CDG - The Costume Designer

Fall 2017

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 21 of 71

22 The Costume Designer Fall 2017 The Working Sketch Mary Zophres I always start by finding visual inspiration in research, and then I have a ghost of an idea. When I started sketching, it was because I couldn't find one visual reference to express the idea or the combination of ideas into one fully fledged character with references. So, I felt like, "I have to sketch this because I can't communicate to my director as easily with multiple images as I can with a single sketch." You know if you walk the halls in Western Costume, there's some of the old illustrations, and those are the ones that I adore. I think they evoke so much. W hen it comes to costume illustration, it is easy to be daunted by the blank page or, these days, the empty screen, but the creative mind seeks to fill the empty space with inspiration and imagination. Drawing is part of the history of Costume Design, as well as part of our present. Whether your medium is paint or pixels, the end result is the same: to communicate your vision. Although it may seem otherwise, there is room for imperfection so far as sketching goes, and it is impor- tant to embrace the "hand" you have been dealt. Illustrations are more than maps of seams—they are evocations of character. When Chagall handed his sketches to famed ballet costume maker Karinska, he didn't suggest lamé for the wings of the firebird, he left room for interpretation. Little has changed from that time. A Costume Designer needs to choose the right tool for the task. Sometimes every detail in a sketch needs to be defined because the project demands it. But there are other times when there is merit in sitting down, distilling your inspiration, and being willing to draw something imperfect in order to capture a feeling. We spoke to several noted Costume Designers who also draw: Mary Zophres, Mia, La La Land.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of CDG - The Costume Designer - Fall 2017