Thursday, April 3, 2008

Costume Distressing



One of the most frequent things I do as a costumer is make things dirty. Unlike fashion design, costumes focus on characters...and those characters, more often than not, tend to be dirty and unfashionable. We all own a t-shirt that is worn through and riddled with holes. We all have jeans with rips and frays and shorts with grass stains that we cannot seem to donate or toss out. Recreating these well-worn looks is a tricky job. You have to take something new and make it look as though time and use have done its work. Using a seam ripper, a rasp, and several runs through a washing machine with help things look worn. Paint, pigment powder, and dye can add stains and even more distressing. I have been known to put costumes on the road and run over them with a car several times. Or send an actor out in his costume around a muddy baseball field. Its always a glamorous adventure.
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