Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Dreaming of the Show: Ophelia from Hamlet

My Darling Devotees,

I have found true love in the field of Costume Design and although Fashion Design will always be my first love, Costuming has quite literally swept me off my feet. Costume design is the art of creating a look that portrays a certain character or that helps a performer tell a certain story.
Costume production is the actual making of the aforementioned costumes. I find costuming is like a mix of fashion and literature and I think this is why it appeals to me so much. So some of you have expressed interest in the field and since I really want to work on my skills, I have decided to do blog posts on how I would style characters from different plays, movies and productions. Some of the productions may be popular ones you can recognise or they may be less expected or more unusual ones e.g ideas for a music video. Some of the posts will be more fashion history centric while others will be more modern and directly applicable to you if you want to add a bit of drama to your style.If you have any productions you would like me to do leave a comment about it below, or email me at aury4eva@gmail.com. I'm so excited about this and I hope you are too, my loves.

Ophelia from William Shakespeare's Hamlet:

Time period and place I would set it in:
Late 19th Century England

Plot summary: Can be found here, but basically Hamlet is a play about a young prince who's father is killed by his own brother, a brother who soon goes on to marry his late brother's widow and become king. Hamlet figures out the truth and proceeds to seek vengeance on his uncle, all the while losing his mind in the process and hurting people he loves, because of his high level of anxiety.

Character Summary: Ophelia is an innocent, naive and beautiful girl who is in love with Hamlet. She is hurt by Hamlet's sometimes rash behavior and is strictly obedient to her father's word. She lets him control her life and when he tells her to break off her relationship with Hamlet she does so, despite the fact she still cares for him. Then, when Hamlet in his crazed state kills her father, she is pushed over the edge and loses her mind. She begins to spend her days picking flowers and singing nonsensical songs until she drowns herself in a river.

Key words to describe her: sweet, innocent, young, naive, immature, delicate, unstable, crazy, in touch with nature, and broken.

Key elements to Ophelia's Style:
Beautiful pastel dresses
Frills, ruffles and lace
Floral and small polka dot prints
Flower headbands and flower-accented bonnets
Exquisite elbow length fingerless gloves,
Bows and sashes
Pretty fans and sun umbrellas
Slightly pale, natural looking make-up with emphasis on pretty pink/red lips except in drowning scene, when dishevelled hair with leaves and branches caught in it and deathly dull make-up are featured.

Ophelia to me:

Pictures from google images and we heart it.
Love you all and Stay inspired,

P.S. So let me know what you think. Have you read Hamlet? How would you style Ophelia?What period would you set the play in? What elements of her style would you/do you incorporate into yours? Feel free to let me know in the comments below.

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