Wednesday, August 12, 2009

High Fashion and Costume: a fine and thin line, but not so black and white.

I have a new found love for costumes and costume design.  When I visited FIDM last week, I had the pleasure of touring the school museum, and saw some stunning television costumes that were on display.  It had changed my perception of what "costumes" is completely.  The Exhibition features a number of costumes from Emmy winning TV shows, such as the Gossip Girl, John Adams, and a number of others. 
My understanding of costume design up until that point was biased and limited.  I thought costume as something that is designed for staged circumstances only.  They were usually something theatrical, over-the-top, and flashy (ugly in other words).  They are not suitable for everyday lives, except for Halloween, of course.  The Exhibition proved me wrong because not only were there "normal" clothes on display, they were almost ordinary.  Costume is really just another word for disguise.  It gives the person who wears it an alterego, a right to act differently, and a way to feel differently about the world.  It's almost magical how clothes can do that to people. 
My old perception is only a very small part of what costume design is.  I am starting to really appreciate the idea because It allows designers even more freedom to express their creatively in more ways with less limitation (I guess that's why the Barbie Fashion Show was more interesting than most shows during the Mercedes-Benz fashion week in NYC) .  Not even the sky is the limit! 

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