DRAMA 101, INTRODUCTION TO THEATRE, MODULE 3 – Costume Designer


So the only other thing is the hem.
As a costumer designer, you have to like people.
You have to have a sense of humor. And you have to have a certain amount of
tenacity. And the fourth thing that you have to
have is a little bit of luck. [MUSIC][MUSIC] Hi, I’m Carrie Robbins.
I’m a costume designer for the theater. Welcome, to my world.
I love to draw and I love telling stories, I love the theater.
The process of design begins for me getting the job.
You get the phone call. If it’s a play you’re going to want to
read it, maybe a couple times if you have time.
if it’s a, an opera you’re going to want to hear it if you don’t already know it.
If it’s a dance piece, whatever they can show you, you’re going to talk to the
choreographer. In the White Christmas we had to make
a… Turquoise paisley because we had two
ladies wearing identical sisters dresses. [MUSIC] This dress is near and dear to
all of our hearts. It’s a simple blue paisley, a kind of
blue green. We found ten yards.
The dress takes many more than ten yards. The ruffles alone take an awful lot of
stuff, it’s just very dense. And, if you White Christmas and the
famous sisters’ number, there’s two of them.
And we were doing three companies, so there was six of them.
So we needed upwards of 75 yards, and we ended up with no other option but to make
it. We made it in the computer, which gave us
the chance to actually print it on the kind of fabric we wanted.
So this is a silk chiffon, this is actually a different kind of a silk
satin. it’s a satin chiffon.
It’s still sheer, but has a little a little more body, so the ruffles could be
a little bit more perky. And then we were able to actually glue
these little sparkly stones on top. From a distance it’s really very magical.
When the girls move, you catch these little, little tiny bits of light.
This is, a Bible, we call it that because it’s the most valuable organizational
tool that we have. This is a very rough sketch that I was
trying to explain the way ruffles go on to the dress, this kind of wave pattern,
and here is the shop, trying to reproduce that from me.
This is the special fabric that we had printed and another sample of it.
And the bible gives us all of the information, where we got the fabric, how
much the fabric cost, the trimming or detailing.
This is a xerox of the button we used. So that we have a full record.
And if you should have a hit, and if you should be so lucky as to reproduce it,
this is the tool you use to reproduce it. We make costumes so that they will last
for eight shows a week, and I’m sure the producers would like those to go a year.
So you multiply that out. Now, depending on what the actor slash
dancer is doing in the costume and how long he’s in it, it might not make it a
year. We do, do replacements, but we make it
much firmer it’s stronger, it often has an entire enterior to it, which can
absorb sweat, that takes the edge and protects the more, more fragile fabrics
on the outside. This is a a dance dress for a big dance
number that our dancing lead has and we’re very lucky it has three different
layers of shades. It’s an old trick, she does a lot of
twirling. She does a lot of what we call Spanish
section.>>Oh, well that’s beautiful.>>So the colors were very important.>>Great.>>What I’m doing in the fitting is I’m making a sort of final adjustments by, by
looking in the mirror to give myself some distance to, to give me a sense of the
person in the audience looking up. We are so close to being done, it looks
fabulous, it really does. And when you twirl around it’s going to
be stunning, yeah. Oh see so pretty.>>Yeah, that’s pretty.>>It’s very nice.
I, I don’t think we can do better.>>[LAUGH]>>It’s a dress to dance in, right?>>that’s what it is. [MUSIC]

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