Today's post was going to continue my series on how the "Paradox of Choice" leads to wardrobe planning woes. However, I am going to take a small detour this evening.
For those who don't know, I am fairly heavily involved in theatre. I've been doing shows since I was but a wee little thing...acting, directing, producing, and even writing. It's always been a love of mine. Currently I am choreographing a local production of Peter Pan which opens tomorrow evening.
Now, why am I choosing to write about this on a blog devoted to wardrobe planning and style development? The reason is that last night I had a chance to watch the dress rehearsal, with the cast in full costume. I have to say that the costumes are exquisite...our costumer Beth Signoretti has done the most amazing job outfitting all the characters. I can't say enough about it...I'm really blown away!
The art of costuming a play is really about finding an outfit that telegraphs the essence of the character to the audience...instantaneously. Everything works together in a costume to clearly communicate personality, station in life, importance in the story (lead, supporting, chorus), and even relationship to other characters. This is a tall order for but one costume!
Oftentimes in plays, and most always in musicals, the characters have only ONE costume ... and it defines them. It visually represents their character onstage. It is their BRAND. Think for a moment about Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, Peter from Peter Pan, Nancy from Oliver, Annie from Annie...see what I mean? The costume is so strongly associated with the character that if we were to see a production where the costume were different, the character (in our minds) would not be nearly as believable.
Ooooooh! Here's the point of this evening's sidetrack: Your clothing is your brand. It is the "costume" by which your audience identifies your "character". If you have ever gone to see a show, you know how quickly you make inferences about the characters onstage by costume alone. The actors don't even have to speak, and you've made some judgements. And have you ever felt decieved or let down when your first impression of the character didn't match up with the actual personality of the character?
Think about this! People expect (consciously or unconsciously) for a person' s "costume" to indicate a person's "character". This is such a powerful truth!
Beth's costumes for Peter Pan are brilliant not only because they are so visually appealing, but because she masterfully BRANDS the characters onstage. Way to go, Beth!
This weekend I will be away in Philadelphia for an Image Weekend, so I am not sure I will be able to post each night. However, we will definitely return to our "regularly scheduled programming" and the promised post on keeping up with the Joneses on Monday. See you then...same blog time...same blog channel....
(If you would like more information on wardrobe planning and style development, please visit my website.)