Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar – behind the costumes | Shakespeare Lives


My name is Grace Snell and I’m a costume designer. I’ve always obviously loved costumes in films, but I didn’t ever
think: ‘Oh, that’s what I want to do!’ So, I did a foundation in art. Then, a tutor suggested to me that maybe I should do sculpture on the body, and that sort of went to costume. I went and looked at the course at Wimbledon College of Art, which was costume interpretation, and I just started assisting a couple of costume
designers. Shakespeare obviously is still relevant He will always be relevant. If you strip it back, it’s the narrative. It’s his kind of understanding of real people
and real relationships. The core structure of his text is relatable. I
think this film has the potential to definitely grab a new audience, because
it’s so relevant, because it’s a bit more action-packed, because it’s about
conspiracy and all things that we have in today’s Hollywood contemporary films. It just so happens to have been written four hundred years ago. When everyone
thinks of Julius Caesar, they think of the laurel wreath. So, I found a broche, got it online, which
resembled a laurel wreath, and then I had my boyfriend gild it in gold. So I had all
the conspirators wear these rings on their pinky fingers or their wedding fingers, which is a dagger. Again it’s another symbol of stabbing and killing that they had on their
costume, even though the SWAT teams were the ones that killed. And then we get to
the SWAT team. We wanted to have something that was a bit seventies but
a bit futuristic. We have to be very creative, so we just got a mask that
was just a two-pound mask from an art shop and got it painted black and then we
got the SWAT team, who are all actors … They also had SWAT-team gear, so we mixed it up with authentic SWAT-team [gear]. Then, for Brutus and his crew … Working with a collar is quite
interesting, and I’d previously seen a really cool collar on a woman’s shirt in
silk and thought, OK, that might look really cool in a stiff, white collar, and
then the underlay of the red again symbolising blood and evil that the red will represent in this film. It was just a really nice thing
to do, to imagine Shakespeare’s plays in a costume context, which is how I work
best.

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