Firebird 2nd Year Project
My intention for this project was to design costumes that highlight the differences between reality and fantasy. I wanted the human world to have a different style of dress to the characters in the fantasy world in order to create a contrast between them so that children watching the play could follow the characters. I looked at traditional Russian dress for the Tsar and his family as I wanted to keep the design based in the story’s history; I based these characters on the Romanov family, because of the Romanov’s reputation for extreme wealth and luxury which are key character traits in the Tsar and Katya but also because they had strong family values.
Colour is also very important in creating a distinction between characters; I’ve used rich colours for the Tsar and Katya, symbolising their wealth and status but for Prince Ivan, who is clumsy and initially a disappointment to his father, is dressed in muted colours to create a distinction and to show how he is an outsider in the royal family. Vasilia’s costume is all white to represent how she is pure whereas her captor Koschei wears black.
I made the costume for Baba Yaga, the witch in this play. I used a bright colour to act as warning symbol, showing the children watching that Baba Yaga is an evil character. I also drew upon the mythology around the character and created her jewelry using small animal bones to represent how she would keep the bones of those she trapped and had eaten, without being too gruesome for a young audience.