CDG - The Costume Designer

Spring 2019

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Spring 2019 The Costume Designer 55 O n February 23, 2019, Dr. Deborah Nadoolman Landis invited distinguished Costume Designers to the David C. Copley Center for Costume Design Annual Sketch to Screen Panel at UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television. The panelists included Academy Award winner Ruth E. Carter (Black Panther), as well as Oscar nominees Alexandra Byrne (Mary Queen of Scots), Sandy Powell (Mary Poppins Returns and The Favourite), and Mary Zophres (The Ballad of Buster Scruggs), as well as Costume Designers Erin Benach (A Star Is Born) and Mary E. Vogt (Crazy Rich Asians). Landis asserted Costume Design doesn't represent identity, Costume Design equals identity. She believes Costume Designers create an intimate partnership between the clothes, the person, and the performance. This partnership yields a new personality. She also confided, "If you don't care about the people in the story, you are not going to love the movie. Our work is all about falling in love with the movie." Landis fired off a myriad of questions on such topics as real- life challenges and the best and worst aspects the job, and the answers ricocheted back. Erin Benach felt last-minute costume changes were difficult, but when something wonderful comes out of a forced rush, they can be among the most rewarding moments. Ruth Carter commented that the intensity of the personal commit- ment required was both the best and the worst. Mary Vogt quipped that jobs were best when they were over. She also advised that one has to love what you do, or your career will be short lived. Alexandra Byrne reveled in the transformative power of continually learning, but bemoaned the constant loss of sleep. When asked about advice, Sandy Powell confided that her first director had said, "You should go to work like you are going to a party. You need to bring that sense of fun and excitement every day." Ruth Carter enthused, "There is a moment when the dream becomes a reality, and I love that." For costume enthusiasts, students, and professionals, the deli- cious conversation was packed with bon mots which informed and delighted. Appropriately, the panel was followed with real bon bons, cake, and tea. By Anna Wyckoff From Sketch to Screen — Dr. Deborah Nadoolman Landis " Costume Design is more than storytelling, it is the story." By Anna Wyckoff Dr. Deborah Nadoolman Landis, Erin Benach, Sandy Powell, Ruth E. Carter, Mary E. Vogt, Alexandra Byrne, and Mary Zophres (L to R)

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