Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Part 1 - New York City and Metropolitan Opera Internship Diary

It seems crazy to be writing this but... I'm in New York! My new home for January and February!

I mentioned back in November that I was accepted for a month-long internship at the Metropolitan Opera costume workshop. I flew out on Wednesday last week and had my first day at the Opera on Monday, and so far I'm having a wonderful time. We've had sun and rain and snow already, and I have been able to revisit my favourite places in the city, as well as new areas.

The beautiful building above will be my office for the next five weeks. The Metropolitan Opera is located at the Lincoln Center, the hub of performing arts in Manhattan. It is home to the Met. Opera, New York City Ballet, New York orchestras and schools such as Julliard. In February it will also play host to New York Fashion Week.

I had a great flight from Heathrow to JFK - there were so few passengers that everyone had a row to themselves - who needs upper class when you get just as much space in economy!? My reading material for the flight was the latest issue of Selvedge magazine - the Costume issue, featuring fantastic interviews and articles by designers, makers and more. Anyone interested in costume and textiles should definitely get to know Selvedge magazine! Their bi-monthly publications are beautiful and so inspiring! Here is a link to their website: selvedge.org

On Friday I had a walk around the Lincoln Center, down past Central Park to Times Square, before spending some time at the MoMA. See my next post about the exhibitions - there was a fantastic one about the work of  production designer Dante Ferretti. On Monday I started at the Met. The early morning start meant for beautiful views of Central Park south, one day there was a beautiful sunset, the next, a snowstorm! 

I am so excited to see what the next five weeks bring, and best of luck to all the other girls on my course also doing their work placements this term :)

Friday, 10 January 2014

Oksana Nedavniaya - Costume Illustrator

This week I've been reading 'The Night Circus' by Erin Morgenstern, a book that I have been dying to read every since I read the first two pages in a charity shop almost a year ago. From the first paragraph I was absorbed by the depth in character, setting, mystery and magic. I knew I would love the world Morgenstern had created in this novel and from a designers perspective I was instantly desperate to see the visuals realised as a film. Almost immediately this story made it to the top of my list of novels I dream of designing for one day.

It's not surprising then that I am in a bit of a circus mood at the moment! I absolutely love Oksana Nedavniaya's costume illustration style, and I was so happy to find her drawings for circus-themed film 'Water for Elephants':

Water for Elephants (2011) - Costume Design by Jacqueline Duran

Oksana's other illustrations are equally inspiring! She first developed her illustration work while at music college, choosing to focus her drawings on historical dress. Today, she works as a film costume illustrator.

To see more of Oksana Nedavniaya's work, go to her website, www.oksieart.com .

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Emma Leonard Illustrations

Here are some beautiful illustrations I have found inspiring recently, in my quest to improve my drawing (one of a few 2014 resolutions!) Emma Leonard draws with a variety of mediums, creating dreamy and feminine portraits of girls with graceful plaited hair and soft blushed faces.

Prufrock 1 in Prufrock Zine, 2011

See more of Emma's beautiful work on her website.