Willkommen, Bienvenue, Welcome
One of the best things about attending Mason Gross as a graduate student (or undergrad for that matter) is it's proximity to New York City. The amount of places to explore and experience are endless. Up until this past weekend I had taken advantage of all the museums and shopping in the city, but had yet to see a show on Broadway. (Don't throw rotten tomatoes yet)
Luckily I rectified that this past weekend when my sister came to the city and we were able to spend a day off together exploring. Early in the morning we visited a large majority of the theatres on Broadway to peruse the show wares. Since she was in town for such a short time we decided to go big or go home, that's right, Cabaret. After hiking to Studio 54, we spoke with a lovely woman in the box office. Since each theatre is different she explained to us the Standby and Student Rush ticket policies for the studio. If there were any extra seats to be had they would be given on a first come first serve basis to those waiting in the line designated. In my sister's true spirit she joked with the poor lady about setting aside two tickets for us under her desk, all three of us laughed it off and we assured her we would be back that night to try our luck. Before leaving we took a few pictures at the theatre, to do the tourist thing.
That evening after picking up my sister's boyfriend, and after traipsing around New York City, we showed up to Studio 54 an hour and a half before curtain. It was a good thing too because someone had already gotten in line before us.
Side not, costumes were beautiful. The two worlds of the play (Kit Kat Club and everyday Germany) were defined well through the clothes. Each had their own details and in their own way were beautiful. The strong picture at the end with the emcee took my breath away in the best way. The costumes helped transition the play in such a subtle way most people wouldn't notice unless they were making mental note of the costumes to chat with one of their professors about...(guilty). The acting, costumes, set, sound, lighting, all created a splendid event that I will remember for quite some time.
On Halloween I had the opportunity to visit the Costume Institute at the MET Museum and view their exhibition on mourning attire. It was a perfect start to my Halloween evening.
The exhibit was small, but beautifully curated. The clothing pieces were chronologically displayed with pieces of ombre fabric giving each upcoming silhouette a ghostly appearance. The music, lighting, and other visuals added to the atmosphere.
I was fascinated by the literature provided as well as the costume pieces themselves. I know a bit about the history of mourning attire, but the specifics that were shared in the show were new and interesting to read about.
There were also mourning accessories in a small adjoining room with some portraits and prints of a widow character that were popular in the early 1900's.
One piece of the show I was especially interested in was a mourning dress worn by Queen Victoria. I knew she was a small woman, but this picture does not do her stature justice. She was indeed a short, round lady.
The levels of mourning were also explained and their color palette shown. The integration of a more fashionable mourning style was also evident throughout the history of the custom. It was also explained that fashion borrowed from mourning attire, and that black, a color reserved only for those who had lost a loved one, began to become a popular color in the mainstream fashion world.
I find it sad that this ritual of taking time to outwardly mourn our deceased has faded away. Maybe we are a culture that celebrates the lives of our dead instead rather than laments they are no longer with us. Maybe we are becoming a more present and aware people.
If you have the chance go see Death Becomes Her at the MET Museum. It runs until February 1, 2015.
My costume design for the fall show at Rutgers has opened to the public. If you are in the New Brunswick area stop by Mason Gross School of the Arts and see the show.
Having completed my first costume design in my MFA program, I am exhausted but itching for another project. The other designers were easy to work with and I feel my design helped to compliment their choices and amazing designs. It felt great to be part of a team that created such a beautiful stage picture.
It was a big learning experience for me. I was thrown into a pull show without knowing the stock of the new costume shop, in a place I had never worked, in a city I had never been to. It was such fun though. I was introduced to New York City through the show. I learned where the fabric shops were, where the vintage shops are, and a where some delicious cafes are located.
I'm excited to see what is next on my design to do list. Check back later to see my updated portfolio with photos from Love and Intrigue.