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Persephone

BA project in textile design, handicraft and communication 21/22

Abstract:

 

Examined through an analysis of the films Pan’s Labyrinth, The Shape of Water and Crimson Peak, the visual language of director Guillermo del Toro is explored. Coupled with an analysis of films portraying Greek gods, this project is about the creation of a series of costumes for the character of Persephone from Greek Mythology for a fictitious film about the myth of Persephone and Hades. The purpose of which is to create a final costume which reflects the inner journey of the character while also embodying the visual language of director Guillermo del Toro.

Colour symbolism, silhouettes, and lines are concluded to be the defining traits of del Toros style and they’re implemented in the final designs along with elements found to be recognizable for the portrayal of Greek Gods.

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This costume is tailored to and worn by Ariellah Engel. 

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The Costume

Goddess of the Underworld & Spring

Cupped corset in dupioni silk, embellished with beading and French embroidery executed with silk thread, this piece was designed with inspiration from armour corsets that greek goddesses are portrayed wearing in films. Sharp and soft lines and motifs come together to underline Persephone's duality as the goddess of both Spring, but also the Underworld. Her duality is visible throughout her costume, shiny and matte fabrics, sharp and soft lines, polished and textured, pristine and decay.

The thorns create a link to Hades in this fictitious film as it is a motif thoroughly present in his costume. 

The red colour symbolises Persephone's love and hate towards Hades, as well as it plays into one of Guillermo del Toro's most recognizable uses of colour symbolism. In the fictitious film, the colour red is also associated with the Underworld and this costume is designed to be Persephone's coronation costume, and thus it stands as a testament to how she's now part of the Underworld and linked to Hades.

The robe is hand smocked in a leaf motif made in handed silk organza, to create texture and bring more naturalistic motifs to the Goddess of Spring.