The Clothes Make the Man: Costuming for Julius Caesar

Fabric District  Once we have the costume designs on paper, the real fun begins in trying to flesh them into three dimensional garments. As this production is staged outdoors, we a few added parameters to consider: wind (lightweight fabrics will blow too much), and an under-the-stars open, dramatic space (costumes need to make big, bold, dramatic statements) to name a few.

With that in mind,and drawings in hand, we drove to New York City to shop for fabric. We IMG_0814are so grateful that New York is only five hours away; the garment district offers a variety of fabrics and trims that can’t be beat. We walk up and down 37th to 40th streets, wandering in and out of stores packed with bolts of fabric. This part is a bit like a treasure hunt, you never know which little shop will have the perfect fabric. Some fabrics practically jump off the shelf, some take the normal due diligence, but there is always one elusive fabric that brings us to the brink. For this production it was imitation black wolf fur. It was getting late in the day and we still had to drive home, so we decided to split up. Divide & conquer! I fIMG_0827inally found what we were looking for in the furthest reaches of a small store and called the others to tell them I had found it. They were in the final negotiations with a street vendor to buy a rabbit fur pelt, and I caught them just as they were about to close a deal. Oh if Julius Caesar had had a cell – the story may have had very different outcome.

Now, with beautiful materials in hand, we start to bring the costumes to life.