Talking Threads: Costume Design for Entertainment Art is an amazing resource for costume and fashion designers. This book is much more comprehensive and detailed than I expected. The bulk of the book talks about the concepts of costume design as influence by society, culture, personality, function and story.
The five contributing authors and creatives are Jessie Kate Bui, Gwyn Conaway, Maria Ferreira Kercher, Blythe Russo and Rebecca "Beki" Black-Gliko. They are industry professionals who have worked with costume design for animation, games and illustration.
These are the chapters in the book:
- Plot and Theme
- Time and Place
- Passage of Time
- Styling and Surface Design
- Practical Knowledge
The chapter on society and class dynamics is interesting. It talks about Middle, Early Modern and Modern Ages, Nobility, Merchant Class, Upper/Middle/Working Class. There's discussion on ethnicity, belief systems and social status and how those affect what people wear. Costume design are also affected by occupation, the places people live, and purpose, e.g. loungewear, casual wear, formal wear.
There are also text on visual design, the materials and construction. And lastly there's mention of jobs that require costume designs. Plenty of visual examples are included.
This is an in depth book that will give you a lot to think about before you put pen to paper. Character designers may also find the book useful if they want to make their designs more believable and grounded.
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