Welcome to the swamp! Here, lurking in the muck, where creativity spawns, you'll find Mrs Crocodile, aka Colleen Dunkel, a costumer and teacher based in Basel, Switzerland.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

How to make something seemingly boring actually quite interesting.

I'm not very good at giving advice, since I refuse to take my own. But here's how I've made something seemingly boring into something which is actually fascinating.  I had thought doing the costumes for Doubt, by John Patrick Shanley, would be an easy one. How hard could it be? I was thinking to myself: four characters, all of whom don't actually express their character in the dress, two nuns, a priest and the boy's mother, right?  I mean it's not going to be a question of a mini-skirt for the younger one and a knee-length skirt for the older one.  There's no choice of color, like how does hot pink work for the younger nun?  Or how does antique rose fit for the older nun?  There may be some question of color in the priest's over garment he wears for sermons, non?  No.  It's not all as regimented as all that.  But then it is.  And then again it's quite individualistic when you start getting into the different orders of nuns.  To my surprise there is a lot of leeway.  I'm telling you this is ice-berg material here and I'm having fun.  So here I am: only four days into 2011 and I'm wild at work researching nun's habits, muslin undergarments, slips, blouses, bodices, white linen boarders, veils, tunics, wooden rosaries, wooden crucifixes, black scarf or brown cape, cowl neck, how to cut it on the bias, white caps, cassocks, those shiny scarf things that priests wear over their shoulders, the belts, the white collars and what a priest would wear for basketball practice. Who knew there was so much choice?  And who knew that one could be a dandy and still be devoted to God. Oscar Wilde missed his calling. Check out this amazing website in English and Italian for some of the garb: http://www.mariobianchetti.com/productList.asp?id_subcat=12
And if you want to get your hands on a veil or habit made in the good old US of A, check out this site: http://www.wrightscatalogue.com/
And more: http://www.glenfont.com/
But the best is this forum on how to make a nun's habit, maybe it's just me but everything is said here: http://anunslife.org/2008/03/24/how-to-make-a-nuns-habit/
Even some friars checked in on that forum.
Okay, okay don't take my advice, just go straight to that last forum and breathe in the world of someone else's world and if you're like me you might even have the realization that it's a lot like over here. 
Here in my world, have a wonderful 2011!
Mrs Crocodile





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