Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Exclusive preview: Celebrity Skin costumes for ANNA 11/M

When invited to the final rehearsal for ANNA 11/M, I was particularly curious about the creative direction of the costumes, signed by Celebrity Skin. The results had me all excited. The duo known for it's extravagant, saturated gowns managed to tone down their style and adjust it to roles that are tragic rather than glamorous. Celebrity Skin explain the work paths they went down to dress characters such as protesters, everyday women and a nurse.

"The protesters play a vital role in creating the mood of where it all takes place. We spent hours inspecting images from the streets of Madrid back in 2004. Protesters were mostly wearing white t-shirts and had hand-painted the words "Terrorism = Poverty" in green.

We decided to exaggerate this by switching the t-shirts for long, rectangular tops made from raw white fabric, with oversized angular shoulders semiologically resembling protest signs. We applied the paint in the same manner the original protesters did, passionately and messy".

"Anna, the lover. She is naive, frivolous, bubbly. She is Angel's affair. Still, she is under stress to find out if he made it alive. We chose ash, smoky colours for all the characters. Particularly for her, we made a short, sexy dress paired with high heels. It's meant to be 11 o'clock in the morning, we wanted to show that she has no worries other than looking good. And now Angel, of course".

"Anna, the wife. She is most probably the most affected of all. She is at the waiting room expecting life or death news on the father of her child. We chose even darker shades and a Yamamoto-inspired long skirt to make her look imposing in space.

Next to her at the waiting room is the wife of a Romanian immigrant. We walked the neighbourhoods of immigrants in Athens, watched how they dress. Those people are hard-working, poor people. They cannot afford style but they are not concerned about it either, they have greater worries. Their clothes were mainly mis-matched and out of date and we followed this pattern".

"Anna, the mother. She is a comical figure in the darkest sense of humour. Everything on her is aristocratic but have twists of exaggeration, surreal details to match her character, like the decorated hat and the random frill.

The nurse accompanying her is dressed after research too. Seriously. We visited hospitals in Athens just to see what nurses wear during night shifts! We surprisingly noticed a pattern: white unbottoned robes, tight dresses, skin colour tights and cheap plastic shoes. It was like a uniform, we even asked them what their shoes were and went for them!"

Overall, Celebrity Skin didn't aim to adjust the characters to their aesthetics, but adjust their style to the needs of each role. It was all designed to support the plot and that took hours of reading the script and watching how the actresses move during the rehearsals. Well, I must say it paid off!

1 comment:

natalie said...

Great post once again.