Fusions – Costume Design by Vera DuBose

Vera earned her MFA in Costume Design at the University of South Carolina. She am originally from Germany, where she was a Costume Design Student of Prof. Reinhard von der Thannen at the HAW Hamburg. Ever since she can remember she have been in love with the Performing Arts. My goal is to explore the world of Costuming and to grow as a Designer.

From the University of South Carolina:

“Fusions,” which was presented at the World Stage Design conference in Wales, remains one of the most challenging projects of DuBose’s design career so far. “We knew the show was going to Great Britain. This added a new set of obstacles,” she explains. “Primarily, designing costumes to fit inside suitcases.” One piece, a garment that had a large “belly” about three feet round, was particularly hard to construct.

“We considered lots of options,” she says. “The idea of making something that could fold into itself seemed to be the best approach, we realized that paper lanterns, accordions and hoop skirts functioned that way.

“I actually tried using a paper lantern,” DuBose says, “but realized that it was a ridiculous idea. It just didn’t work on any level.” She discovered that lanterns have metal devices that force them to open and they don’t “fall” into shape by gravity. What’s more, the paper material is too fragile.

Using the lantern idea as a starting point, she designed a round collapsible garment using crinoline and thin plumbing tubes that she purchased from Lowe’s. “I went to several hardware stores to buy enough tubing to make the belly,” DuBose says.

But once completed, it still wouldn’t fit inside a suitcase. She ended up carrying it in a box. “I was asked several times by airport security what I was transporting,” DuBose remembers with a laugh. “But we got through without any trouble. They were very nice about it.”

Using unconventional material is what makes theater design exciting for her. “I think design is more than copying real life. Design should go beyond that,” she says.