Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Academy and Costume Design

The Oscars are this weekend, and we've been hard at work putting together a few red carpet-worthy dresses and one brilliant gold Oscar costume for a party.

Trevor in Oscars glory... literally!
The costume design nominees this year are unsurprising: Anna Karenina (period), Les Miserables (period), Lincoln (period), Mirror Mirror (fantasy/period), and Snow White and the Huntsman (fantasy/period). This is not a commentary as to whether these nominations are deserving; having only seen one of these I can't judge (and I have heard wonderful things about the subtlety of the Lincoln design, for one.) This is a commentary on the clear bias and/or lack of understanding that goes into choosing in the first place.

Costume design can be about big, glitzy "wow" pieces, or accurate period research, but it is also about the interpretation of a world, and telling characters' stories through the way they choose to present themselves. Subtle color, fabric, and silhouette choices are all vital aspects of storytelling that often get overlooked. Sometimes a costume piece can be the very thing that allows an actor to fully embrace his or her character; the structure (or lack thereof) gives them a physical basis from which to do their work.

Simply because a film is set in the present does not mean an incredible amount of costume research and painstaking design work did not go into the character design. And while work does not necessarily constitute brilliance, brilliance can be subtle. And subtlety takes work and ingenuity that is not always recognized by the Academy. Gorgeous couture gowns are worthy of acclaim, but so are a fisherman's cap and a perfectly distressed yellow t-shirt, if it tells the right story.

Great films tell a story, and when all the technical elements come together the story comes live for the audience. Costumes can be memorable and iconic whether the costume piece is Cinderella's ball gown or Juno's orange and white striped shirt, a fact we hope the Academy realizes the next time this great honor comes around.

What do you think about this year's nominees? Do you have any favorite modern costume pieces?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Pink and Red and White

Here at the studio, we're celebrating Valentines Day in the little ways.  Meghan will be making roughly 1 million cookies to share with her fiance and the group, Sara will buy herself a chocolate bar and go into tech, Marilyn will make her famous chocolate lollipops for her family, and I will go on a date with my fiance ( about two weeks when my show is over.)

Our first gift to you is a week-long sale in our Etsy shop... 10% off all red items when you use the coupon code REDHOT.

And our other gift for you is a Meghan and Brittany dress update. NICK AND STEVE GO AWAY.
If you are not Nick or Steve you can get a refresher on our dress stories, since it's been awhile.

Some of Meghan's key update inspiration comes from this picture (see more on her Pinterest board):

Source: via Meghan on Pinterest

And some of my key update inspiration comes from this one (and there's more where that came from):

So after months of no updates we are currently... sleeveless! And my dress is actually in five pieces so please forgive the fact that my picture prominently features safety pins.  But I promised you a dress update, and a dress update you shall have.

Here's Meghan:

And here's... not me, but my dress:

What do you think? Are we on our way to achieving our goals? How will you be spending your day today?

Monday, February 11, 2013

#WhatsUpToday December to January

At the beginning of December, we started a weekly series on Twitter that we've been tagging #whatsuptoday, and we recently reviewed all the pictures we've been taking.   What resulted is a slice-of-life trip down memory lane that we hope you enjoy as much as we did looking through it.    Our pictures range from Christmas decorating to ipod listening, from retail to custom to costumes.  Since we finished the 1812 project we have worked on inventorying our rental Closet, updating a vintage mink jacket, altering two different Inaugural gowns, creating several geisha costumes for a local production, and so much more.  We look forward to bringing you more slices of studio life, and we hope you look forward to seeing it!



Looking forward to what February has in store? Check out our Twitter feed for real-time updates, or check back at the end of the month for our next #WhatsUpToday review.