Inspired by the tragedy that is the tale of Romeo and Juliet, I designed a garment in collaboration with the Cincinnati Opera that embraced a modern take on Shakespeare's most iconic romance.
When prompted with the question, "What would a modern day Romeo and Juliet look like?" my first thought was to embrace the romance and drama in a sexy, theatrical getup. I pulled inspiration from classic bedroom-wear and paired it with a tapestry-like cape, marrying the tenderness of romantic intimacy with the luxurious façade that is extreme wealth. I chose high contrast colors to imitate the boldness of the statement Romeo and Juliet made in the name of love as well as representing the stark contrast and enmity between the two opposing families.
Rich velvets, intricate beadwork, and silky satins are used throughout to further evoke a sense of luxury and eros. The corset is made of black, matted wool and white, cotton twill. The briefs and cape are made of velvet while the hood and lining is comprised of a silk satin.
I took a lot of inspiration from Gustav Klimt, specifically his famous painting "The Kiss." I specifically pulled from his use of gold, geometric shapes, fluid lines, and (most obviously) the motif of a man kissing a woman. Like Romeo and Juliet, this painting illustrates two lovers embracing under the cover of a tapestry-like blanket, both concealing and joining them together. I thrifted a variety of garments which I then cut up to use for The Kiss motif.
The image on the right is of the harness I created to help the chest/headpiece carry the immense weight of the beaded, velvet cape dragging below.