Monday

fun with costumes

One of my favorite costumes to create for the Russian school play was the three Skomorokhi/Jokers costumes. Why? Because they were pure fun. Because I got to doodle with paint on a blank canvas aka shiny poly satin. Because the pattern making was easy and the construction even more so with my trusty Bernina serger (zip zip)! And as an added bonus - bells! on all parts that could jingle!

So I thought I would share the evolution of the costumes here...
I started with my sketch. The sketch is mostly from my head, influenced by researching Russian costumes from fairy tales. Purposefully I kept the sketch black and white. As for any production budget is a huge issue and I was not sure whether we'd be able to use fabric from the school stash, score a donation or have to buy fabric. I gave up on the fleeting idea of piecing the garments according to my designs, it would have just been too time consuming and of course time is of the essence.... I was leafing through my costume books for an idea of how to realize my idea.. and found this! Photographs from the 1912 production of Snegurochka/Snow Maiden (Nikolai Andreevich Rimsky-Korsakov) at the Zimin Opera theater in Moscow. Brilliant! I just loved the painted or printed costumes and I knew that I could accomplish that quickly.Measurements were taken. My rusty pattern making skills were brushed off. The blank costumes were constructed.(and modeled happily...LOL) I ran into a bit of a problem at this stage as most paints I had were either bleeding too much or making the fabric too stiff. By stroke of luck I stumbled upon this blog post by Judy Coates Perez, thanks Judy! A quick trip to the local art store for a selection of bright colors and I was off and running. The painting has begun! I kept my original sketch around for inspiration, but wandered from it freely as my muse took me or for ease and speediness. I stuffed the garments with plastic sheeting that has seen many uses and the pool noodles made good stuffing for sleeves. Hooks in the ceiling are a good tool, sometimes it's easier to draw on something hanging instead of lying down flat. Certainly helps with drying! A bit more progress here. By the third costume I was really doodling! and wondering how my doodles would be by the 4th or 5th costume. I was kind off bummed there where only three... Then I got some fluorescent puff paint for details and stopped being so bummed, because this paint required drying with hairdryer and I was running out of time. Even my parents, who were visiting, helped out with the drying... Then I got my mom to sew on all the bells!Here are the three rascals all dressed up. And on the stage.

7 comments:

Gerrie said...

Whew! I am out of breath keeping up with your costume making. Very cool!

judy coates perez said...

Love those costumes Natalya! What fun!

Hope your ready for more snow, the blizzard is just starting here in Chicago and it is coming down!

Kristin L said...

I can only imagine what you would have come up with if you weren't pressed for time. These have so much energy!

Julaine said...

absolutely delightful...

Bozena Wojtaszek said...

O, to ja moge pisac po polsku :)
Your costumes' story brings me down memory lane. As a student I wrote my thesis about Meyerhold's theatre.
And I love your modern approach to the tradition of Russian theatre.

rossichka said...

It was very interesting for me to follow the process of creating your costumes! You did a great job! Although there was tension, you enjoyed yourself and that's why the result is so good! How nice that your Mum was around just when you needed some help!:)

rossichka said...

When I work upon a puppet performance, I follow the work in the ateliers - the creating of sets, puppets, props and costumes, that's why I had the feeling that "I was swiming in well-known water...", while looking at the photos!:)