October 2014

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October 2014


Costume Sessions May Prompt Attitude Adjustments

Jenny Kenyon Costume Design & Technology Commission

I have a deep dark secret that I have never admitted to, something I think afflicts more people than they care to let on—I am not one of those costume designers who really loves costume and fashion history. In fact, during my costume history class, I spent most of my time doodling.

I know many in the Costume Design & Technology Commission just gasped in horror, but the truth is finally out, and I don't think I am alone in this mindset. But I have some good news for us history non-aficionados. At the upcoming 2015 Conference & Stage Expo in Cincinnati, there are some fascinating costume history sessions for iconoclasts like me.

While history may not be my "thing," a good mystery is. A chance to learn about the Unknown Costume Designers of 1900-1930 is one such mystery. Who were these independent contractors who worked tirelessly and anonymously for American theatre producers and theatre companies? Del and Ione Unruh have sifted through countless archives to find renderings and production photographs of these unsung and remarkably creative people. It will be more of a treasure hunt than history lecture!

Speaking of treasure and sparkly things, Extravaganza! Liberace's Life in Costume will make even the most reserved of us into magpies. Connie Furr Soloman will present some of the personal stories of Liberace's designers and stunning examples from the Liberace Museum's holdings. Sequins, rhinestones, fur, and feathers will tickle all of our fancies!

Those are just two of the many offerings available this year. There also will be futuristic technologies, pageant make-up, prosthetics, environmental responsibility, and a Hands-On Design & Technology Challenge that is part Project Runway and part Hunger Games.