Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Emily Bates III

"High shouldered to a degree little short of malformation, the sharp profile, angular as broken glass, save for his protruding forehead' 
'If ever he had harboured a conscience in his tough narrow breast he had by now dug out and flung away the awkward thing." Mervyn Peake. Gormenghast
"This is the third and final costume which I made based on Mervyn Peake's gothic fantasy novel Gormenghast. Emily Bates

"The essence of Steerpike is parasitism; he exists by reason of Gormenghast, invades its privacy and works to undermine it from within, attempting to overthrow Titus and the dynasty he is destined to inherit. Once kitchen hand, now murderer of Titus’s father Sepulchrave, and also kidnapper of Titus’ Aunts, none of this is the least bit suspected with Steerpike having cemented himself as a hero by stage. Poking holes in the portraits within the castle walls he watches the other characters within their quarters through a complex system of mirrors and like a moth coming out of the woodwork he sets to his patient scheming against and manipulating of key figures in the hierarchy, savouring the day when he will be the unrivalled and sole ruler of the castle’s grounds. My design takes inspiration from fifties formal wear and the textiles have reflective qualities which remind the audience of the reptilian nature of the character, as well as evoking dilapidated masonry and the pin pricked holes which Steerpike peers through. The textile used all over his coat and tails is achieved through fusing the grey suiting fabric to a patterned mock tapestry fabric and then laser cutting a circular motif onto it to then peel parts away revealing the fabric's underside. " Emily Bates 

                             (Above) photograph by Alexandros Papadopolous, Model:Themistocles Sima 
"Behind this I then placed the reflective orange fabric which was achieved through foiling a plain cotton poplin. The pattern pieces were then tacked together and sewn as if they were one pattern piece, which proved quite difficult as there were so many layers of fabric to sew through for such a tailored design." Emily Bates 
                            (Above) photograph by Alexandros Papadopolous, model; Themistocles Sima 
"The headpiece is similar to taxidermy domes as Steerpike pierces moths and attaches them to the walls of his quarters. The butterflies/moths are embroidered over the top of a heavy brocade fabric which already had faint butterflies on it (!) I then filled them in meticulously with satin stitch and beadwork, finish them off with millinery wire around the edge to give them structure. Overall I aimed for the costume to have the appearance of being moth eaten, and also covered in tiny insect from afar, returning once more to the idea of Steerpike as parasite." Emily Bates 

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