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Musical-dance costumes

In the eighteenth century two forms of song-and-dance performance emerged in Britain, France, and Germany: ballad operas and comic operas. At this time stage costumes were often based on everyday-dress design.

In the late 1880s, comic operas conquered Broadway in New York, and plays, were designed for popular audiences. From the 1880s until the 1920s, the musical-comedy genre in London emerged, and designers created fashionable costumes for singers and dancers.

In the fifties, musicals such as “My Fair Lady” (1956) surprised the audiences with numerous costume changes. Costume designer Cecil Beaton had created costumes enhancing the transformation of Eliza, the main character, from a common flower vendor into a society lady. In 1975 aerobic and dance outfits became popular on stage and in everyday life. Bright neon shades in pink, green, and yellow dominated the range of colours. Dance tights, leggings, headbands, and wristlets spread from stage to fashion and vice versa. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, musical “Bombay Dreams” (2002) opened in London, and its Indian costumes demonstrated the ethnic influence on stage design.


Makeup Artists

An increasing number fashion shows, photographic shoots, film and theater productions rely on the specialized skills of the makeup artist to communicate style and image. When Maurice Levy designed the first retractable lipstick in 1915, no one could have guessed how popular cosmetics would become or how significant the role of the makeup artist would be in such emerging new fields as fashion photography and cinema production. Indeed, the concept of "makeup artist" hardly existed at that time. Until the twentieth century, theatrical performers were expected to do their own makeup, as they were expected to supply their own stage costumes. The professional makeup artist, like the theatrical or cinematic costume designer, is a modern phenomenon. For much of the twentieth century, the role of the makeup artist remained a largely anonymous one, as audiences focused on the face of the model or actor rather than the makeup techniques. But makeup artists in fact have a great deal to do with how an actor or model looks in any given performance or production. The makeup artist today is not bound by traditional materials, styles, and conventions, but is able to use a wide range of techniques to create innovative effects.


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