10/8/2016 0 Comments
For me, the costume design for this production is kind of like John William Waterhouse-meets-Courtney Love:
I think one of the most interesting things in the fairy tale “Sleeping Beauty” is the passage of time. At the eve of her sixteenth birthday, our fated heroine pricks her finger on a spinning wheel...and promptly falls asleep for one hundred years. One of the issues that I had with so many of the illustrated books and media adaptations that I poured over during the research period for this project, was that even though Beauty sleeps for a century, there hardly ever appeared to be any advancement in clothing and design from when she fell asleep to when she woke up. I mean, people - we are talking about one hundred years here!
I chose John William Waterhouse (1849 – 1917)’s paintings as my inspiration for the style of Beauty’s world before she fell asleep. Waterhouse is interesting to me because he is a man painting primarily in the Victorian and Edwardian periods, but his subject matter was exclusively female characters drawn from fairy tales and myths (which were often vaguely medieval). There’s something incredibly “once upon a time-time” about his visual style and the silhouettes of his subjects, in the way that he fluidly borrows influences from both the medieval and Victorian periods.
When trying to conceptualize what Beauty’s world looked like 100 years later post-slumber, I thought to myself: If 1890 is the absolutely latest date we can associate with Beauty’s world before she fell asleep, what would the world look like once Beauty wakes up 100 years later? I immediately thought of Courtney Love’s kinderwhore look from the early 1990s: the Lolita-esque nighties and short-short baby doll dresses, the white lace, the smokey black eyes and red lips smeared as if worn to bed. The perfect combination of innocent and sexy, and a superlative expression of Beauty’s budding sexuality.
And, lastly, who hasn’t been inspired by the many fairy tale-themed photo shoots that have appeared in Vogue over the past several years? A perfect blend of “once upon a time-time” fairy tale silhouettes, juxtaposed alongside anachronistic details and high fashion. Perfection, I tell you.
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