How to Make Egyptian Costumes

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Egyptian costumes are generally very intricately beaded, complete with capes, collars, wraps and cuffs. Put together a few simple pieces that can be embellished in an Egyptian style with information from a drama production designer in this free video on costumes.

Part of the Video Series: Making Costumes
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Video Transcript

And if you come over here this is the Egyptian world, and we have a lot of Egyptians cause' we've done Aida and a few other things. This is actually from Caesar and Cleopatra, and that's a cape and a man or woman can wear that. It's really, really elaborate. This about thirteen people worked on this thing. This is all beaded up in here all by hand. This is all done with quilting, hand painting; all hand appliqu?? and stuff on this. This was done a while ago so it's been through a few shows and it's still pretty spectacular. This is one of the high end pieces, and you put this; if you want to do like a pharaoh we have the blue crown of Egypt. You put that with cuffs; a little wrap skirt underneath it. It's really a beautiful piece. Or, if you want to do it for a woman you can put a gown underneath this or something with a Nefertiti headpiece and that works really well. And since we did Aida we actually, we built tons of stuff for the show. This is actually Radames' wedding outfit, and in a bag there's cuffs; there's a headpiece in there. You have a collar that's attached to this over cape which is really, really long, and this is all gold lam?, and we actually hand pleated this because it wasn't pleated so we fortunied it. We had to get it wet; then crimp it up, and we actually we baked it in the dryers. We had to go round in the dryers so it would set. And then, there's a wrap skirt here that he wears, and this is a sporin that hangs down in front and does that. That's the wedding outfit, and we had several of this type of thing for the show. This was a a piece we did for Zoser who was the bad guy in the black, and then they had a headpiece that was a square one that matched this with the, this particular cartouche on it. And there's wrist cuffs in here, and there's sashes, double sash that goes in there. He was the bad guy so we put him in black. And then, if you want to go kind of sexy stuff for Egyptians we have basically these wrap skirts are called certes, and you can wear this with a collar and sandals and bare chested. That's what that looks like. And there's several versions of this. I guess it's a set. So you see, this is a little more of a shear skirt here with the sporin hangin' down. And then, you've got this collar, the pectorial collar with the big scarab. And then, it has its own set of cuffs that go with it too, and you put this with a nemes with the headpiece, classic Egyptian headpiece. And then, for the women's stuff we have quite a bit of things as well. As I said, we did Aida, and this was Amneris. This was her wedding outfit to go with his, and there's a bra top with a collar, skirt, cape, and that's a belt, it goes around the waist, in the bag there, and then she has wrist cuffs. So, there's a lot of pieces that go into making some of this stuff, especially the Egyptians. There's a lot of detail in this, and this is one of the simpler collars and things that we did. And I'll show you a example of a very, very elaborate collar which is that one. That's all done by hand. Everything on here is laid down. All the beading is done by hand. All this was done by hand. This was done by machine here, but everything else; all the ankhs, all the scarabs, all this stuff was all laid down by hand. Very labor intensive but really pretty, and really solid too, okay. This is also another Amneris, and this was the banquet dress we did for her. I found this set online. It's a bra top, a collar, and a belt, beautiful piece. So, I bought this; we built the skirt. This is the cape that went with this, and then we usually use a great big peacock headdress for this. It's a really stunning piece. It made a really beautiful splash on stage. And this is the elaborate stuff. Now, you can go simple if you want to, too. We also have like hand maidens and things like that. I mean, this is a real simple woman's dress. It's just basically this, and you put a collar on this and a headpiece and that's all this is. It's very simple but that's traditional Egyptian, you know. We wanted something with a little bit of punch. Sort of basic but not too elaborate, and that would have been the simple design of the day. So, you can go from really elaborate to really simple.


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