Arteinscena: a case study

Maria Adele Cipolla arteinscena@gmail.com www.arteinscena.biz

Theatrical Costumes

Arteinscen a

Theatrical costumes are a synthesis of creativity, taste, historical research and… technique
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Sewing Cutting

Texmedin Workshop Athens, Sept 24, 2009

My Sources
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Museum collections (V&A, Kyoto…) Historical costume books based on analysis of old garments (Kohler…) Tailoring magazines from the ‘20’s through the ’50s, found second hand Private collections in Palermo of original garments (two, in need of funding) Family heirlooms: in Palermo even from the 18th century Period portraits etc.
Texmedin Workshop Athens, Sept 24, 2009

Starting point: the base pattern

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The human body is 3D but fabrics are 2D; we need to cut and insert darts to fit the fabric to the body The base pattern is the result of a centuries-old tradition with precise rules Nearly every distance between two points has a mathematical relation with one or more body measurements

Texmedin Workshop Athens, Sept 24, 2009

Variations on a theme

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Costumes for an opera chorus are made from the same base pattern and developed for each singer’s measurements

Texmedin Workshop Athens, Sept 24, 2009

The pattern cutter (“chief”)
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The key figure in a costume atelier is the “pattern cutter” An atelier’s reputation depends on his skill A mistaken cut leads to longer production time (and additional expenses) But it is a disappearing craft
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No attraction for the young Uncomforable working position
Texmedin Workshop Athens, Sept 24, 2009

I’ve been through it

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I was tired of managing lots of cardboard shapes and depending entirely on a disappearing profession I thought: could computers help me in this job?

Texmedin Workshop Athens, Sept 24, 2009

Industrial CAD doesn’t solve my problem

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Industrial CAD uses fixed distances to draw the base pattern From there, grading systems normally develop different sizes by increasing and decreasing the shape

Texmedin Workshop Athens, Sept 24, 2009

Macrogen© software: my solution. How does it work?

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Like CAD, the software is based on cartesian coordinates But each pattern is constructed using the traditional cutting method Every distance is espressed as a function of a body measurement
Texmedin Workshop Athens, Sept 24, 2009

Why it fits my needs
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With Macrogen you can create base patterns (called Macros) using default measurements Replacing the default values with those of a specific body, the pattern fits with the client’s shape and proportions A macro file can be created for each model, taking the place of the old base patterns in cardboard

Texmedin Workshop Athens, Sept 24, 2009

The Macros maintain the cutter’s expertise

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The Macro is thus the closest thing to the traditional technique That is the process still followed by theatrical costume houses (especially for opera)

Texmedin Workshop Athens, Sept 24, 2009

My digital archive

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One by one I transfered my own collection of base patterns into the Macrogen system My collection used to require two bookcases, now it all fits on a pendrive I can take with me

Texmedin Workshop Athens, Sept 24, 2009

I decided to offer my collection to others

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Arteinscena is an ecommerce service providing theatrical costume patterns developed to individual measurements, throughout the world

Texmedin Workshop Athens, Sept 24, 2009

On-line clients select a model

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Clients browse a catalogue of over 200 models
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Men and Women From 1060 to 2000

Using a tape measure they take their traditional tailoring body measurements (circumference, length and width)
Texmedin Workshop Athens, Sept 24, 2009

And I generate their custom pattern as a pdf file

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I input the client’s measurements to replace the default values in the macro, adjusting where needed Using an associated CAD module I place the pieces, colour the elements, add notes and generate the pdf file Within max 3 working days from the order, the client receives a set of A0 sized pdf files (normally 2-8 sheets), which can be plotted at a local service
Texmedin Workshop Athens, Sept 24, 2009

The software is precise

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Just as Microsoft Word cannot write a novel, MacroGen doesn’t transform any user into a costume designer For that you need passion, lots of historical research, and years of back-stage experience However, the software helps you to save time, avoid mistakes and reduce repetitive tasks
Texmedin Workshop Athens, Sept 24, 2009

I add my experience…
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The software optimises the work process without changing the important parts The rules of cutting follow the traditional practice Every pattern is manually adjusted where the drawing lacks harmony
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Just as an experienced cutter would do to complete a job For example, in the curve of the armhole

Nothing generated automatically escapes my personal control

Texmedin Workshop Athens, Sept 24, 2009

…and human support

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My clients prefer to have a personal contact (mail and sometimes phone), not an anonymous “shopping cart” The client is accompanied through the process of making the costume with handbooks and mail and phone support An online community forum is available where clients exchange tips and tricks (with me and between them), signal events of common interest and post photos of their creations
Texmedin Workshop Athens, Sept 24, 2009

Thank you for your attention
Maria Adele Cipolla arteinscena@gmail.com www.arteinscena.biz

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