Costume Design for WayFinders #weedtowear

Costume Design for Wayfinders was very intuitive. Knowing our bodies were to be in fog as these animal characters emerged I almost immediately imagined that our characters would have some structure around them to define for observers their presence beyond the performers’ human forms, magnify the performers’ stature (we are all fairly tiny), make us appear extra terrestrial as we carry our homes with us, and keep us visible us beyond the limitless expanse of fog

As this piece too is rooted in getting close to the earth and as I work as a landscaper, I was drawn to collecting the bittersweet vines that tend to strangle native plants. These along with ivy and corn I wove into these structures that alluded to the characters contained within (hawk, deer, and briefly, the moon)

This process was a bit hair-raising because I’m not a sculptor and barely an adequate tailor. I had to sew everyone in and each time worry about the vines getting more and more britlle and definitely losing the flourish if the original pieces fashioned on a mannequin. In any case it came out well enough.

I wrapped the pieces in string light as I thought the added light element late in the day might prove essential if we lost light quickly due to clouds and again a secondary visual support so the framing of the characters don’t get lost.

UPDATE: Since showing these pieces, I’ve been invited to show them and a couple more as a fashion line for Green Fest at MassArt featuring sustainable art and performances. I’ll be performing as well!

Trailer of Behind the Scenes at Wayfinders by Stephanie Houten