Behind the Seams: Connecting Threads
I love watching the end of class in the mornings. As I get to know the artists here at Wonderbound, I find class to be a wonderful window for me as a designer and costumer into the personalities, body types, and individual styles of movement of each of the dancers. The subtleties of character and line often come through for me in the casual moments between phrases or in the pure physicality of training. As I watch them dance I begin to understand their unique movements and lines more fully. I imagine shapes and weights of fabrics flowing around them and visualize, for example, a series of necklines on a body, investigating what lines are flattering here, what drape might be nice there… In the shop I’ve taken current measurements on the company to start the season, held my first round of fittings for Gothic Folktale and am now fully into alterations! As I delve into the existing costumes of Gothic Folktale I feel I’m taking a journey into the imagination of Rachel Kras, the costume designer who designed and built the original production of Gothic Folktale in 2013. I see the love and care and careful attention she’s put into each of these garments, into each costume piece and I feel kinship with her, through her beautifully made costumes. Although we met just briefly and live now in different states, there is still a story being shared between us through the costumes in my hands.
I find myself thinking of how culturally we have moved away from having a “hand” connection to the clothes we wear, to where they come from, how their were made and who stitched them together, where the fiber came from. There is a story stitched and woven into the clothes we wear and the textiles we surround ourselves with if we’re curious to ask the questions, to listen, to follow the connecting threads.
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