Last week I met with our costume designer, Lilah Estrem Aas, to talk about colors and style for Head Over Heels and I think I might have accidentally created my first mood board? Google image search is a good friend. I thought it might be fun to share some of our thoughts with y'all.
First I did a little research and grabbed images from the original Oregon Shakespeare Festival production, which looked kind of like this:
They went very jewel tone, and most of the cast had hair and/or wigs to match. Very very yummy.
I think they varied the style from leaning into Elizabethan at the beginning to leaning away from it at the end (which makes sense - the kingdom finds a new beat and all).
Then there is the Broadway cast, which didn't use quite the same spectrum of hair, but had every bit as much color in the costumes. They kept the cast in fairly constant outfits throughout, and while it was still thoroughly modernized, the show maintained the Renaissance flair from start to finish.
In planning our own palette and concept, I knew right away that I wanted an intensely colorful aesthetic. The not-quite-joke as I discussed with my wife early on was that our aesthetic was a mashup of the musical Six with Rainbow Brite.
As an aside, there are some very impressive group cosplays of Rainbow Brite and the Color Kids. I never got too into the show when I was little, but maybe I should check it out again.
Oh yeah, Head Over Heels.
Next we talked about pride flags. One of the things that I love about the show, and want to emphasize with our production, are its messages about love, which are inclusive and beautiful. The show features a number of LGBTQ characters, and there are some 'flags' that weave through the plot, so engaging in just a little bit of aesthetic playfulness, I suggested working the bold colors from some of the more appropriate pride flags into our show's design scheme.
Clockwise from top left those are the non-binary pride flag, a lesbian pride flag, the rainbow pride flag, and the genderfluid pride flag.
Since our show is being performed in an outdoor venue, and some of the shows are during daylight hours, we are going to have a limited ability to set or augment the palette of the show with lighting. Which just reinforces to me that we should go big, bright, and bold with the costumes.
Actually, that's pretty much the TL:DR of this whole entry. Color, Color, Color; Big, Bright, and Bold. (Costumes).