CDG - The Costume Designer

Winter 2017

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6 The Costume Designer Winter 2017 CONTRIBUTORS CHRISTINE COVER FERRO (Lois DeArmond Feature) While researching for a stage adaptation of Matthew Gregory Lewis's Gothic novel The Monk, I came across the sculptures of Antonio Corradini. My director, fellow designers, and I were taken in by their creepy beauty. Veiled Truth was the primary visual inspiration for a scene where the heroine disguises her- self as the Virgin Mary for deep- ly sacrilegious purposes. From the staging, to my testing out countless sheer fabrics for the right hand, to the lighting angles tweaked to best pop the folds in her veil, everything we did was to re-create the haunting quality of the sculpture. MARCY FROEHLICH (History of Dress, Text) I've been in love with Jan Vermeer's paintings since I was 12. It's the magic quality of the light that fascinates me, and I've studied how he uses light to illuminate the figure and define the costume. The translucent quality of this woman's cap is amazing. Every time I see his work, I want to paint my own sketches better. VALLI HERMAN (Jeffrey Kurland Feature) With their commanding com- position and proportion, the monochromatic towers of wooden shapes by sculptor Louise Nevelson showed you can't underestimate the seem- ingly simple. As much as her art, her life and look are thrilling: imagine Nevelson in her signa- ture turban and double-layered false eyelashes scrounging New York trash for scraps to make into art. ROBIN RICHESSON (History of Dress, Illustrator) When I went to college to study art, one of the artists that first knocked my socks off was Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. The com- bination of gestural line and shape was transformative to me. Such immediacy! And the period clothing was to my lik- ing as well. Later, when I found out there was such a thing as costume illustration, I discov- ered the work of Theadora Van Runkle. She became my hero in our field, and to this day, hers are the only costume illustrations I truly admire and aspire to. BONNIE NIPAR (Boldface Names, Emmy Nominees) The moment I first saw this 1915 portrait by Hungarian painter Philip Alexius de László, it took my breath away. Completely mesmerized by the seductive spirit and vitality achieved by layering opposing colors of silk chiffon, I imagined how spec- tacular this dress must have been when Mrs. Sandys walked into a room! Years later, this layering technique was the inspiration for a Viennese Waltz gown I designed on Dharma & Greg. STACY ELLEN RICH (Boldface Names) Art was always such a huge part of my formative life. As a freshman in high school, I spent a lot of time in the library perusing art books. I was drawn to a voluminous book of Claes Oldenburg drawings and prints. I was absolutely obsessed with his work. The scale, the use of mixed mediums, and the fabric- like quality of many of the works resonated within my soul. Confession: I checked out that book from the library and told the librarian I lost it (which is ridiculous considering the size of it) and I paid a handsome fee. For some reason, there were two copies of it in our library so I didn't feel so bad. That book is still in my collection today. DIANA EDEN (Scrapbook Mina Mittelman) I grew up in Tunbridge Wells, England, and when I was about 7 years of age, my mother took me up to London: Harrods for shopping and lunch, a half-hour in the National Gallery of Art, and then to Covent Garden to see the Sadler's Wells Ballet. Nothing was the same after that. Nothing was as exotic, magical, emotional, mystical as the ballet. My heroes were Margot Fonteyn and Moira Shearer, whose portrait I kept on my dresser well into early adulthood. To this day, my favorite people to costume are dancers. Is there one artist or painting, which inspired your Costume Design? SHARON DAY (Scrapbook Dodie Shepard) Raised in the green and soggy nature capital of the Pacific Northwest, I was encouraged by my mother to dream along with the midday TV matinee after school. She narrated along. As a young woman, she had been offered a contract to be among the studio players at 20th Century Fox Pictures in the early 1940s. So fantasy was part of what I grew up on. My hero artist was Erté and the jaw-dropping glamour that he created for stage and film. The Erté alphabet cos- tumes always transported me. The Greek goddess statues that were his inspiration, are in my DNA to this day!

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