The most fun I have ever had researching a book was for SANTA, CUTIE's heroine, Susanna Corrigan. Yes. I had to travel. Ouuie. I had to party, dine, gamble, stay in fab.u.lous suite and ask questions of people.
What does Susanna do?
She is a costume designer for a Shakespearean Festival, but she was first a warder for the mimes at a Las Vegas resort.
For her new job at the Festival, she must be artful in rendering vibrant clothing which can be discarded quickly for changes, yet be accurate to time, place AND conflict and character for The Bard's plays.
I came across her in...of all places...Las Vegas where I knew she initially served as the warder for mimes in a famous resort hotel in Sin City. Perhaps you recognize these places?
What does a costume designer do?
She creates the entire look, feel, drama, and accurate look that the director wishes to convey for the play. And a head costume designer for a Shakespearean production company must understand not only how to sew, how to measure and fit, but how to create the aura of what the director sees for the play and each character. The costume designer is in this case, also a bit of a historian, if in fact, the director is producing the play in the Elizabethan era attire.
The designer usually has all the costumes finished on paper by October for a summer season run. THEN, the job of the draper and the seamstresses commences. The draper is the one who measures the actors for their wardrobes and he/she has as her assistants, the seamstresses, milliners, armorers and yes, wigmakers, as their helpers.
A huge production.
I loved every minute of this research. And while, I get to tell the most of it here, and not in the story, I am tickled to pass along a bit of what I learned.
My kids call these stories: Mom's Useless Facts or, now that they are older and more appreciative of such facts, Mom's Dinner Conversation!
THANKS to all who have put SANTA, CUTIE on ARe's bestseller list at #2!