Saturday, October 8, 2011

Halloween is the Time for Costume Design



Lesson Idea for Costume Design: Create a costume out of cardboard, paper and cloth that transforms the shape, size and configuration of your body. Make a costume in which you look taller or shorter, have more or fewer arms and legs, and the head is not where you would expect it to be.

These costumes (left) will give you some ideas. Can you figure out the construction tricks that make the optical illusions? Also look at the animal costumes designed by Julie Taymor for the stage production of the Lion King. The giraffes, hyenas, and other animals have extensions on arms and legs that change the shape and posture of the human body into a magical new form. The details of patterns, creative design and exquisite craftsmanship also contribute to the overall effect (right).

October is the perfect time to teach costume design just in time for Halloween. The knowledge and skills students develop are applicable to fashion design as well as costume and makeup design for stage and film. When the Academy Awards come out early next year, do another lesson motivated by the nominees and winners in the make-up and costume design categories for movies. Learn about some of the top costume designers and how they work.

Students will be tempted to choose costumes based on characters from popular culture and these are understandably very appealing because the originals were designed by some of the best designers in the industry. Students can also be imaginative and think of unusual costume ideas of their own. Costumes can be made from inexpensive materials that are easy to work with.

Click on the heading above to see a video with a Disney costume designer showing how to make your own pirate costume. The trick to a good costume is attention to detail, craftsmanship, and design.

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