Sunday, October 6, 2013

Matching

What makes something "go" together?  I've been thinking about this for a while now.  Color matching and choice is a lot of what you do as a costumer.  Sometimes it's finding that perfect shade that's depicted in art.  Other times the art is black and white and you get to do color choices yourself.  In those cases I have a set of markers and I do a lot of scribbling different combinations until I come up with what I like.  My Lady of Lanterns dress recently was one of those; I had six drawings until I was happy with the color combinations.

Now I've come back to it again as I'm working on a quilt.  Unlike my last venture, which was monotone, this time I'm working in blue and yellow.


It took us a long time to find a yellow that matched the teal-and-blue combination we had going.  Even in picture you can't get good color reality, the middle fabric is actually a teal. A lot of yellow has been leached out of that picture.

Which I think leads to the true problem with color: you never know quite how it's going to react in a given circumstance.  It's especially hard to predict how stashed lights with colored gels are going to make a fabric look.  A rosy color wash that brings out a skin tone can turn a nice green muddy.  A golden sunrise effect can render a red orange.  With stage sometimes you can work with lighting designers and make corrections ahead of time, but that's not always possible.  Especially with Masquerades you've got to do your best and hope it turns out ok because there's no time to change things after dress rehearsal.  It's a note of how good the tech is at many masquerades because they often manage somehow to make everyone look amazing no matter what color and fabric they're wearing.