Project description

My MFA graduate project is a performance of Shakespeare's Measure For Measure set in the vibrant and diverse city of Vienna in the 1910s, where a cultural and creative explosion of new ideas jostled with traditional bourgeois values and a sense of impending crisis.  It is staged in a Spiegeltent, with the energetic and irreverent atmosphere of a cabaret.  For a full description of the concept and synopsis please see the link above.

The process of designing costumes begins with research, and I am always excited and inspired by exploring the environment and time my characters lived in, in order to immerse myself in their world.  With many years of experience behind me as a textile designer, my print and embroidery designs play an important part in helping to tell my character's stories.  

Julietta

The pregnant character of Julietta represents fertility, love and freedom.  She has no influence or voice on events, and I aimed to give her a greater presence through her costume. 

I took inspiration from Gustav Klimt's art and the Aesthetic dresses he and Emilie Floge collaborated on, which omitted restrictive corsets and had flowing skirts to encourage relaxed movement, signaling that the wearer didn’t feel obliged to conform to conventional society.  

I was also influenced by Grete Wiesenthal and her sisters who popularised contemporary dance in Vienna in the 1910s. 

Illustration of Julietta
Julietta Illustration, 2021
Julietta Dancing
Julietta Dancing
Julietta Dancing
Julietta Dancing
Julietta's Overdress: Pleated red cotton organdie skirt and sleeves attached to organdie empire line bodice. The dress is designed to transform and come alive when the performer dances, creating varied sculptural shapes. A headpiece completes the costume.
Julietta Headdress
Julietta in Blue Underdress
Julietta in Blue Underdress
Julietta Embellishment detail
Julietta's Underdress: Digitally printed satin and chiffon with screen-printed metallic foil; enamel, metal, stone and shell beading with gold trim.
Kate Keepdown

For the character of Kate Keepdown, a sex worker, I took inspiration from the work of Egon Schiele, particularly focusing on his use of colour, pigmented texture and the graphic use of black and white outlines which he often used around his subjects, and the graphic designs of the Wiener Werkstatte.  

Although she has no dialogue in the play, I see her as a strong and independent character, and sought to redress this silence through her costume to give her an imposing presence on stage. 

Kate Keepdown Illustration
Kate Keepdown Illustration, 2021
Kate Keepdown sitting on chair
Embroidered Textile
Kate Keepdown standing
Kate Keepdown sitting on chair
Kate Keepdown: Cotton seersucker all-in-one, and disperse dye printed and embroidered patched kimono jacket which has been slightly broken down for an aged effect.
Kate Keepdown standing
Kate Keepdown Kimono Jacket
Kate Keepdown: Ruffles made from stiffened muslin; hand-painted stockings and boots; wig constructed from millinery wire and dyed merino wool.
To see my design process from start to finish please see the link to my Design Book at the top of the page.
Skills & Experience
  • Design and Illustration
  • Machine and Hand Sewing
  • Screenprinting, Digital Printing, Dyeing, Handpainting Fabric, Breakdown
  • Embroidery and Embellishment
  • Set Design and Modelmaking
  • CAD: Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator