A high top table in the Fashion Institute Midwest’s work space seats Master Cutter, Bethany Padron, preparing a pattern to clothe the role of the countess asking, “How many ruffles do I need?” ‘Tis a question Shakespeare might ponder himself with, “Ah, there’s the rub!” It is her expert pattern making that will bring Omaha Fashion Week designer, Jenny Pool’s Elizabethan-inspired designs to life.
Pool’s vision will be expressed on stage in the costume designs for this year’s productions of Shakespeare’s “All’s Well That Ends Well” and “Hamlet.”
For design teams like this one, Padron says, “Having space- a really gorgeous space- [with] all the windows,” continues to be a much appreciated resource for the community to achieve excellence in their work, especially when many designers are used to working in basements and other closed-off spaces. FIM is a space to bring designs, creativity, and ideas to light with the tools and technology for creators to be successful.
Meanwhile on the next table over Shop Manager, Charlene Willoughby, cuts a pattern for another look to be seen in “Hamlet”. Among a shop manager, master cutters, and a lead designer, it takes 2 interns and 2 stitchers to bring all of Nebraska Shakespeare’s costumes to the stage.
With an early call this year, the design team has 6 weeks to do all builds for the first production and another half week for the next show. The Fashion Institute Midwest will be hosting the team for three days as they facilitate the design process and fabricate the garments for both productions.
Nebraska Shakespeare presents Shakespeare On the Green, a free festival of Shakespeare’s plays beginning the third week of June. “All’s Well That Ends Well” will be an all-female production, and a 50/50 gender split is sought for “Hamlet.”
Check out the exclusive, behind-the-scenes photos below to see Paula Clowers serving us a sneak peek of one of her tops to be seen in “Hamlet”.