Eco-materiality and eco-materialism in Costume Design

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Costume for performance has for many centuries relied on well-known conventional materials, a longstanding tradition that radically changed in the past one hundred years, when artificial materials were introduced and new elements - such as found objects - were used as materials to create costumes. Moreover, financial, practical and other reasons have traditionally developed the recycling, reuse, modification and upcycling of materials and garments for creative use in costume design, proposing a natural eco-system of practice. In the 21st century, new and rather unconventional types of materials, techniques and technologies are engaged in designing costumes in all areas of live performance. These include smoke, liquids, ice, plants and seeds, as well as bio-based and technology-based materials. This presentation introduces select examples of contemporary performance costumes made of materials that transcend established boundaries and traditions. By analysing such examples, it aims to address questions of materiality and sustainability in relation to the performing body, and to discuss the potential of defining ‘eco-materiality’ within the design practice of costume.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jul 2021
MoE publication typeNot Eligible
EventInternational Federation for Theatre Research IFTR: Theatre Ecologies: Environments, Sustainability, and Politics - National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland
Duration: 12 Jul 202116 Jul 2021


ConferenceInternational Federation for Theatre Research IFTR
Abbreviated titleIFTR
OtherOutdoor theater in park location
Internet address


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