Designing a dance piece was different than anything I'd ever designed before because I literally just had the music and the choreography to draw a design from. The music was composed by a French composer named Erik Satie (quite an odd man, indeed) who carried a hammer in his pocket during a portion of his life, only ate white foods, only fell in love once and then his love moved away, died penniless while working on his true love (Cabarets), and wore grey velvet suits and was therefore deemed, "The Velvet Gentleman." The dance was composed of 7 short piano songs by Erik Satie entitled, "Gnossiennes." I wanted to use this notion of The Velvet Gentleman by incorporating velvet into every dancers costume in some way. I also relied on grey instead of white or black because I felt grey was more in-between and much creepier than black or white could ever be for me- and my choreographer, Rebecca Nettl-Fiol agreed. We also avoided white because the floor of the theatre was white. Working with Rebecca was a true blessing and I enjoyed coming to rehearsals so much and scribbling down ideas and inspirations in my notebook while watching the dancers and hearing the haunting melody by Satie. Rebecca actually visited Erik Satie's old house in France! I also mentioned my use of hydrangea petals throughout my styling career to her and that brought about the idea of golden petals that drifted from the sky at the end of the dance. Some songs had a sharp edge to them that was rather disturbing and others had a depth of warmth and hope embedded in the song... so I knew I wanted to combine sharp and flowing edges and bright and dull colors to illustrate this juxtaposition. Examples of the sharp edges can be seen in the men's bow ties, as well as in the sharp points of the leotards of the women and the pleated skirt. The softer and more playful lines are represented by the petticoats and scalloped edges of the sheer sleeves on the women. I also chose to add another pop of color by using colorful exposed zippers, lining the spine (which has always been an interesting part of the skeleton due to the sharpness of the bones). I personally dyed more than half of the pieces in the show... which was quite taxing and took a lot of time experimenting with dye and setting the dye with vinegar, but I learned so much about the dyeing process. Luckily, I had a wonderful draper, Rose, who made my designs come to life and worked very hard on fulfilling my vision. Making velvet tights are not easy! I owe so much to her! Thank you so much, Rose! Thank you to the wonderful dancers, as well, with whom I shared laughs with and I loved getting to know them better!
All photos above (except the first one) were taken by Natalie Fiol, who was the official photographer. Thank you so much for sending me the photos, Natalie!
(the crew cleaning up the golden petals after rehearsal)
(the bag where the golden petals were housed)
Thanks so much to my Mom, Dad, Grandmother Kutch, and Aunt Kate for coming to see my costumes! We had such a great time! I took them to visit Dallas Costumes and we had a blast, we visited a little antique store, and had an amazing tapas dinner at Radio Maria! I love my family so much!
(from the wonderful meal we had before the show at Radio Maria that night!)
What do you think about the costumes?