Amalgamation of Life

How does one costume?

I think the time has come where I lead this blog back to my roots, because I’ve gotten so far away from them… and it’s only been three months. Can you believe that it’s only been three months? I feel like a crazy blogger lady already.

  • Delicacy of sizing actors – both male and female.

As I am so fortunate to be involved in more than one show right now, I literally have a slew of actors available to me to dress. It’s literally amazing. I don’t know how I’m going to do it all but it’s going to happen and I am excited to accomplish this personal feat.

Albeit I think I’m partially crazy for attempting to dress two shows and make up another.

You might be wondering how do I do it? This isn’t the fashion industry where you can request models who meet x y z measurements. A director makes the calls for casting and thankfully I work with amazing individuals who see no body shape or size. A wide range of individual body types were cast and I have to find a way to make the fashion of their period fit onto their body. Fortunately with Laramie this isn’t much of a problem, simple uniform of grey shirt and blue jeans – maybe some additional touches here and there. But 1940s.. that’s a bit of a struggle.

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Let’s focus on just the women for now – they have the best fashion in my opinion. I don’t think men’s fashion ‘improved’ or became engaging until the 1960s.

These figures drawn on a pattern book are all the same body type featuring the same, ideal silhouette for their dresses and patterns. That is not the figure of a majority of women now (or even then if you do some research – albeit, potentially bias).

I am not going to be asking my ladies to wear corsets.

I will ask them to wear as close to period shoes as possible – I’ll probably weighleigh to character shoes but I’m hoping some of my actors are up for some velvet pumps.

I will not ask them to sleep with rollers in their hair to get the perfect liberty curl.

I will ask that they wear red lipstick and nail polish.

There’s allowances you have to make to meet both the plays expectations as well as honoring the humans who are bringing your show to life. I think for the period from when bodies changed out of of this 1940s silhouette to sometime in this 21st century, it was very hard to dress people for shows. Were shows cast with the same figured women over and over again due to the limitations of the costumes available? Possibly. Disgusting but a potential reality that existed.

*The following is not an endorsement for Amazon*
Fortunately now with the advent of Amazon and overnight shipping from a wide-variety of vaguely reputable dealers in foreign countries, dressing is much easier for any and all body types. Find an outfit you like and see if you can find a piece, or pieces, available for sale at a favorable price on Amazon. The distributor is making it easier for costumers to find specific pieces that might not have been available before and therefore really helping shows come to life. It’s going to be surreal.

To summarize, it is not about the people or what their size may or may not be – it’s about finding pieces that not only work for them but work for the show. People first, shows second. ‘Til next time.

1 thought on “How does one costume?”

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