Upcoming Events: Costume Lectures – Spring 2017

Wednesday 5 April 2017: 9:15 – 12:00, place: Otakaari 1, seminar room U121B
Costume Design in 3D-animation: Shrek and Shrek 2
Speaker: Maarit Kalmakurki, Doctoral candidate Aalto University (in English)

In 1995, in Pixar’s Toy Story, the doll character moved in her solid bell dress without any flow and movement of the fabric. The following year DreamWorks animation began their first 3D-animated feature film production with human characters where Princess Fiona had to have volume on her dress and to be detached from the body. This is when costume designer Isis Mussenden became part of the film production, at the same time becoming the first, and one of the rare costume designers who have been employed and credited in 3D-animated feature films. This lecture discusses costume designer Isis Mussenden’s work on films Shrek and Shrek 2. It concentrates on her design process whilst working with new and rapidly growing technology, in addition to how this affected her design choices.

Wednesday 26 April 2017: 9:15 – 12:00, place: Otakaari 1, seminar room U121B
Characterising Costume Design
Invited Speaker: Dr. Phoenix Thomas, Visiting Post-doctoral researcher in Costume Design, UK (in English)

What makes a costume a costume? When we discuss ‘costume practices’ what does that mean?
As the emerging field of costume research develops, so too does a discursive characterisation of the subject in question. In talking about costume and costume practices, how much are we taking for granted and what does that mean for the scope and relevance of our research?
In this session, we will outline the importance of maintaining a critical awareness of the terms by which the academic study of costume could be defined, the limitations of those definitions and the social, cultural and scholarly implications thereof. We will then go on to discuss various strategies which could be adopted in order to negotiate and actively counter those influences.

Wednesday 3 May 2017: 9:15 – 12:00, place: Otakaari 1, seminar room U121B
Fitting Threads: Creative Collaboration and Reflective Process in the Costume Design Process
Invited Speaker: Dr. Suzanne Osmond, Visiting Post-doctoral researcher in Costume Design, National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) Sydney, Australia (in English)

The iterative processes of ‘fitting’ any costume involves the resolving of aesthetic, technical, representational, functional, logistical and narrative aspects of the costumed body in performance.  The fitting room has been described variously as a classroom, a creative laboratory, a therapy zone and an intimate sacred space.  The collaborative interaction that occurs between designer, maker and performer in the fitting process remains largely unexplored.  This session explores the reflecting-in-action that occurs in the fitting room and the implications this has for best practice for designers, makers and performers.

Wednesday 10 May 2017: 9:15 – 12:00, place: Otakaari 1, seminar room U121B
Embodied Interactions: Wearable Electronics in Costume for Performance
Speaker: Professor Sofia Pantouvaki, Aalto University (in English)

The use of smart materials and wearable electronics has rapidly expanded in the field of fashion as well as in the field of costume design, introducing new interactive qualities of surfaces, materials and garments. The exploration of body-related technologies in live performance focuses on the visual, narrative, communicative, expressive and experiential qualities that embodied technologies enhance through the performing body. These developments define new modes of engagement, for both performer and audience, enhancing communication and interaction within new responsive systems. This lecture provides a critical review of specific examples of technology-led garments in live performance and aims at generating a discourse on the expressive and narrative potential of using embodied technologies in performance within the creative practice of costume design.


Past news

In spring 2016, Costume in Focus members collaborated with the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television David C. Copley Center for the Study of Costume Design.

Professor Sofia Pantouvaki visited Professor Deborah Nadoolman Landis, Director, David C. Copley Center for the Study of Costume Design, UCLA.

Doctoral candidate Maarit Uusitalo spent four months on a research visit at UCLA, mentored by Professor Landis.