Taking place in ancient Egypt, Aida is the tragic love story between the Nubian Princess, Aida, and the Egyptian army captain, Radames. They both struggle internally by choosing between love and their countries, but no choice seems to be perfect. In the beginning of the play, Radames ends his expedition by capturing Aida and other Nubian women. From there on, the two fall in love only to leave out Radames’ fiancé, Amneris. After a week of sneaking around together, Aida’s and Radames’ secret is finally revealed, and Radames must choose between his love to Aida and Egypt’s capture of the Nubian King. Unfortunately, his choice leads to Amneris not only gaining revenge on the two lovers, but also crowning herself as the new Pharaoh of Egypt.
In my design of Aida, I have chosen for the characters to look historically accurate as well as represent their place in the world. Aida is first seen wearing Nubian clothing to establish that she is from a different place than the others. Once she is captured, she is forced to blend in and dress as the rest of the Egyptian cast in costumes based around undyed linen. From this point on, bold colors on clothing are not featured until the end of the play when Amneris gains control of Egypt. To accompany each character’s neutral-toned costume, everyone will be wearing either colorful jewelry or armor, whether it’s embellished by stones or constructed from beads. These accessories are what identify the show’s color palette. Every character will be wearing gold, but the beads and jewels on each accessory will be colors that signify their character’s role in the play.
Aida, Radames, and Amneris all have widely different personalities, causing them to each bring a different importance to the play. With my designs, I plan to showcase each character’s personality and emphasis their current emotions through the use of color, silhouette, and jewelry.
I took apart an old necklace and reconstructed it into the earrings I designed for Aida.
I chose the corselet to construct. I used painted leather for the large gold strips and connected them with chains and beading.
I used several recycled gold chains as well as chains I made out of 16gauge brass and copper wires.
I created a clasp at the back and two clasps at the side for easy-opening.
Using leather, I also created the collar from Amneris' bead-net dress. I started by cutting, wet molding, and painting my pieces of leather. Then, I attached the gold tabs and jeweled decor.
The back plate is attached by brass rings and decorated with chains and jewels. I designed the back plate to mimic the 'weight' of Egyptian collars. During my research, I found that most collars were weighted down with jewels and beads, rather than being attached, like necklaces we have today.
Along with providing research, renderings, and crafted pieces, I decided to complete paperwork.
This is a chart I created as both my action chart as well as my quick-change plot. This is to help me keep track of which scenes specific characters were in as well as how many different costumes each character would need.
I made documents tracking both my budget throughout my project and time spent.
I organized both so they could be broken down per character, and then per costume item/step.