Gianna Rosina’s collection ‘The Thespian’s Dream’, was influenced by tropes in Shakesperian tragedy plays, Elizabethan such as the grosgrain ribbon ruff and renaissance headdress use recognisable historic motifs. Gianna wanted to create a collection that both used hand-painted textiles which show off her background in costume design and fine art, as well as her love for embroidery. Her collection is based around a triadic colour palette.
Researching Elizabethan Sumptuary Laws, Gianna researched colours and fabrics from the 17th century. The meaning of colours worn during the Elizabethan era provided instant information about the person wearing them, so choosing a highly pigmented blue and red showed status among those who wear the garment. Originally wanting to dye the fabrics herself and following the dyeing methods of this time was the original plan of action, however, due to time and resource limitations, had to buy the fabric already in the colour. Taking inspiration from the Greek theatre play, Oedipus Rex, and by painting on white cotton fabric, the eye motif from Greek theatre can show through into the clothes.
Gianna then began to sketch out ideas keeping her fashion history research in mind. She found it was helpful to brainstorm on paper with multiple concept sketches before finalizing the garments overall look.
Before finalizing anything, she worked with analog embroidery and sketched out how to paint the eyes on one of her garments. She also used the digital program CLO3D to see how she could showcase her work and the narrative she was trying to create. Once finished with the concept sketching, the start of making a toile and figuring out mistakes was another essential part of the process.