LA FIN: Joan of Arc

The three-week run of Joan of Arc: The Transgression is over, but thankfully I still have the costumes.  : )

Historically, I’ve been terrible at documenting my work, but I’m trying to turn this around. This was truly the most challenging and rewarding project I’ve ever been involved in. The focus and passion of the director, cast and crew was inspiring.

Knit (Rubber Bike Tire) Vest

The knit rubber vest is probably the coolest thing I’ve ever made. Designed to resemble chain mail, the exposed edges and structure of this “fabric” make it’s texture unlike anything else I’ve ever seen. The magnetic Siham channeled Joan and mesmerized crowds each night in this tough get-up.

Floral (Hand Painted) Cape

The director, Jean didn’t want to depict Joan’s burning at the stake in literal terms. Instead, the final scene of the performance showed her ascension to heaven and sainthood in a burst of beauty.

The cape started as a scary, blank, white canvas, but actually turned into the 2nd coolest thing I’ve ever made. Using Pierre et Gilles as inspiration, gigantic flowers filled the empty spaces. It lived on my studio floor for a month, as the layers of paint and color were added to the surface. Gold lights and chains filled the background. Even though it was only worn for the last 10 minutes of each show, it made a stunning final image.

The (Working Girl) Flapper

Providing comic relief and support for Joan, Sarah Durn played the 1920s inspired court clerk. The direction for this character and costume was rough, working-class and to fade into the background. A vintage top, handmade pencil skirt and hand-knit hat rounded out the costume. Sarah ended up liking the hat so much that she kept it.

La Fin…

Now the remaining costumes are carefully packed away at home, ready to be pulled out for samples and display. It’s hard to think that after all that work, all that remains are memories, photos and a few fragments of fabric. But the intangible experience is where the value is.

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