For the past few months I have been brushing up on my rendering skills; drawing, shading, proportions, etc. It's important to keep these skills fresh and flexible. Renderings are a very important way for designers to translate their brain's jumble into stories that others can understand.
But, what if drawing a design is not the best way to get across your design? What other options are there to give an understandable preview to a client?
Collage is one of the alternate ways to display designs I was taught at university. The concept is the same as the gluestick and magazine creations from kindergarten. The only difference is the intent.
There are three different styles of collaging that I have experienced in my education. They are:
1. Found Object Collage: objects that are easily attached to paper are arranged to create the look and feel of a costumer's design. Items can include: silk flowers, ribbon, cloth, string, plastic, cellophane, etc. This style of collage allows for a more textured and three dimensional design.
~~~I saw an example of this object/fabric collage while in LA last year. There was a small exhibit on the costuming of the claymation Paranorman. The designer took pieces of cloth and stitched in shading and highlighting to give an idea how the clothing would look once on the clay characters. I really enjoyed the design and understood well what the designer envisioned.
2. Magazine Collage: pictures of clothing and people are cut from magazines and arranged how the designer envisions a character would style themselves. This style works well for bought or pulled shows.
3. Hybrid Collage: combines the best of both worlds. pictures other than clothing are pulled to create a wardrobe. Many times shading and highlighting of garments is cut from large pictures into specific shapes to give the illusion of depth.
Collages are fun and can sometimes be a better way to get a design across depending on the style of play and direction the design team and director wish to take the show.
This way of expressing a design is most useful if the design is pulled from stock. Costume pieces are placed on mannequins as an ensemble and photographed for the design team's use. I have not seen this way used often because it is labour intensive, but if the cast is small and the stock is well known to the designer, it may prove to be a better option if the director wants to see the exact garment that will be onstage.