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Biography of Fashion Designer Sandy Powell - Essay Example

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The essay explores the biography of Sandy Powell. Movies and their characters can never be given life without costumes. This is especially true in epic and historical depictions where the job of a costume designer is of utmost importance in the production process…
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Biography of Fashion Designer Sandy Powell

Download file to see previous pages... The essay "Biography of Fashion Designer Sandy Powell" analyzes the life of Sandy Powell. Having won three Oscars and two British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) awards and several nominations, Sandy Powell has already mastered the said craft. Apart from the ‘laurels’ that were garnered in her honor, it is her creations, which provided energy and color to the various characters that she dressed, that can be held as testaments to her love to costume designing and her excellence in such a relatively underrated field of the arts. Ever since her childhood, Miss Powell already has a strong adoration for clothes and dressing up that motivated her to learn how to sew at a very early age. Upon this infant skill, she used to create clothes for her dolls and dresses for herself. At the age of 14, her love for the craft was much reinforced when she witnessed a theater performance that showcased avante-garde costumes and flamboyant props. Since then, Miss Powell knew what she wanted to do professionally in the future. To achieve this dream, she acknowledged that she needed formal training; so she attended London’s Central School of Design, concentrating on Theatre Design. Halfway through the completion of the course, she left school to focus on an ‘actual training’ that entailed her own designs and creations in a fringe theater production side-by-side with a commitment with The Cholmondeleys, a London-based dance troupe. Consequently, when she met respected director, designer and author Derek Jarman., she did not realize that she was already entering the grand threshold of the cinema industry (Thompson 169). During their days back in school, choreographer Lea Anderson describes Powell as ‘fascinating and unique in her outfits.’ She further disclosed how Powell would frequently employed themes in her wardrobes, while shocking them the next day for another elaborate and distinct set of garments (Harries). Meanwhile, celebrated theater designer and instructress Pamela Howard was once quoted to have said that there was completely nothing that she could teach Powell (Horn 11). Professional Costume Designer Miss Powell’s collaboration with Jarman, which continued for years, encompassed projects that brought the best of her creative juices: meticulously reviving period clothing and at the same time creating contemporary fashions, all on relatively low budgets. It is with this reason why critics appreciated her works that were truly exquisite yet believable. In 1986, she earned critical acclamation for her screen designs in Caravaggio, which were anchored on the painter’s life and works. The Last of England (1987), Edward II (1991) and Wittgenstein (1993) were legacies of their extended close working relationship. Her work, according to her, is always grounded on research. Before any design would proceed, she still first goes to the Internet or to library to study not only the specific character that she needs to dress and the trend of clothing during the time but also the entire history of the period (Thompson 171). For her Elizabethan, Victorian and modern creations in Orlando, Powell earned her first nomination at the Academy Awards in 1993. A year after, she was at the helm of developing the costumes in the anthology film Being Human that featured different periods in history (Bronze Age to modern day) where her designs were of much significance. Since the early 90’s, Powell has been the designer of choice for director Neil Jordan’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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