stage and Screen: Costume Design at IADT. The course has taught her a lot about the many different elements necessary to the creation a successful project, and how to collaborate with others. She hopes to continue to explore the many exciting avenues of costume, from research, to design, to construction.

Major Project: Gideon the Ninth

The text I chose for my major project is “Gideon the Ninth”, a science fiction fantasy novel by Tamsyn Muir set in an alternative version of our universe, where necromancy (death magic) is omnipresent. The novel follows the necromancer and cavalier of the Ninth House, Harrowhark Nonagesimus and Gideon Nav, as they compete against others to attain immortality in service to the Emperor Undying.
I chose this text for its rich visual language. The society’s division into nine major ‘Houses’ as well as into Necromancers and Cavaliers meant I could play with the variety of different clothing styles that would develop in separate cultures. The costume I chose to make, Harrowhark Nonagesimus, is a necromancer specialising in bone magic, and high priestess of a necromantic religion. As such, her costume reflects the weight of tradition placed upon her, as well her quiet but imposing power.
Makeup and hair by Lavender Jane Gartlan. Modelled by Aisling Wallace.

Thesis: Puppetry and Purpose: Exploring how nature shapes form through animal puppets

Since I was young, I’ve been fascinated by the transformative nature of puppetry, and how despite the knowledge of a puppet’s inanimate nature we are often compelled to believe in their autonomy. In order to explore the essential components of a successful puppet performance I decided to look at the interplay of form and nature in the creation of a puppet. I chose to analyse how the ‘personality’ of a puppet influences how they are designed, from scale, to aesthetic choices, to puppetry method. To help focus my inquiries I chose to focus on three very different iconic animal puppets; Kermit the Frog from The Muppets, Joey from War Horse, and the Cheshire Cat from the Alice In Wonderland ballet.
Through looking at the different styles of puppetry used, the different scales of the puppets, and the realism of the design I broke down the key elements that have made these particular puppets stand the test of time and remain brilliant and lifelike in people’s imagination.