Insights - Costumes for Earnest
Written by Ken Hildebrandt   
Wednesday, 07 March 2012 18:07


Enjoy some insights from our costume designer for The Importance of Being Earnest, Dani DeJong. Here she explains some of the wardrobe choices made to bring this wonderful play to life on stage.


"One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art."

--Oscar Wilde


Oscar Wilde certainly had a delightful time poking fun at Victorian society's preoccupation with all things trivial. And the characters in this play certainly are fascinated with the trivial. What a delight to costume them. The Costumer's Manifesto tells us that "in the fashionable world of the 1890's, clothing was used to demonstrate one's wealth and freedom from work."


The principles of Conspicuous Consumption and Conspicuous Leisure are certainly demonstrated by our Algernon and Lady Bracknell as they swish about in rich velvets and taffetas all the while concerning themselves over cucumber sandwiches. Gwendolen herself decrees that "in matters of utmost importance, style, not sincerity, is the vital thing." However, as insincerity leads to misunderstandings and deception, it becomes a challenge to track the ever-changing relationships. Threads of colour help trail these connections as characters weave their way through the tangle of impersonation, pre-conceptions, expectation and deception until finally finding their way to a satisfactory end.


In town, Lady Bracknell fits nicely with her daughter and nephew, grand in royal blues and matching taffetas. As difficulties ensue, she is somewhat on her own in shrill scarlet velvet as the young folk match up nicely in their country togs. These folk may place little significance on seriousness and sincerity, but they know the importance of a good cut of cloth, making this play a costumer's delight.


Dani_Dejong-1358_smAbout Dani DeJong...


Dani is pleased to be back with Gallery 7 after a short hiatus from designing costumes for the theatre. She loves working on period pieces and finds it difficult to turn down the opportunity to make a Bunburrying suit. Past productions for G7 have included Pride and Prejudice, Cotton Patch Gospel and Village of Idiots.




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