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Class of 2016: BA (Hons) Costume for Performance

Camille1
Camille1
Costume design by Camille Bloch
Written by
loukia
Published date
12 May 2016

Up next in our Class of 2016 series are award-winning BA (Hons) Costume for Performance students – Camille Bloch and Evgeniia Galeeva.

BA (Hons) Costume for Performance is a course for students interested in designing and making costume for performance – not just for theatre, but also film, music and television, as well as more specialised or multi-disciplinary performances where several elements are combined.

LCF News spoke to Camille and Evgeniia who gave us an insight into their final projects, their inspirations and their time studying at LCF.

Costume design by Camille Bloch

Costume design by Camille Bloch

Talk us through your final project…

Camille: My project is about Atlantis and is based on ‘The Maracot Deep’ by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It is about the spirit of adventure of finding Atlantis and discovering its environment and its people. With the idea of an ‘unknown’ Atlantis, I have tried to challenge myself to create something I have never seen and done before, from fabrics to shapes.

Evgeniia: My final project is based on the 1973 cartoon ‘Fantastic Planet’. I am focusing on the character of an alien girl called Tiwa, during her first ever meditation ceremony – meditation is a huge part of her culture, and her first ceremony is very important. I have created a bright ceremonial costume which features a transformative structure. Through this costume I would like to show Tiwa’s transformation – the ceremony is a way for her to find herself and discover her purpose in life. The actual costume features a lot of bead embroidery, 3D elements, psychedelic motifs, which gives a character a real alien feel.

What techniques or theories did you use to create your final piece of work?  

Camille: I have used my Gouache painting skills in order to create later digital fabric patterns. I have sculpted my structure using polymorph and plastic sheets in addition to copper rods. I have also used my pattern making and sewing skills in order to create bespoke shapes that I’ve never done before. Finally, I’ve challenged myself to make a short pixelation movie, with my photographer Laura Sheridan’s art.

Evgeniia: I used a variety of techniques in my final costume. I decided to use millinery techniques which I learnt from my work experience in fashion millinery, and origami techniques to create my transformative structure. I also used a lot of bead embroidery and hand stitching to decorate my costume. In addition I also used these techniques and materials to create the 3D elements of my costume, as well as classic garment-making skills. I also looked at historical costume making, to create a construction that will support my transformative structure and keep it on the actor’s body.

Describe your work in five words…

Camille: Happy, imaginary, surprising, generous, luxurious.

Evgeniia: Crazy, theatrical, anything but boring.

What’s the best thing about LCF and your course?

Camille: LCF allowed me to push myself to new and challenging projects that have always helped me create things that I have never designed or made before. It allowed me to meet incredible people and teacher,  that inspired me and helped me throughout my years at LCF and I am sure we will keep in touch in the future. My course opened my eyes to the design and making skills. I got to understand the challenges in the creation of a character in order for it to share a story, and help the narrative to be believed in and understood. I have also learned about the processes makers go through, in order to create the right shapes and moods of the character following a design.

Evgeniia: The best thing about LCF is the networking opportunities, great staff and super friendly fellow students, who are always happy to help each other. The fact that it is a costume course which features both design and making, which allows students to try both and choose is the best thing about my course.

Have you undertaken any work experience or done a placement whilst at LCF?

Camille: I worked for Sian Hoffman who is an incredible corsetiere in the fashion and fetish world. I have always admired her work and I got the opportunity to meet her during a university meeting with industries at Lime Grove. I took my chance to talk to her, and managed to do some work experience at her studio, during my second year. We have been in contact ever since and I help her whenever I have free time. I also worked as a costume designer assistant with Maria Bruder, on Morgan Ritchie’s master final year pixelation ‘The Reunion’ at NFTS. I am currently working as a costume designer and maker on a master puppet stop-motion animation by Quentin Haberham at NFTS, designing and making puppet costumes.

Evgeniia: I did several work experiences whilst at LCF, this included work for Unicorn Theatre, Royal Albert Hall and London based milliner Victoria Grant. I got some of the work placements with the help of LCF Careers Team. Others I have secured by emailing the company directly with my CV and cover letter, and later on attending an interview. During my work experiences I had a taste of real working environment, met people from the industry, learnt some new making skills, which are very useful in costume making.

Have you won any prizes?

Camille and Evgeniia: We won a prize this year on a project we worked on together. We designed an alien costume called Freddie which was one of the 20 winners out of 3,350 submissions, for the new Luc Besson’s movie, Valerian. Our costume will be made and will be present in the movie.

What are your plans for the future?

Camille: My biggest dream would be to become a costume designer for puppets in stop-motion animations – I will do everything I can, to work in the stop-motion animation world. I can also see myself as a freelance costume designer and maker, developing skills in all my passions combined, and creating very artistic costumes that I could paint actors wearing them.

Costume design by Evgeniia Galeeva

Costume design by Evgeniia Galeeva

Evgeniia: I want to be working in the costume or fashion industry in London. For example working for a production company or for a fashion brand. I would also like to possibly start a freelance business.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to study your course?

Camille: Free your mind from any ego or poor self-confidence, and embrace yourself through the challenge of designing and creating things you haven’t done so far. You can achieve things that you would never think you could do!

Evgeniia: Be prepared to work hard, be passionate about what you do, make sure your portfolio features your best work and be open to new people, ideas and opportunities.