How To Design Costumes

By Owen Jones

People all over the world like watching films and films often reflect local traditional stories and folklore. The fascination with ghosts, ghouls and witches is a global phenomenon, but there are more local ones too.

One of the most well-known in Europe is the so-called vampire, Vlad the Impaler, who really did exist but probably not in the form of the vampire that we all know of today from books and films.

Then there are the witches and warlocks who have been both respected and feared throughout history. Think of Merlin the Magician from the court of King Arthur and the witches of Salem in the United States, who were persecuted and murdered along with thousands of others in Europe at that same time.

There are also tree nymphs or dryads, believed in by the ancient druids and many peoples in other continents as well such as Asia and Africa. Fairies and goblins are or at least were widely feared all over the world and there were the little people in Ireland, the Leprechauns. However, these characters did not only live on land. The ancient Greeks believed in Poseidon the god of the sea and many sailors believed in mermaids.

Some would argue that angels,cherubim, seraphim and the like come into the same group. Some would even say that Satan and God do too. All of the above characters, with the possible exception of God, have been represented by human beings at parties that we call fancy dress parties many, many times.

Many movies have been made which include some of the above characters. The most well-known of these in recent years being the Harry Potter series and the Lord of the Rings. Just imagine the work that must have gone into making the costumes for those films.

What if you could design your own costume on that plane of excellence for your next fancy dress party? Well, the costume designers working on those films are professionals, obviously, and they have big budgets and ample of resources to work with. You will be much more restricted, but you can still achieve very decent results.

The first thing to do is select the character that you want to dress up as. Let's say a vampire. Then you ought to do a little investigation to find out what the character looked like. This is very easy on the Internet or you might have films and books on the topic. Then you make a list of the items you will need in order to dress yourself the same and maybe the make-up you will need too.

So, for a vampire, you will require long black trousers or a long black dress; a black jacket, shirt or blouse; black shoes and a black cape (or blanket). Some white make-up or talcum powder will give you a ghouls complexion and some red or dark-red lipstick will emphasize your deathly pale facial appearance. A set of long white or yellowish fangs finishes the image. Then all you require to do is practice a couple of hypnotic stares in the mirror and a few weird stares and you are finished.

If you find it difficult to get hold of any piece of the fancy dress, you could either rent a costume locally or purchase one from the Internet.

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