Eve CoulthardBallet Production of Animal Farm, by George Orwell
My costumes are designed for the characters Napoleon and Mollie from the classic George Orwell political novel Animal Farm. The theme of my Final Major Project is ballet, with influences from Elizabethan fashions from the royal court, traditional Russian clothing, 1930s tailoring and the cutting-edge couture of Alexander McQueen; these inspirations combined have created the ideal aesthetic for my two characters and their barnyard setting.
Napoleon’s character is a pig; he is the villainous leader of Animal Farm. For this reason, he has been given a very royal look, with elaborate sleeves and voluminous Elizabethan trunk hose trousers, to make him look large and powerful. Key details suggest that he is a pig, such as the leather moulded pig’s ears and mask, complete with an upturned snout and furrowed brow, and his curly pig’s tail. Mollie is a white show horse, who takes great pride in her appearance and ensuring her red ribbons are immaculately placed in her mane. Due to this, Mollie has been delicately designed in a palette of creams and red, with her costume featuring hooves, a horse ear headpiece and a braided horsetail.
I used specialist techniques, such as traditional ballet tutu, basque and bodice construction methods, leather moulding with my own handcrafted moulds, and an estimated 60+ hours’ worth of goldwork and advanced hand embroidery skills. I took sustainability into consideration too, using mostly second-hand fabrics, donated old curtains, and even two deconstructed leather sofas! After graduation, I’m looking forward to throwing myself into the exciting, hands-on environment of working behind the scenes on set, for both theatre and the TV and Film industry. I’ve also always had a keen eye for detail in the embellishment sector of both the costume and fashion industries, which is another area I’d love to explore further!