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It has generally been seen that there are various areas in theater and drama that needs to be focused for making a play or drama successful. Set and costume designing, both are the attributes that help audience for understanding things related to the play even before the characters start to act or speak. One of the central themes that one should be focused on is the costume designing. It is just like investing in clothes for making the final appearance and character impressive. Costume is the central attraction that refers to the dress style which points towards a particular time, class, or society. While designing a costume for any character it is important for me to keep in consideration for which time, society and character I am designing costumes. I have been assigned a task to design costumes for a play called “The Importance of being Ernest” that was written and performed in the Victorian period. My artistic choices for making the costumes of this play would be very clear as my main focus would be on Victorian period. Time period is the main thing I would consider in which this play was performed. My choice of costume will help the character as well as direct for communicating what they want to convey to the audience. Choices that I make for making a costume of my characters of "The importance of being Ernest" should be able to link both time periods, time in which the play was written and the time in which that play is going to be performed.
The main concept, I have while working on this project of designing costumes for the characters of “The importance of being Ernest” is, how to connect the audience of the twenty-first century with that of the eighteenth century. My main focus remains on the combination of the colors and texture of the fabric so that I could provide the best visual understanding to the audience. The conception that works behind my mind is that the costumes, I am going to make for the main characters of this play would create a style statement about the whole society. Another thing that I am going to look over while making costumes would be assisting performers and the audience. Actors and audiences are going to make a strong personal association with character and what he/she would be wearing on the stage. Being a costume designer, I have to keep in mind two things, first is the element of the visual design and second is the material that it could use practically for creating costumes. Few of the concepts I would be concerned about are, my costumes must link the character and the environment in which the character is living, as it would be quite strange if I would design rich dress for a poor character because that would not make any sense so I have to keep all the minor details of that character in mind while finalizing the costumes.
Anything done must serve any purpose. Nothing in this world is being done without any purpose or goal. Likewise, the thing cannot be denied that there are various goals of costume designing. Costume represents idea of the play. Another major goal that I have being a costume designer is to give the audience a flavor of the historical period depicted in the play. This thing must be taken in consideration that the play for which I am designing the costumes is of the Victorian era and it is important for me to connect the audience of the twenty-first century with social norms, traditions, and ideology of eighteenth century. The goals of designing costumes and set designing are almost similar. There are five basic goals of costume designing that are listed below:
Costume helps in establishing style and tone
I always keep in mind while making the costume that whether I am designing a costume for a negative character or positive character because it is important for defining the tone and style of the character. Costume spots light on the tone and style of the character.
Costume points towards a place and time
Styling and the costume of every character would depict the demography as well as the time in which my character would be living.
Gives information about the character
The costume also gives a lot of information about the character such as his age, social status, and taste etc.
A costume makes proceedings easier for the director and actors
Another thing that I focus on while designing costumes of the characters of this play is assisting the actors and directors so that my costume could help them in conveying their message without putting extra efforts.
Practical needs of the actor are fulfilled by through the costume
Another goal, my costume would serve is that they fulfill the practical needs of the character for putting life in the role that a character plays.
So as a whole, it could be asserted that costume designing is an important department that helps the director and the actors for conveying the message. It won’t be wrong to say that being a costume designer, one has to note all details about the script so that location, age, society and theme of the play could be communicated by the costume of the characters. A costume designer is the main person who paints the frame of the play. Choices that a costume designer makes provide a great opportunity to the characters for giving creative expressions.
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