by Michela Sardinas, Class of 2019
photography by Adrian VanStee, Class of 2019
Think, sketch, sew, build, repeat.
This is all part of Anna Finerty’s costume design process.
Anna took a costume design course at the Center for the Gifted and fell in love with the process. She experienced designing and sewing cosplay, street style, and Disney costumes that were presented in a fashion show.
“My favorite is the recreation of the Genie from Aladdin,” Anna states.
Fascinated by the art of sewing, designing, and building, Anna wanted to continue costume making. She decided to display a few of her costumes in the Fine Arts Showcase.
Her inspiration was from the 1937 Snow White movie and the recent Snow White remake, Mirror Mirror, in order to infuse the styles together and make a Snow White costume.
Her elaborate costume display caught the attention of students and teachers.
“I put up some costumes for Fine Arts,” Anna says, “and that was when Mrs. Markos and Mrs. Crichton saw them and it became an independent study with Mrs. Markos.”
Mrs. Markos is a director and theater teacher. Anna started the independent study as a sophomore and Mrs. Markos helped her create a portfolio and further her skills. Anna works on the sketch and the creation of it.
“She helps me learn how a costume shop works and all the different processes that go on,” Anna states.
An independent study with Mrs. Markos has allowed Anna to present her work in a professional manner while still having fun. Mrs. Markos has been a guide and counselor to Anna’s designs.
“The one-on-one time is really nice,” Anna states.
But the best part of doing an independent study with Mrs. Markos was creating some of the costumes for the recent middle school musical, Willy Wonka Jr.
She had the opportunity to design some of the costumes for productions like the high school musical The Sound of Music and the middle school musical Willy Wonka Jr. “It was immersive and exciting,” Anna explains.
“Willy Wonka had a red velvet hat because he was more luxurious,” Anna clarifies. Securing the feather into the hat with a sash was part of this luxury.
The costumes were designed as modern day with bright colors to show the outward appearance of a character’s personality. Willy Wonka’s hat showed just that.
“I had a lot of say in what each character wore,” Anna says, which is why she was able to be more creative with Mrs. Teavee’s dress.
“That was the first dress I had ever made,” Anna gushes. It was inspired by 1950s Lucille Ball and had a black bodice with white polka dots, a bright red belt, and a white skirt with black polka dots.
Seeing her costumes on the stage was a rewarding feeling. “The feeling that you get seeing your work being enjoyed and taken in by people during a show, it’s an indescribable feeling,” Anna gushes.
With the opportunity of designing for musicals and working with Mrs. Markos, Anna hopes to one day pursue a career in costume design.