COSTUMER'S WORKSHOP: A Monster to Costume
April 26, 2011
Imagine you walk into a room and see the following the items: A victorian wedding dress, a heap of rags, bolts of sequins, a lab coat, a formal dinner gown, platform gogo boots with 5 inch heels, a tattered mens suit, a 1980's jumpsuit, Egyptian-inspired accessories, Greco-Roman trim, and a vampire cape. You're either at the world's weirdest garage sale or you in the costume shop for the upcoming film MONSTER MANIA!
This film is a monster to costume. It's not as simple as going out to Goodwill or some clothing shop and picking up a few pieces. Many of the costumes come from another country, time, or possibly world. We have elaborate costumes ranging in times from Ancient world to the Victorian era to the intersecting styles of the Steampunk trend.
Seeing as the film contains several horror icons we have certain expectations to live up to but we also don't want to rehash something that the audience has seen a hundred times before. It is also important that we maintain a certain level of historical accuracy to represent the time from which each character came from. Also, we have to make the costumes serve their purpose of being comedic and over-the-top without looking hokey. Therefore, we are treading a fine line between traditional and fresh, accurate and whimsical, fantastical and believable.
In many aspects, we are going back to the original stage designs, which in turn are taken from the classics. Kharis will be just as elaborate as he always has been. The Phantom Bride will again don her Victoriana. Dracula will follow suit as the traditional Bela Lugosi-inspired vampire. On the other hand, some characters will stray from their previous stage incarnations. Frankie, for example, wore gothic attire previously; however, for the film we are going back to the basics of "The Bride of Frankenstein." Other characters will differ still as all previous designs will be scrapped. Jacqueline Hyde will sport an all new Steampunk design in the movie.
Presenting an array of costumes that some costumers may never touch in their lives let alone one film, MONSTER MANIA! is a nightmare and a dream all in one. It will be a long journey of hard work, but it will all payoff in the end, as the costumes will help the actors and filmmakers present the characters. The old saying goes, "Clothing makes the man," but in our case the costumes make the monster.