Macbeth

Concept

For Macbeth I will be designing for a film version as the places in which I wanted to set the play will be most successful visually if shot with a camera. The concept for this project started at looking at the superstition and magical element of the story. I knew I wanted to set Macbeth away from Scotland and thought that there were a lot of parallels between the story and the Native Americans. I soon discovered that the Witches fitted really well into the role of a shaman; the shamans perform rituals and deal with hallucinations all of which are present in Macbeth, especially in the first act when predicting Macbethís future. In term of the rest of the characters, the different kingdoms (England and Scotland) make up different tribes scattered over America and Canada.

The tribe in which Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are from inhabit Alberta, the province in Canada. For their costumes I will be taking inspiration from Albertaís Banff National Park in wintertime, looking at the different forms of ice from melting glaciers to smooth patches of snow. The textiles on the costumes will reflect the charactersí state of mind, beginning with very pristine fabrics and progressing to shards of cracked mirrors, acrylic and glass representing melting ice and further emphasising Macbethís deteriorating mental health. For the shape of the garment I will be looking at the traditional clothing of the Inuit, keeping the shapes quite simple but the textiles more intricate.

The Witches will be based on a complete contrast to Macbethís, looking into the sacred sites of the Native Americans and bringing in the flaming red rocks of Utah and Arizona. Visually the contrast between the burnt reds and the ice white of Macbethís land when they go and visit him will really highlight just how strange and mysterious these women are. I aim to incorporate elements of bones into the designs, drawing inspiration from their initial speech in the play but also from the landscape that I am basing them in.

Banquo will be similar to Macbeth, dressed in Inuit style clothing but changing the textiles to show the transition from life to death. The similarity to Macbeth in clothing will even further emphasise the brutality of his murder at the hands of Macbeth, given the fact that they were almost like brothers.

Lord and Lady Macduff are based in the coastal region of Olympic National Park, Washington. Their costumes will have a very nautical feel whilst still in keeping with the traditional Native American dress. I aim to include many different natural objects found around the coastline within the textiles to create a more organic feel.

For Old Siward and the Native American tribal version of the English the focus will be around Redwood National Park and Yosemite in California, looking particularly at the texture of the trees and beautiful patterns in the rock formations. Macbeth, Macduff and Siwardís tribes along with the Witches have a very contrasting style all inspired by very different parts of nature, aiming to show the very different places that they come from but also to show the relationship with each other. However Duncanís tribe is based in the woodland mountainous area of Wyoming in the Great Teton National Park where all of the different elements from other costumes can be found. I aim to include various bits of each of the other textiles in Duncanís clothing to show his very kind and understanding character and this total unselfishness as King.

All the textiles, shape and fabric used for the garments are very organic in style, perfectly reflecting upon the landscapes from which they are inspired. Although I have no set time period I would like the designs to keep with the traditional Native American shape whilst also bringing some very contemporary elements through as well.