December 9, 2015

POSTED BY

Rafael Esquer

CATEGORY

Bram Stoker’s Dracula: The Costumes Are the Sets

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https://youtu.be/_smVQFEMops I know this film was released more than two decades ago, but it’s so sensory stunning that deserves to be seen again and again. Bram Stoker’s Dracula has its place in cinema history as one of the most visually compelling films ever made. For many, the real stars of …

I know this film was released more than two decades ago, but it’s so sensory stunning that deserves to be seen again and again. Bram Stoker’s Dracula has its place in cinema history as one of the most visually compelling films ever made. For many, the real stars of this timeless picture are the costumes created by legendary designer Eiko Ishioka.

When film director Francis Ford Coppola asked Eiko to design the costumes, he simply said, “Eiko, the costumes will be the set.”

With that in mind, the first thing Eiko wanted to do was to completely throw away the tiring cliché look of any Dracula film made before. Eiko set out to re-invent Dracula: She envisioned a character who could be man, woman, young, old, beast, and human, all at once. “My image of Dracula,” Ishioka says, “should have a million faces, endless transformations.”

Like all of her awe-inspiring work, with Bram Stoker’s Dracula, she challenged the audience to guess, to be intrigued, and to ask themselves: What is this thing I am seeing?

Drawing inspiration from diverse sources ranging from armadillos, snakes, strange insects, lizards, unusual reptiles, hybrid cultures, to Gustav Klimt, she created one of most memorable costume designs in film history. She won an Academy Award too!

I invite you to watch this short documentary about the making of the costumes and witness the extraordinary talent of Eiko Ishioka, my greatest design mentor.

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