Elizabeth Smith

Costume with Textiles BA(Hons)

I have created costumes for a film adaptation of French fairy-tale ‘Bluebeard’, by Charles Perrault. This is the dark tale of a murderous nobleman who is looking for a new wife. Through research I discovered the soldier the title character was based on, Baron Giles De Rais. His interest in alchemy, astrology, and satanic worship provided me with the key to my design and textile influences; the seven planets of alchemy, gold, and the sun. Represented by a golden sun, Louis XIV, known as the Sun King, held similar characteristics to Bluebeard. Both are rich and powerful men who used wealth and status to attain what they desired. I therefore decided to set 'Bluebeard' during the reign of Louis XIV in late 17th century France. I used fashionable silhouettes of the era to influence my own designs.
During my placement year, I developed my skills in design assisting a Costume Designer for The Royal Shakespeare Company. I decided I wanted to extend and develop my skills in construction and textiles and make this the focus of my Final Major Project. I chose to produce a costume for the character of The Young Lady, and additional textiles for three other characters.