Creating Costumes for Dance Kaleidoscope

Barry Doss RGB
Creating Costumes 

by Barry Doss

My process for this design stems from David's reference to the "jazzy" quality of Ravel's "Piano Concerto in G Major." I chose the early 1930's as a point of reference to inspire the dancewear for the piece, as he composed it between 1929 and 1931. Coming out of the roaring 20's and ushering in the Golden Age of Hollywood, there's a lot of glamorous clothing to draw inspiration from in this transitional period. However, in its authentic form, is not very conducive to modern dance—maybe for Fred & Ginger, but not Graham. 
Research 1   Research 2

I studied many images of 1930's fashion for both women and men, and distilled certain lines, angles, and elements I could apply to dancewear, creating fully danceable garments that have the flavor of the early 20th Century and the Age of Jazz, but are contemporary stretch garments.
Barry sketch bodice   Barry tape bodice

You'll see that each design is very technical in its construction, and each monochromatic ensemble is derived from a fixed ROYGBIV palette of 4 different types of contemporary stretch textiles: scuba, stretch satin, mesh, and metallic mesh. The result is a vibrant, sexy, playful set of dance clothes that capture the flavor of Ravel's concerto through color, detail, and fit. The fabrics punctuate the retro-fashion looks by creating windows on the body, fluctuating between opaque and transparent, sheen and matte, sumptuous and ethereal...all engineered and cut for full motion. They are jazz costumes for 21st Century modern dance.

Here's the assembled bodice for dancer Emily Franks. 
Barry bodice

Barry Doss (Costumer) - A native Texan, Barry received a BA in Theatre with a minor in Fashion Design from TCU graduating with honors in 1991. He worked as Resident Costume Designer for the Indianapolis based modern dance company, Dance Kaleidoscope until 1996, collaborating with Artistic Director, David Hochoy creating costumes for Scheherazade, Girl at the Piano, Carnival of the Animals, Carmina Burana, Seasons, and The Planets.

Read Barry's full bio here.

 
 

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