Reading Aristophanes' Lysistrata for the first time, I was captivated by a beautiful vision of the first scene.
Women country-wide covertly made their way under a dark night’s sky to gather with Lysistrata, moments before dawn. As she speaks of her passionate vision for feministic revolution, it sparks fire in the hearts of her Greco-sisters. The warm orange light of the sun breaks the horizon and overwhelms the deep azure sky behind them.
The sun rises with the awakening of hope for change in Greece.
From the imagery of the dawning sun, I drew my color palette inspiration. I visually articulated the tension by using the complementary colors, deep azure and amber orange.
Alphonse Mucha’s artwork influenced the styling of my design. His fantasy-like portrayal of women, in an almost spiritual light, gives image to the female as a strong, captivating creature of beauty, power, and significance. This image articulates my view of the women in Lysistrata, who communicate the validity of uniquely feminine strength through their appearance of beauty for beauty’s sake.
My concept for the ancient Greek himation robe is drawn from the women’s symbolic cover of oppression, and the intellectual cloaking of darkness before their enlightenment by Lysistrata’s plans. The deep azure color mirrors the night’s sky the women gathered under as they secretly met with Lysistrata before dawn. Historically, the ancient Greeks wore the himation as an outer-garment for cool weather, a piece similar to a cloak. I purposefully exaggerated the robe proportions, and chose a more whimsical fabric to keep the design from being too serious. The overall look is conceptual, rather than a historical reiteration, as Lysistrata is a loose comedic play, rather than a serious chronicle.
My concept for the "awakening heart" chiton gown is inspired by the spark and building flame of passion Lysistrata ignites in her Greco- sisters. The amber orange color inspiration is drawn from the breaking of dawn in the scene’s backdrop. In constructing the dress, I literally formed a heart through the folding of knots that secure the top of the gown. I utilized ombré dying affects to communicate the movement of building passion by intensifying deep orange at the center of the heart. Studying the historical approach to pleating and draping the chiton-style gown of Ancient Greece, I constructed my own interpretation of the dress.
The floral crown headdress I constructed for the costume signifies the leading position Lysistrata’s women desired to embody, while reflecting traditionally feminine beauty through flowers. The design was inspired by the decoration of women in Mucha's painting.