Design and Construction
scroll down for initial costume illustration and concept
PHOTOGRAPHY: ALEXANDROS PAPADOPOLOUS
MODEL: THEMISTOCLES SIMA
My design takes inspiration from fifties formal wear and the textiles have reflective qualities which remind the audience of the reptilian nature of the character, as well as evoking dilapidated masonry and the pin pricked holes which Steerpike peers through. I aimed for it to look as if he was covered in insects from afar, referring to the parasitic nature of his character.
The textile used all over his coat and tails is achieved through fusing the grey suiting fabric to a patterned mock tapestry fabric and then laser cutting a circular motif onto it to then peel parts away revealing the fabric's underside. Behind this I then placed the reflective orange fabric which was achieved through foiling a plain cotton poplin. The pattern pieces were then tacked together and sewn as if they were one pattern piece.
The butterflies/moths in the headpiece are satin stitch embroidered over the top of a heavy brocade fabric which is finished off with millinery wire around the edge to give them structure.
The essence of Steerpike is parasitism; he exists by reason of Gormenghast, invades its privacy and works to undermine it from within, attempting to overthrow Titus and the dynasty he is destined to inherit. Poking holes in the portraits within the castle walls he watches the other characters within their quarters through a complex system of mirrors and like a moth coming out of the woodwork he sets to his patient scheming against and manipulating of key figures in the hierarchy, savouring the day when he will be the unrivalled and sole ruler of the castle’s grounds.