Our imaginations can be our greatest asset! They provide fuel for everything from creating the perfect meal, to planning the fun vacation, to impressing your boss with your latest idea! But sometimes we all need a little creative inspiration. Encore Vocal Ensemble shares a peek into our costume creative madness below so that next time you need to play “dress up,” you will be prepared to unleash the full fury of your creative genius!
Kacey Wehr, Costume Director for Encore, provides some insight into the process we use to create an eclectic and unique costume montage for each of our shows.
Kacey provides Encore performers with a simple starting point of thinking of the genre you want to portray. For instance, you may be thinking cowboy western, Italian mafia, or creepy ghost. This will enable you to then list out key words and images that come to mind. Let’s say you want to go for a cowboy (or cowgirl) look. Some key words that come to mind are: west, gold, guns, saloon, cowboy hat, boots, spurs, whiskey. Additionally, think of image categories that come to mind such as Gold Rush, John Wayne, Ghost Town, etc.
Now that you’ve created a list of words and images, hit the keyboard and search for images that inspire. Google Images is a great place to start, but be sure to use the Advance option to narrow down your search. Pinterest is another excellent source. You can search by keyword and explore various Pin boards of users. Many times there are Pin boards dedicated to a certain topics -- such as Western Costumes -- that make your search that much easier.
Next, Kacey advises that you search your closet to see what you may already have. Also, don’t be shy to ask your friends and family what they may have…you may be surprised to find out they have past outfits that could suit you perfectly! Keep in mind that even though you may have started with one costume concept, you may uncover some items that lead you from cowboy to astronaut. Don’t be afraid to keep options open or consider mixed-genre options such as a Space Cowboy or the first Ghost President. The options are limitless!
Once you have explored options (and dug out all the closets you can gain access to), it may be time to hit streets and e-Shops for further options. Kacey recommends checking out your local Thrift shops and Goodwill stores. You’d be surprised what may be lurking on their hangers! Also, if the season is right, you may consider exploring Halloween shops or year-round costume stores. Though they be a little pricier, if you are dedicated to a fabulous idea, then the investment might be worth it. Finally, the wealth of items available online is incredible. It may take time to hunt down some items (especially if unique), but may be worth the effort if you find a perfect match and the perfect price! For instance, you may be looking for a rhinestone-studded pink cowboy hat. Although you could create one from an existing cowboy hat (think Michael’s craft shop), a quick online search may result in a real find! In fact, I just Googled pink cowboy hat and immediately found options that were less than $10!
TEST IT & BUILD IT
The final step in any costume endeavor is to run it by some other people (family, friends, colleagues) to see if they could provide any further ideas or recommendations. This may be an important step, especially if you are dressing for a work party and are unsure if the costume is “appropriate”, or if you are, let’s say, in a show (i.e. Encore Vocal Ensemble performance) in which you need to receive approval from the costume coordinator. Once you receive thumbs up, start building your new costume!
Below are some online resources you may find useful in your creative process. In the meantime, check out our upcoming show Out of Time on June 21st and 22nd, 2014. CLICK HERE to buy tickets and view details.
IMAGE RESOURCES TO BOOST CREATIVITY
RESOURCES FOR COSTUMES