The Searching

Costume Designer and Maker

All performance stills taken by Jeff Busby

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The final show I worked on at the VCA was this dance piece choreographed by Feng Feng Wang and performed by second year VCA Dance students. It was really exciting to watch the devising process of this piece and create costumes in response to what I was seeing in the studio each rehearsal.

Feng Feng was a fantastic collaborator and I really enjoyed creating designs that best suited the work. Feng Feng wanted individual designs for each of her twelve dancers, with an androgynous look and a very minimal colour scheme. We settled on white, grey and silver for her colour scheme, which added to the ethereal theme of her work. To make each costume unique, I played with how lines and shapes would look on each body and create variety through garments used. I also observed the movements of each dancer and designed what would best suit them. I’m really pleased with the designs, and that the dancers liked their costumes! This was also the first time I’d rendered my designs digitally and I’m really pleased with the outcome!

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In the construction process, I had two fantastic assistants, Emily Harvey and Bianca Pardo, who helped me bring the designs to life. The bodices required draping and fitting in order to make the grey and silver details look how they should, so I spent a lot of time experimenting with cotton tape during fittings, tracing this and creating pattern pieces that way. We also got lucky and sourced some trousers that we could alter rather than have to construct them from scratch. I was also extremely pleased to find some cotton spandex at a store that had dirty marks all over it that the store needed to get rid of. I bought it at a huge discount and the marks weren’t visible under stage lights so we were salvaging some fabric!

I loved working on this piece, the crew and dancers were all fantastic to work with, and the piece was so serene to watch, I wish I could see it again!

All still performance photos are taken by Jeff Busby. Performers are VCA Dance 2018 Graduating students.