In 1912 Duncan Grant was commissioned by the English director Harley Granville-Barker to produce a set of costume designs for Macbeth to be performed at the Savoy Theatre, London. As Claudette Joannis writes in her chapter in Beyond Bloomsbury Designs of the Omega Workshops 1913-19 (2009), the play was not a success for Grant because his designs did not appear in their original form.
Volunteers at the Charleston Trust came across the original designs recently while cataloguing the Angelica Garnett Gift. Grant's fluid sketches contain few details but give an overall impression of a set of bold and stylish costumes not dissimilar to those seen at the Ballet Russes.
I began with research, including a visit to study Omega textiles at Charleston. I then made 5 design boards to explain how I envisaged the completed costumes. The volunteers at Gladrags assigned themselves into 5 teams and used the boards as a starting point. The designs evolved in the making stages as volunteers were encouraged to contribute ideas and skills.
|design sheet for Macduff. The colour inspiration taken from Klimt|
testing the placement of squares
|Hat for Lennox|