John Merritt III
Costume Designer · Crafts Artisan· Wardrobe Supervisor· Stitcher

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Venus In Fur 

By: David Ives/Directed by: Scott Cummings 

Design Statement 

Venus In Fur was my first production I costume designed, while I also designed  Fool For Love. The one act play was a full fledged student production that took place in a black box teaching studio for theatre classes, that seats approximately 50. I had no budget, and was expected to pull only from stock from what we had in our costume shop. With this being said, I spent several days in the stock room scoping out what we could use for the production. I analyzed the script specifically, to where the playwright, David Ives gives pretty significant details of what Vanda should be wearing (as they are pertinent to her audition she has in the play). For example, she was required to have a trench coat when she walked into the room, the  dominatrix attire, the white period gown  she wears during their readings, and the fur stole for the end.  The boots, and heels were also another component. As for Thomas Novachek, the frock  coat was required for their readings of Venus in Furs in the play. I started sourcing out what we had in stock, and researched what Dominatrix's wear and how they approach their dominance towards others. For Thomas Novachek, I kept his overall look as comfortable, and laid back as a director. I saw him as himself as if he knows what he wants, and he does not have to impress anyone as director, as that is the actors job. In terms of color palettes, I went towards very neutral and monochromatic colors (greys, blacks, and whites), to showcase the intensity of the dark themes in the play.  I was also drawn to the white and black images of dominatrix's in my research. White, signifies  innocence, and purity (which i showcased when Vanda first walked into the audition. This changes immediately when she takes the coat off, and sports the sexy dominatrix attire. This is again changed when she reads for Dunayev in Venus In Furs. The frock coat, for when Thomas is reading, was a black and a charcoal grey frock coat. This was an important choice for me because it didn't draw too much attention to itself, but it also drew towards the dark sense of the play, and my color palettes. 

Vanda & Thomas Color Palette 

Vanda Jordan 

Conceptual/Concrete Research

Rendering
Watercolor & Pen 

Vanda Color Palette

Timeline of Vanda Jordan's changes throughout the one act play. 

Production Images/Costume Shots of Vanda Jordan 

Thomas Novachek 

Concrete Research

Rendering
Watercolor & Pen 

Production Photos
Photos by Dara Turner