I’ve said before that the world of costume design, while often interesting, is often not glamorous. These are some little example of what I’m talking about.
This is one of the ladders they have at work. I actually am pretty afraid of heights so sometimes these ladders can be challenging for me. Usually, I try not to think about it as I haul clothes up and down them. It is more challenging to ignore when there have been earthquakes nearby. It also makes me glad I don’t work in one of the warehouses where the racks go all the way to the ceiling. Two and three racks are tall enough for me. In some places, I’ve heard that the racks are 5 high.
I call this hanger crud. I don’t know what exactly it is, but you get it from handling hangers. I often get these black marks all over my hands and arms. Sometimes my hands will look so filthy, I wash them several times an hour. I remind myself often that at least I’m not handling dirty socks.
Oh wait. Those are waiting at home for me in the basket of dirty zombie laundry from my show… I wonder what people will think when I take the basket of “bloody” clothes to the Laundromat.
And speaking of dirty socks, that's not the only thing that smells. This was a note I came across first thing this morning. Really, what can I say about this, except, "Please actors, wear deordorant!" and also, "There are these things we call dress shields, please try them!"
And finally, there are several reasons why I ask people not to smoke while wearing, or near the costumes. This is just one of them...
A Little Piece of History...
As a costume designer, a big part of my job revolves around history. Often I feel like a detective, ferreting out obscure facts about far away places and long ago times. Some times the history comes up and practically whacks me in the face.
Today I saw something at work that reminded me of how much things have changed when it comes to what is acceptable in fashion and costuming. To be a little more specific, I was introduced to the "fur room" today.
As the name says, this is the room where they keep all of the furs. I personally do not believe that animals should be killed for their furs. The synthetic fabrics available today have really made the use of real fur unnecessary in my opinion. I realize that in the past, most people did not feel this way, and that fur was used for warmth as well as decoration. Some of these furs were nearly 100 years old, and have no doubt graced the silver screen numerous times. A few of the things I saw in the room disturbed me a little bit, but on the whole I was actually kind of relieved that they had a safe room where they could protect and preserve these items.
Not always what you think it is...
When I tell people what I do for a living, the most common response I get is, "that must be fun." And yes, often it is fun, but more often than that, it's not what you think it it is. The world of costume design is often hot and tiring. I am currently working in a costume warehouse. My days are spent hauling clothes up and down ladders in 100 degree heat. I make minor repairs to damaged clothing and sew on a lot of buttons. This is not glamourous, but it is often interesting.
I have a love of clothes, especially vintage clothing, and one of the great things about my job is getting to see the beautiful, weird, or tacky clothing of the past century. Every day I notice something new. This picture is of a 1950s skirt.
I am so tired right now. It's easy to forget how much work goes into opening a show, and how often it's down to the wire to get things finished. I am glad to say that Geeks vs. Zombies opened tonight to a small and quiet, but very appreciative crowd. For the most part, I am very happy with how this show turned out. I am not a horror movie fan, and I have never designed anything like this before. I think having tried something new makes the entire experience that much more satisfactory.
These are some of the shirts I painted for the geeks to wear after they have been battling zombies.
I have a love/hate relationship with blogs. There are so many people out there, trying to get their voices heard, that I often wondered what I could possibly have to add to the vast amount of information available on the web. If I wrote a blog, what would I focus on, and what would be worth taking time out of my day/ week/ month to talk about? I didn't know, so I never started one.
It's funny sometimes how things work out. I knew I needed to develop a professional website (something else I had been putting off for various reasons) and when I finally settled on using weebly, one of it's features was to include a blog. This brought back, the "what would I write abouts?" Having pondered this for several weeks, I was still at a loss, when a couple of days ago, one of my ex students contacted me on Facebook to ask me some questions about how to use photoshop for costume illustration. So in a way, that answers that question.
One of the things I have enjoyed the most in my career (so far), is teaching. So I have decided to devote this blog to teaching. I will be including how-to's and how-did-I's and the occasional, I-thought-this-was-cool's. I am not claiming to be an expert on many things, but I will include what works for me, and where I got a lot of my information. I hope anyone who reads this will enjoy what I have to say, and find the information I include useful. Also, if anyone has any questions for me I will do my best to answer them.
So for now, cheers! Here's to new beginings!
I am a costume designer and artist, and I have a love for all things tiki.