It is getting to the time when we are all busy bees making the textiles, dyeing the fabric, and constructing elements of our costumes to have more fittings with our performers.
It suddenly becomes real when you have to take scissors to the chosen fabric…the one that costs £10 per m (or more, for some people!) or that you have spent ages dyeing to the the correct tone. Nevertheless, once I got over that hurdle, I feel I have been able to keep to me person schedule and keep the work ticking over without becoming monumentally stressed.
I have been quite lucky that my designs have not got intricate embroidery – as part of my research was all about the speed of getting texture and colour on to the fabrics without having to work into it – this was a form of futuristic embroidery techniques which I wanted to experiment with and different ways of achieving the same outcomes.
Lots of the textiles included shibori dyeing (a traditional Japanese technique, like tie dyeing) which was really fun to experiment with and easy to achieve so lovely results quickly. This was also key for Cabal’s costume, as I did not want him bogged down by lots of heavy layers, which can occur accidentally when applying embroidery to garments. He needed to be lightweight and free to shoot off to Space at the drop of a hat! Therefore, this technique worked well to achieve texture and tone without the added layers.
For Rowena, his wife, this lightness was less essential as she is part of the opposition towards Cabal and his Space Race, therefore I played around with teaselling for a lot of her costume, and this added a lot of the texture and tone, whilst adding this bulk which would physically weight her down – representing this aversion to change and progress.
I have finished my designs for the rest of the characters and have really enjoyed working out how I would construct each costume for the working drawings – I do not think much thought went into it whilst designing and it was challenging but fun to work out how they might be made!
So, it’s full steam ahead!