Submission Title

Costume Design for A Midsummer Night's Dream

Location

Jereld R. Nicholson Library

Subject Area

Theatre Arts

Description

For a class project in costume design, I created designs for A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare. My inspiration came from both Greek and Elizabethan styles. Actors during Shakespeare’s day wore their own Elizabethan clothes on stage. The actors also incorporated some costume pieces and accessories to indicate the time period and locale of ancient Greece. I wanted to bring the fashions Shakespeare used to the current stage.

Since mysticism was popular in ancient Greece, I tied the fairies to Greek fashion. One of the fun aspects in this play is the lack of distinction between reality and the dream world. I connected the nobles to both time periods, but more to Elizabethan fashion to express their refined social status. The mechanicals’ costumes were in-between these two styles because they associate with both the nobles and the fairies. I love history and was inspired by how the actors of Shakespeare’s time melded Elizabethan fashion with Athenian accessories. This concept is similar to what you might see in a dream. Two things that don't usually go together can look perfectly acceptable in a dream world. The goal of my costume design was to present a new combination of historical fashion.

The line and shape of Athenian garments brought up pictures of elegant yet free flowing fairies, which further cemented my desire to mix Elizabethan and Athenian fashions. The hair accessories the Athenians sometimes wore gave me a place to express my creative design. I incorporated plants, flowers and other nature-based objects to give distinctions to my fairies.

For the Athenian nobles, I picked heavier, more Elizabethan-like fabrics to portray their social status and wealth. I chose more structured silhouettes to represent the strict social protocol they were required to follow in their life. I was impressed by how the fashion of Elizabethan nobles had detailed styles and patterns. There were many details to incorporate with the Greek fashion, which I enjoyed thoroughly. For example, a high collar was popular in men’s fashion during the Elizabethan time period. I used it to represent the Athenians’ confining world, where people are not allowed to marry for love.

I differentiated the mechanicals by using leather materials. They each have one or two leather pieces, such as vests, belts, and/or sandals. Under these accent pieces, they wear a Greek tunic with flowing Elizabethan sleeves. Their clothes are thin, faded, and worn out because they are lower class laborers. Compared to the nobles, the mechanicals are less restrained. They do have principles and laws to follow, but they have an ability to be creative within their social class due to lower expectations. Since the mechanicals are less confined than the nobles, I used the looser Athenian garments to tie the mechanicals to the fairies.

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May 15th, 12:15 PM May 15th, 1:30 PM

Costume Design for A Midsummer Night's Dream

Jereld R. Nicholson Library

For a class project in costume design, I created designs for A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare. My inspiration came from both Greek and Elizabethan styles. Actors during Shakespeare’s day wore their own Elizabethan clothes on stage. The actors also incorporated some costume pieces and accessories to indicate the time period and locale of ancient Greece. I wanted to bring the fashions Shakespeare used to the current stage.

Since mysticism was popular in ancient Greece, I tied the fairies to Greek fashion. One of the fun aspects in this play is the lack of distinction between reality and the dream world. I connected the nobles to both time periods, but more to Elizabethan fashion to express their refined social status. The mechanicals’ costumes were in-between these two styles because they associate with both the nobles and the fairies. I love history and was inspired by how the actors of Shakespeare’s time melded Elizabethan fashion with Athenian accessories. This concept is similar to what you might see in a dream. Two things that don't usually go together can look perfectly acceptable in a dream world. The goal of my costume design was to present a new combination of historical fashion.

The line and shape of Athenian garments brought up pictures of elegant yet free flowing fairies, which further cemented my desire to mix Elizabethan and Athenian fashions. The hair accessories the Athenians sometimes wore gave me a place to express my creative design. I incorporated plants, flowers and other nature-based objects to give distinctions to my fairies.

For the Athenian nobles, I picked heavier, more Elizabethan-like fabrics to portray their social status and wealth. I chose more structured silhouettes to represent the strict social protocol they were required to follow in their life. I was impressed by how the fashion of Elizabethan nobles had detailed styles and patterns. There were many details to incorporate with the Greek fashion, which I enjoyed thoroughly. For example, a high collar was popular in men’s fashion during the Elizabethan time period. I used it to represent the Athenians’ confining world, where people are not allowed to marry for love.

I differentiated the mechanicals by using leather materials. They each have one or two leather pieces, such as vests, belts, and/or sandals. Under these accent pieces, they wear a Greek tunic with flowing Elizabethan sleeves. Their clothes are thin, faded, and worn out because they are lower class laborers. Compared to the nobles, the mechanicals are less restrained. They do have principles and laws to follow, but they have an ability to be creative within their social class due to lower expectations. Since the mechanicals are less confined than the nobles, I used the looser Athenian garments to tie the mechanicals to the fairies.