Thursday, October 09, 2008

Recreating the look of Ann Landers...

The Lady With All the Answers costume designer, Holly Poe Durbin, shares her costume designs and process for recreating famed advice columnist Ann Landers.

"I create digital renderings in PhotoShop by painting or
cutting and pasting over my original hand drawings. I then created versions of each sketch with different colors so Mimi [Kennedy] and Brendon [Fox, director] could choose colors. I did five different color versions of the robe, and 5 of the blouse and trousers. We all chatted about the colors and chose the sketches you see here.

I begin any design with a lot of research into the period, and the kind of people in the script. In this case, Ann Landers was a real person that many in the audience will remember. We are not trying to do an absolute recreation, but rather to evoke the spirit of Ann. I researched AnnLanders quite a bit - the type and brands of clothing she bought, the styles that were typically worn by conservative dressers in Chicago, 1975. The costumes are custom made for Mimi so they will match the design and will be exactly what we all want for the role.
I designed this floral motif to imitate embroidery. It will be printed on a special digital fabric printer and then sewn to her robe.

The wig is one of the most important items in the design to help transform Mimi into
Ann Landers- Ann had a signature hair style that many people will recognize because of the photo that was published every day with her advice column. The wig is made by Carol Doran, who designed the wigs for Mask at the Pasadena Playhouse."

Thanks so much to Holly for sharing her designs and process! The Lady With All the Answers begins October 17. Click here for more information!

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