Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire
On Show 2020
Heather Roche

My major graduate project was a screen interpretation of the classic horror film ‘Freaks’ (1932). The story follows a travelling circus /sideshow in the 1930s. The plot revolved around the relationships between the performers, both “freak” and other.

My design concepts focused on the contrasts within the 1930s; Hollywood glamour vs. the Great Depression, Art Deco streamlining vs the reintroduction of natural form.
Notably an inspiration to me was the web motif that emerged from my research into the structure of the circus tent. This ed to examining animalistic and natural elements within human nature and clothing. All characters have strategically placed darts and seams as well as a natural elements such as florals, fruits, feathers and furs.

My chosen technical make was Phroso the clown, my design combined the medieval jester with Charlie Chaplin’s tramp character. I wanted to capture the contrast of rich vs poor, line v.s natural within his costume. His costume has contrasting motifs and fabrics. Making my final design during the Coronavirus outbreak 2020 required a lot of adaption, however “the show must go on”, so I am proud to my costume major Freaks.