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DVC Costume Design | History of Fashion Design

DVC Costume Design

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The earliest use of costume began as a ritual of sacrifice. The earliest mask was of a human skin worn on the head after a sacrifice had been preformed by a priest or priestess. Ritual sacrifices were performed to honor Gods who would in turn provide fertility, health, and so on. The village festivals and processions in honor of Dionysus “See also Dionysia amongst the ancient Greeks, are believed to be the origin of theatre, and therefore theatre costume. The sculpture and vase paintings provide the clearest evidence of this costume. Because of their ritualized style of theatre many masks were used giving each character a specific look and they varied depending if they were used for comedic or dramatic purposes. Some masks were constructed with a cheerful as well as a serious side on the same face in an attempt to indicate a change in emotion without a change of mask. The same is true for the Romans, who continued the mask tradition, which made the doubling of roles easier.
During the late Middle Ages in Europe, dramatic enactments of Bible stories were prevalent, therefore actual Christian vestments, stylized from traditional Byzantine court dress, were worn as costumes to keep the performances as realistic as possible. Stereotypical characterization was key when clothing performers for this style of theatre. In most instances actors had to supply their own costumes when playing a character found in daily life.

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