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Antony +an d Cleopatra

Ellen Rey de Castro - Final Year - tech nical fi le - karen s h ah - TH D1342

CO NTENTS I ntroducti on

I ntroducti on

A. D EVELOP I NG TH E CO NCEPT 1. S h akespeare in a Contemporary Fi lm S etting 2. Synopsis 3. Exp loring th e Ma jor Th emes


B. REALISI NG TH E CO NCEPT I N TEXTI LES AN D COSTUM E 1. Repres entati on of Th emes for Costume 2. Ch aracter Profi lES an d Costume 3. D esi gn D evelop ment 4. Texti le D evelop ment 5. Constructi on D evelop ment 6. Cast Lin e U ps

Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in Cleopatra (Mankiewicz, 1963)

Conclusi on References Appen d ix 1. (Ti metab le for Final Ma jor Proj ect) Appen d ix 2. (costing S h eet for Antony & Cleopatra)) Appen d ix 3. (Em bro i dery D evelop ment) Appen d ix 4. (Constructi on D evelop ment)

Claudette Colbert and Henry Wilcoxon in Cleopatra (DeMille, 1934)

n the opening pages of the First Folio published in 1623, Ben Jonson summed Shakespeare up as “…not a man of age, but for all time” (Jonson, 1623, preface). The truth of this prophetic statement can be seen in the many interpretations of Shakespeare’s work for both stage and film. In recent times innovative approaches showing Shakespeare’s work in contemporary settings have included ‘Coriolanus’ (Fiennes, 2011), set loosely against a backdrop reminiscent of war torn Eastern Europe, the remake of ‘Hamlet’ starring David Tennant, made for TV (Doran, 2010) and the current production at the National Theatre of ‘King Lear’ ( Mendes, 2014), set in a 21st century dictatorship. For my final year project I wanted to do a contemporary interpretation for film of Shakespeare’s ‘Antony & Cleopatra’, first published in 1623. I was intrigued by the fact that there have been no recent film interpretations of this work, other than the BBC’s 1981 production (Miller) and I was also inspired by the extraordinary contemporary relevance of the key themes which shape the work. Shakespeare’s portrayal of two opposing worlds colliding and of the domination of empires seemed to me to be highly relevant to the many political and cultural clashes seen almost daily on our TV screens. I was also fascinated by the character of Cleopatra as a strong female icon and felt that this would transfer well to a contemporary Egyptian context, giving me the opportunity to explore feminism and identity in a strongly religious setting.

A. D EVELOP I NG TH E CO NCEPT 1. S h akespeare in a Contemporary Fi lm S etting


began by exploring how Shakespeare had been adapted to contemporary settings in my chosen performance area of film. Since ‘Antony and Cleopatra’ has not yet been adapted in this way, I focussed on three productions which bring Shakespeare’s plays and ideas to modern audiences in different ways. However, all deal with issues which are central to ‘Antony and Cleopatra’, namely war and power or forbidden love.

In one scene Fiennes is seen stripped from his uniform in a white undershirt and suspenders, while his shaved head gives the audience flashes of the brutal skinhead that lurks behind the proud warrior: (Dargis, M. 2011).). In another scene we see images we can easily identify with in the form of protestors struggling against from oppression:

S h akespeare an d Realism ’Cori o lan us’ (Fiennes, 2011) is a gritty take of one of Shakespeare’s most complex political plays. Grounded firmly in reality, the film is shot like a news reel and features actual news readers such as Channel Four’s Jon Snow and protestors holding up camera phones to film the impending drama. Some reviewers have applauded this approach while others have condemned it: “Not all the innovations click. The presence of Jon Snow, updating us on TV screens as the situation evolves, is unavoidably distracting and un-Balkan.” (Robey, T. 2012)

For me this critic is missing the point as I do not believe that the use of Serbia as a location is intended to be taken literally as this is a film almost entirely cast with British actors (Gerard Butler, James Nesbitt, Vanessa Redgrave and Ralph Fiennes himself). Had Fiennes intended to set the film in contemporary Serbia, it is probable that he would have made much greater use of Balkan imagery. I believe the imagery and influences are intentionally blurred to keep possible interpretations more open and universal. This is particularly important in terms of the film’s legacy and longevity and something that I need to keep in mind when adapting ‘Antony and Cleopatra’. Making the production too literal could hinder the fluidity of Shakespeare’s ideas and prevent them from being “timeless”.

In order to show his ‘Coriolanus’ as a realistic, war film, Fiennes hired cinematographer Barry Ackroyd, well known for shooting ‘The Hurt Locker’ (Bigelow, 2009): “‘Coriolanus’ a visual density that complements the bright opulence of Martius’ mansion yet can pick faces out of the fog of war and the darkest shadows.” (Dargis, M. 2011) The film was shot in Serbia, still visibly war torn and damaged, a real battle ground used to show a fictional one.

Coriolanus in parade military uniform

“The hungry plebeians in jeans and bomber jackets are staging an uprising, demanding that the greedy, overfed patricians release corn from their warehouses.”(French, P. 2012) In this film the costumes play a key role in delivering the concept and fit well within the framework of the film. I was also interested in how Fiennes dealt with maintaining Shakespeare’s original

script while using a contemporary setting. In this interpretation Rome remains Rome and the Volscians remain Volscians even though the setting is one of modern warfare. Fiennes is said to have been very inspired by John Osborne’s stage adaptation of the play when, at the very start of the film, we are greeted with the caption ‘A place calling itself Rome’ (Dargis, M. 2011), the title of Osborne’s updated rendering of ‘Coriolanus’. ‘Coriolanus’ is an extremely good example of a successful modern film adaptation of a work by Shakespeare in that it gives Shakespeare’s original text a contemporary spin that makes it interesting to a modern audience whilst also expanding on Shakespeare’s original ideas and presenting them in new ways. The elements of realism are particularly relevant to my adaptation of ‘Antony and Cleopatra’ because of the close also expanding on Shakespeare’s original ideas and presenting them in new ways. The elements of realism are particularly relevant to my adaptation of ‘Antony and Cleopatra’ because of the close link to current affairs but I think ambiguity is also important in telling the story and in giving the themes a timeless quality. ‘Coriolanus’ deals with war and the complexities of it in a very real way and I

need to explore how to adapt this to the internal political struggle seen in ‘Antony and Cleopatra’.

Coriolanus stripped of his parade uniform showing a much more sinister side

S h akespeare an d Fantasy '’Titus’ (Taymor, 1999) is a highly stylised portrayal of Shakespeare’s ‘Titus Andronicus’. The play has often been avoided due to its many scenes of violence, blood and gore and its arguably irredeemable characters. Taymor chose to adapt ‘Titus’ using surreal and fantastical imagery - taking the work in the direction of a dark fairytale rather than attempting to ground it in reality in the way Fiennes did in ‘Coriolanus’: ''‘Titus Andronicus’...a fluid time-traveling fantasia on violence and revenge that has the look and feel of a sophisticated video game.” (Holden, S. 1999) Some reviewers credit this creative decision as revolutionary, claiming that the time changes and various locations give audiences an insight into a variety of recent events from the slaughter in Rwanda to the Colum-

bine School killings (Holden, S. 1999). Taymor’s bold decision to open the film with a boy playing soldiers, a game that ends up becoming grotesquely real when his house is bombarded by a real life army, is perhaps a comment on the glamourisation of violence. However, for me Taymor’s carcophony of styles and stylistic references is distracting:

Antony Hopkins as Titus

“...she sets Titus in a nightmarish netherworld, where traditional Roman costumes and settings are married with trappings from other eras, particularly the 20th century. Consequently, we are treated to the unlikely spectacles of Roman Centurions driving cars and a Goth playing an arcade video game.” (Berardinelli, J. 1999)

As entertaining as the imagery is, it often also feels confused. Although the film starts with a small boy dressed in contemporary shorts and t-shirt, this rapidly moves to a very traditional Roman army dressed in Roman armour and with a huge Roman monument framing the shot. A little later we are introduced to the Goths, an odd mixture of pagan and glam rock. This is followed by a scene dedicated to a Roman political race which draws on Italian Fascist style. As much as this chaotic, eclectic mixture of styles undeniably suits the ever changing pace of Shakespeare’s script, it is extremely distracting for the audience and gives one the feeling of watching three different films at once. Any message or point is lost, buried in the overstylised imagery:

Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Matthew Rhys as Goth brothers Chiron and Demetrius

“Alan Cumming’s flamboyantly prancing, leering, insecure boy emperor, Saturnius, seems to belong in a different movie from Jessica Lange’s quietly seething empress Tamora.” (Holden, S. 1999)

Laura Fraser as Lavinia Alan Cumming as Saturninus

I find Taymor’s ‘Titus’ confused as an adaptation. While each of the visual elements is compelling and interesting, the combination makes for a distracting production in which much of the beauty and significance of Shakespeare’s work is lost among the chaotic imagery. I admire the scope of Taymor’s imagination and the fact that she wasn’t scared to play with different influences and themes but it is also important to give certain themes more weight than others. The film lacks a firm basis for its imagery and this detracts from its message. It is key that I keep this in mind when adapting ‘Antony and Cleopatra’. A mix of themes and the abstraction of concepts can be interesting but it is important to ensure that the imagery of the film is coherent and makes sense to the audience.

S h akespeare an d ps eu d o realism '’Romeo ++ Juli et’ (Luhrmann, 1996) is a fast paced, ultramodern take on Shakespeare’s most famous romantic tragedy ‘Romeo and Juliet’. The film is set in the fictional ‘Verona beach’ rather than in the historical Italian city of Verona and the Capulet and Montague families are represented as old business rivals not shy of gang warfare. ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is perhaps Shakespeare’s most popularised play and has been re-made countless times for young, modern audiences, often to great acclaim eg. ‘West Side Story’ (Wise and Robbins (Directors,) 1961) and ‘China Girl’ (Ferrara (Director), 1987). However, in both of these projects Shakespeare’s original prose was eliminated. Luhrmann, on the other hand, kept the script unchanged even while projecting the setting into the future.

The Montague boys

Despite its huge commercial success, ‘Romeo + Juliet’ was criticised by purist critics such as Robert Ebert (1996) for taking the modern adaptation of a classic too far:

The Capulet boys

“Much of the dialogue is shouted unintelligibly, while the rest is recited dutifully, as in a high school production. Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes are talented and appealing young actors, but they're in over their heads here. There is a way to speak Shakespeare's language so that it can be heard and understood, and they have not mastered it.” (Ebert, R. 1996) Ebert (1996) misses the point about why the pace and phrasing of the original dialogue was changed. The dialogue is altered so that it flows in the same way as modern speech, making it fit better with the fast paced nature of the film and its setting. Without this, Luhrmann would not have succeeded in creating a sense of unstoppable action and impending disaster and the result would have become theatrical rather than realistic. Other reviewers are full of praise for the young actors and their ability to adapt a centuries old dialogue so convincingly:

“DiCaprio is dynamite...As Romeo, he doesn’t round his vowels or enunciate in dulcet tones, but when he speaks, you believe him. DiCaprio lets the Bard’s words flow with an ardor that you can’t buy in acting class.” ( Travers, P. 1996) This outlines perfectly the aim of Luhrmann’s adaptation. This is a film about young people, in a fast paced, dangerous setting that will have been all too familiar to generation X. It was fundamental that the dialogue be seamless and read like any other modern film script. In my opinion, this approach empowers Shakespeare’s words, showing just how relevant and modern they still are.

One of the most skilful details in this modern adaptation of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is possibly the rebranding of the word ‘sword’, transforming it from an old fashioned weapon to a beautifully intricate gun. This clever re-imagining, as well as the way in which Luhrmann manages to retain so much of the original essence of Shakespeare, proves how relevant his writing still is to modern audiences and justifies the film’s success.

Leonardo Dicaprio as Romeo

Like the dialogue, the costumes and art direction are key to this modern retelling. Heavily inspired by music videos, everything is exaggerated, from Hawaiian print shirts to religious iconography printed on waistcoats. This is a film designed to both reflect modern fashion and to inspire it: “Tybalt, a volatile Latino who’s in a gang that likes to dude up and then accessorize with pearl-handle guns and silver boot heels. Romeo’s clan...favors shorts and Hawaiian shirts...” (Travers, P. 1996) John Leguizamo as Tybalt

Having studied a number of contemporary film adaptations of Shakespeare’s work, I concluded that both ‘Romeo + Juliet’ (Luhrmann, 1996) and ‘Coriolanus’ (Fiennes, 2011) successfully achieved what I wanted to do with ‘Antony and Cleopatra’. However, the balance between stylistic imagination and realism which Luhrmann achieves in ‘Romeo + Juliet’ is crucial to my own take of ‘Antony and Cleopatra’. Marrying old references with new would allow me to explore the characters and themes in a more creative and innovative way and help me to realise a production which is both visually interesting and relevant to a modern audience.

2. Synopsis S ETTI NG The story is set in Rome and in Egypt at the height of the Roman Empire. Julius Caesar is dead and the Roman Empire is being run by Lepidus, Octavius Caesar and Mark Antony, its territories split between them. However, Rome is still threatened by Pompey, the son of Pompey the Great and one of Julius Caesar’s great enemies. Mark Antony has fallen passionately in love with Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt and has been neglecting his duties as triumvir by committing himself to a life in Egypt by her side.

SYNOPSIS The play opens with Philo presenting the widely held Roman view that Antony has lost all credibility and masculinity by falling in love with Cleopatra: “ shall see in him The triple pillar of the world transformed Into a strumpet’s fool.” (Shakespeare, W. (1623) Act 1. Scene 1) Living a life of opulence and luxury with Cleopatra in Egypt, Antony proclaims his love for Cleopatra almost immediately, dismissing his commitment to Rome: “Let Rome in Tiber melt, and the wide arch Of the ranged empire fall! Here is my space.” (Shakespeare, W. (1623) Act 1. Scene 1) However, learning that his wife and brother have mounted a campaign against Octavius Caesar and that his wife, Fulvia, has been killed, Antony decides that he must return to Rome and to his duties. The triumvirs meet in Rome and decide that drastic action needs to be taken to reunite Antony and Caesar. Caesar gives Antony his sister Octavia’s hand in marriage in order to rebuild their alliance. Enobarbus, Antony’s right hand man, proclaims that Antony will never leave Cleopatra. Antony turns his full attention to the threat of Pompey and his advancing armies while Cleopatra is heartbroken to learn of his marriage to Octavia.

Meanwhile the triumvirs make peace with Pompey and feast with him on his ship. Caesar subsequently angers Antony by going against the peace treaty and renewing his hostilities against Pompey. Caesar kills Pompey and imprisons Lepidus, seizing his share of the Roman territories. Antony returns to Egypt, marries Cleopatra and makes her Queen of the Roman Empire’s eastern territories. The crisis worsens when Antony takes Cleopatra’s advice and fights Caesar at sea (near Actium off the Western coast of Greece). Just when he seems to be emerging as the victor, Cleopatra’s ship abandons the battle and Antony instinctively follows her, leaving his ships to be destroyed by Caesar. Having acted out of devotion for his queen, Antony is immediately ashamed of his actions. Caesar sends terms to Cleopatra asking her to abandon Antony in return for her safety and rule over Egypt. Antony, furious at this attempt to deceive him, whips Caesar’s ambassador and challenges him to hand to hand combat. Caesar brushes off Antony’s challenge and Antony prepares himself to go back into battle. There is another sea battle and this time Cleopatra’s fleet surrenders to Caesar. Antony accuses her of betraying him and pledging her allegiance to Caesar. Cleopatra, fearing that Antony no longer loves her, hides in the monument built to be her tomb and asks Mardian (one of her attendants) to tell Antony that she has killed herself, dying with Antony’s name on her lips. Antony is distraught and attempts to take his own life but only succeeds in mortally wounding himself. Finding him wounded, Mardian tells him the truth and Antony is carried to Cleopatra’s monument where they are together one last time as Antony dies. Caesar sends word to Cleopatra that she should not fear him and that he wishes to create an allegiance with her. However, Cleopatra charms one of his men, Dolabella, with her tales of Antony and as a result, he tells her to not trust Caesar who plans to parade her in Rome as his prisoner. Cleopatra puts on her finest robes and orders Charmian to get her asps. When Caesar returns to the monument, Cleopatra and all her attendants are all dead.

3. Exp loring th e Ma jor Th emes


part from helping me develop clear descriptions of the two very different contemporary worlds of Rome and Egypt which form the backdrop to all the action in ‘Antony & Cleopatra’, my detailed reading of the text drew out the following themes which I wanted to explore further through academic research before using the knowledge gained to help shape my costume designs:

This juxtaposition is explored through the depiction of Rome and Egypt’s completely opposing cultures. This clash of cultures and the role of empire was something I was very keen to explore in my adaptation. The idea of Cleopatra being loathed and cartoonishly portrayed by the Romans also appealed to me and I felt that a modern depiction of her culture had to also reflect these aspersions. For this reason I wanted to adhere to the defining features of Egypt’s contemporary Muslim culture and portray Cleopatra as a Muslim queen, at battle with a quasi globalising superpower, whilst also being deeply in love with one of its emperors. I wanted to take the audience’s probable perception of what a Muslim woman is (much in the same way I am sure Shakespeare did with a foreign, powerful queen) and challenge them.

i). Opposing worlds i i). H egem ony, Emp ire an d Power i i i). Fem inism i v). I dentity with in th e context of faith Taking Rome as my starting point, it was clear that the themes of empire, hegemony and power ran throughout the play and dominated the characters and their actions. In Shakespeare’s time it is possible that Rome symbolised the Spanish and their rapidly expanding empire, while Egypt with its powerful, charismatic and complicated Queen symbolised England and Elizabeth I. Such symbolism would not only have been seen as a compliment to the monarch of the time but would have also been very important in terms of setting the scene for the audience in a way they would understand and which would engage their interest in the issues Shakespeare was exploring. The same approach is used by directors in film and stage productions nowadays. For example, when war is the issue of the day, numerous films are released which deal with this topic from a variety of perspectives, sometimes directly and sometimes in more subtle ways. What makes Shakespeare unique is that he was able to identify those timeless issues that are as relevant today as they were almost four hundred years ago. Shakespeare is sometimes criticised for historical inaccuracy but I do not believe historical accuracy was ever his intention. He merely wanted to borrow the significance of historical stories that had almost become legend in order to begin a dialogue that was contemporary to his day. And this is exactly what people who adapt his plays are still endeavouring to do now, myself included. It is with this in mind that we see Cleopatra, a complex queen at the head of a threatened Egypt, years ahead of her time and arguably one of Shakespeare’s most complicated female characters. Although there was no such thing as feminism in Shakespeare’s time, I wanted to explore the way in which the defining traits of this character might be translated into a modern setting. Cleopatra’s powerful femininity is inextricably linked to Egypt and within the play she is often shown as the embodiment of her nation. Shakespeare depicts Egypt as a female entity; emotional, warm and beautiful while Rome is the antithesis, symbolising ruthless masculinity and logic.

i). Opposing Worlds a). Rome Just as the Italian city of Verona became Verona Beach in ‘Romeo + Juliet’ (Luhrmann, 1996), I initially wanted to base Rome on a current Western superpower such as the USA. However, as my research progressed, I decided that this would restrict my concept and change the essence of Rome too much. Instead, I chose to imagine that the Roman Empire had continued to exist into the present day. This train of thought was a lot more helpful to me as it kept Shakespeare’s Rome intact and allowed me to explore his ideas of Roman ideology in greater depth. I imagined Rome as a place of modern, cold architecture covering beautiful old ruins and this inspired me to look into modern architecture for my character textiles. I began with the idea of Roman architecture because, while I wanted my take to be unmistakably contemporary, I also did not want to diverge from the essence of what would represent the Roman Empire to my audience. It was important to find a modern equivalent to the idea of Roman architecture rather than creating something completely new and I found this within the cold stoic aestheticism of modern architecture. Rome, as described by Shakespeare, is an empire on the move, a state that believes in the logical and rejects sentimentality and for me the look and forward thinking nature of modern architecture conveyed these traits. I wanted the Roman costumes to incorporate these architectural shapes while also retaining draping that would remind the audience of Roman togas. I researched the work of Yohji Yamamoto, Givenchy and Alexander Wang in order to get the clean, masculine silhouettes I needed.



Another important aspect of Roman life that I wanted to reflect in my costume design was its military prowess so I spent some time researching contemporary military dress, in particular armour and camouflage. This was principally for Antony for whose identity the dual traits of soldier and war leader are paramount and who I needed to look battle weary and more practical than his contemporaries. However, as it became clear to me that I was not recreating a narrow interpretation of the USA as a superpower, I refined my initial designs to create a more subtle and innovative reference to military dress. This aspect of my research informed my fabric choices and confirmed my decision to use modern and sportswear fabrics for all the Roman costumes.

b). Egypt Egypt presented me with a completely different challenge to that of Rome because it still exists as a nation. In some ways this made my research a lot easier as the source material was richer but I also had to ensure that designs for the costumes for my Egyptian characters did not become too grounded in reality and were consistent with the more exaggerated concept I had developed for the Romans. I had discussions with my tutors about whether or not I should depict Cleopatra as a Muslim but I felt strongly that this was critical to my concept as I did not want to ignore this rich part of Egypt’s heritage and culture. Furthermore, the depiction of a woman who is misunderstood and ridiculed by the Romans, added to the clash of cultures theme and showed that a Muslim woman can also be the feminist icon that Cleopatra is claimed to be. I wanted my Egyptian silhouettes to be softer and more about colour than structure in order to reflect Egypt’s sensuality and spirituality. They therefore, include a greater number of more traditional features (both ancient and Islamic) which help ensure that my Egyptian characters reflect their pride in the rich heritage of their nation. However, because it was important to me that Egypt would be clearly identifiable as a modern country, I took the decision to strip away a lot of over ostentatious jewellery that could have made my designs look too traditional. I found a solution in Art Deco jewellery which was inspired by traditional craft motifs, bold geometric designs and lavishly decorated. Platformed shoes were also added to help create a contemporary look. As I had done with Rome, I began my research on Egypt by looking at more traditional cultural elements including Pharaonic art, hieroglyphs and early Islamic decoration. However, the difference in my approach to Egypt was that I chose to retain more of the traditional elements in order to showcase Egyptian pride in their rich culture and the strong role this culture plays in forming their identity.

A third but important aspect of my exploratory design work for the Roman costumes was that of traditional Roman clothing as depicted, for example, in sculpture but adapted and influenced by drapery in modern menswear and utilitarian trends in contemporary fashion for men. Modern menswear allowed me to explore the fall and folds of Roman clothing whilst at the same time giving it a stricter, more defined look. Researching high fashion for the Roman characters in the play also helped me convey a sense of the impracticality and aloofness that characterised Rome. The different areas I researched in developing my Roman “look” supported my interpretation of the Roman nature as cold, linear and austere. In complete contrast to the Egyptians, the Roman world is saturated and comprised on faded hues of colour.

My main inspiration for the Egyptian female characters was contemporary Muslim fashion and the way in which it has transcended any purely religious purpose. I was interested in how modern Muslim women have used clothing items traditionally associated with a purely religious function eg. the hijab to fit with fashion trends and/or as a statement of their identity. Street fashion and everyday Muslim fashion were important to give me a sense of what Muslim dress means to women all over the world. However, because my characters are all royalty or royal attendants, I also needed to look at high fashion across the Middle East and North Africa which is considerably more luxurious and opulent as well as designers like as Zahair Murad and Haider Ackermann who have both been heavily inspired by the Middle Eastern style.



i i). Emp ire, H egem ony &&& Power “An empire is large, composite, multiethnic and multinational” (Centeno and Enriquez, 2010, p.2)

“Empires are characterised by size, diversity, inequality, and conquest.” (Centeno and Enriquez, 2010, p.2) There is no question that Rome was one of the greatest and furthest reaching empires the world has ever seen. The challenge for me was to find parallels between Rome and a contemporary nation that the audience would be able to identify with. Within a relatively contemporary context there have been many nations that could be described in this way including the British Empire to the USSR, but the nation that I most wanted to explore was the USA. It is interesting to note that in the 20th century the American film industry was fascinated by Rome and Roman history. Films such as a ‘Ben Hur’ (Wyler (Director), 1959) and Cleopatra (Mankiewicz and Mamoulian (Directors), 1963) were huge, blockbuster films. Although this trend diminished during and after the Vietnam War, there has been a revival of interest recently with films such as ‘Gladiator’ (Scott (Director), 2000) and ‘Troy’ (Petersen (Director), 2004) (Cox, 2007, p.1)

Ben - Hur (William, W. 1959)

The description above very much describes the USA, not only because of its large land mass, but also its multinational and ever expanding cultural landscape. This is particularly interesting to me because it is arguably a positive effect of an empire and it was for this reason that I decided to make Pompey, one of my Roman characters, of Asian origin. However, one of the defining features of an empire according to Centeno and Enriquez (2010), is that culture is something that is homogenous, with one ethnic group generally having control over a more varied ethnic grouping. An empire wants people to fit in and be part of a bigger group. These features are all certainly true of the United States and need to be taken into account when thinking about how people of that nation would interpret this through clothing. “Romans feared being softened by too much contact with the Greeks.” (Centeno and Enriquez, 2010, p.9) The description above very much describes the USA, not only because of its large land mass, but also its multinational and ever expanding cultural landscape.

Troy (Petersen, W. 2004)

and, most damning of all, by falling passionately in love with someone who does not hold Roman values. This fear can also be seen in the USA’s need to impose its own culture on other nations in a belief that it is superior, rather than initiating a cultural exchange of equals.

This is particularly interesting to me because it is arguably a positive effect of an empire and it was for this reason that I decided to make Pompey, one of my Roman characters, of Asian origin. However, one of the defining features of an empire according to Centeno and Enriquez (2010), is that culture is something that is homogenous, with one ethnic group generally having control over a more varied ethnic grouping. An empire wants people to fit in and be part of a bigger group. These features are all certainly true of the United States and need to be taken into account when thinking about how people of that nation would interpret this through clothing. “Romans feared being softened by too much contact with the Greeks.” (Centeno and Enriquez, 2010, p.9) This is certainly true of the Rome depicted in ‘Antony and Cleopatra’. In fact Rome’s main criticism of Antony is that he has grown soft by involving himself in a different culture: “Amiss to tumble on the bed of Ptolemy...And keep the turn of tippling with a slave, To reel the streets at noon, and stand the buffet With knaves that smell of sweat”(Shakespeare, W. 1624. Act 1, Scene 3)

Cox (2007) outlines how the USA feels it is its duty to: “impose its own form or order on a disorderly world” (p.2).

Images showing Globilisation/modern Imperialism

This forms an important visual distinction between the empire as a stable, organised force and the disorderly sovereign states it wishes to control and clearly reflects the image of Rome in ‘Antony & Cleopatra’ with its obsession with rules and bureaucracy. Empires rely on complex systems in order to keep control of all territories and to make sure the empire functions as a whole. This paints a picture of a Rome, even in my contemporary setting, as an incredibly organised, rigid place and costume will also need to reflect this stern, precise nature. “Empires require armies and bureaucrats” (Centeno and Enriquez, 2010, p.7) As a supporter of the USA’s ‘cultural imperialism’, Rothkopf ’s (1997, p.38) views are particularly useful because they give an insight into a Roman perspective of the world and their role in leading it.

When he writes that: “critics of globalization argue that the process will lead to a stripping away of identity and a blandly uniform, Orwellian world.” (p. 3) I believe this is exactly how Rome is pictured within ‘Antony and Cleopatra’. If Egypt is sensuous and colourful, then Rome is the opposite and its need to first criticise and then take over a nation such as Egypt demonstrates this. I feel that it is important that the Romans have a distinctive and rule bound way of dressing to convey this. Rothkopf (1997) further states that ‘culture is the great divider among peoples’ and that ‘cultural baggage’ (p.7) is something he is relieved that the USA is free of. To him this means that Americans have an emphasis on “newness” which is far more positive. For me this view reinforces how important it is that the Romans have an emphasis on the modern throughout their wardrobe, most signs of tradition having been removed. “All imperial elites believe that what they are doing is invariably for the good of all” (Cox, 2007, p.4) While the Romans are certainly not depicted in an overtly positive light by Shakespeare, he does

portray them as believing they have good intentions. Even Caesar, at the very end of the play, is dismayed by what has happened to Antony and Cleopatra. This is important because it means that I need to ensure that the Romans are not overly villainised through the design for their costumes. It is also important to consider what this empire means for Cleopatra and what effect it has on her as the figure head of an opposing nation. One of the key features of the USA as an empire has been its ability to remove the indigenous inhabitants of territories and then claim the territories as its own (Centeno and Enriquez, 2010, p.10). This is a very real threat to a modern Muslim queen and her culture. Cleopatra may be the courageous figurehead of a country with immense wealth but she is in a very dangerous position by opposing a Roman Empire with the power to sweep away and rebuild as they see fit. Cleopatra’s culture and traditions will be all the more important to her because these are being threatened. Modern Egyptians are: “...well versed in the story of colonialism, defensive about Egyptian identity, and sensitive to any hint of cultural imperialism” (Blanks, 1998, p.30)

This is why it is important for Cleopatra to wear her culture on her sleeve and to reflect her pride and observance of her country’s traditions by using national dress including the hijab. These are signs of her identity and her pride when faced with a superpower that is determined to fit her into their ideology. There is a real danger in not conforming to what the empire wants. Rothkopf (1997) states that: “The community of nations increasingly accepts...that the principal symbol of national identity...must be partially ceded to those entities” (p.4) It is very clear from Cleopatra’s confidence and strength that she will not conform. She is a symbol of her nation and is therefore at great risk for not bowing to the empire’s agenda. However, it is this which makes Cleopatra a charismatic queen who chooses to die rather than be used as a pawn by the Romans. Cleopatra is shown as much by her own actions as by the Romans’ constant sexist/racist insults. Although not flawless by any means, she is a woman Shakespeare intends us to admire.

My study of ‘Antony and Cleopatra’ revealed Cleopatra to be a strong, vivacious, charismatic female ruler who might also be seen as a feminist symbol. My wish to portray her as such was intermingled with my desire not only to depict modern Egypt but also to make its current religious identity as a Muslim country key to my adaptation. However, before showing how Islam fits into my concept of Cleopatra as a feminist icon, it is important to consider the role and power that femininity has always played in Egyptian culture: “...women were integrated into the ideological structure of the state throughout the history of the ancient Near East” (Troy, 2002, p.1)

i i i.) Fem inism atra’s image as a strong female symbol. The connection of the female role to the good of the nation means that Cleopatra must be treated as a leader who is closer in status to a goddess rather than queen. My depiction of her must reflect this ancient belief and its links to current ideology. According to the Ancient Egyptians femininity is: “protective and nurturing, but also dangerous and ferocious” (Troy, 2002, p.13)”

Cartoon showing the double standards of Western Feminism.

Ancient Egyptian myth was built on the concept of both a male and female creator (Troy, 2002, p.6). Femininity was seen as an integral part of religious ceremony and leadership (Troy, 2002, p.24) and any king who did not incorporate femininity into their reign was considerably weakened because masculinity and femininity were considered to be elements that must co-exist and balance (Troy, 2002, p.24). This demonstrates the timelessness of CleopCampaign changing the perception of Islam.

a description which perfectly sums up Cleopatra’s changeable nature and the contrast between her warm, alluring nature and her righteous fits of rage and anger. The enduring importance of femininity in Egyptian history supports Cleopatra’s depiction as a feminine symbol. It also makes the use of ancient Egyptian symbolism crucial in the development of her costume in order that the longevity of everything she represents is evident. makes the use of ancient Egyptian symbolism crucial in the development of her costume in order that the longevity of everything she represents is evident.

makes the use of ancient Egyptian symbolism cru- Considering my take on Cleopatra, it is important cial in the development of her costume in order to note that: that the longevity of everything she represents is evident. “Islam is the first religion which systematically empowIn a contemporary context, some argue that fem- ered women when women inism and Islam are incompatible and that the were considered totally subserfight for equal rights for women within an Islamic vient to men.” (Islam and Feminism, The nation needs to either take place through a rein- Sunday Times, 2011.) terpretation of the Quran or through secular feminism, but that the two are essentially incompati- In the West, many people ignore the way in which ble (Treacher, 2003, p.59). This theory seems to pit women are treated within our own society bewomen against one another: cause it is easier to see the negative effects of patriarchy in somebody else’s culture. Islamic femi“the ever-sexual, hedonistic, nists argue that: individualistic Western woman, or the oppressed, veiled, de- “ western capitalist counpendent Arab woman” (Treacher, tries, woman’s dignity has 2003, p.60). been compromised and she has been reduced to a commodity I wanted to portray Shakespeare’s sexy, charisto be exploited. Her semi-namatic, Egyptian queen as a Muslim but a narrow ked postures and her sexualiminded description of what a Muslim woman is ty are exploited commercialand should be would not only be inaccurate but ly...” (Islam and Feminism, The Sunday Times, also a misinterpretation of who Cleopatra is as a 2011.) character within the play. Islamic feminists argue that women’s fight for While Cleopatra is certainly a sexually open and equality and justice can be done so entirely confident woman, within the play her sexuality is through the doctrine of Islam (Sikand, 2010) and always attributed to her two big love affairs (first- that there is no need for secular feminism to be ly with Julius Caesar and then with Marc Antony, involved. From their standpoint secular feminism both of whom she was married to). Being sexual- is a rigid model designed to fit only western cully confident within marriage is not breaking any ture. Islamic rules or boundaries (Treacher, 2003, p.63)

Many people claim that women’s movements within the Arab world are able to create a new model which treats women equally within their own culture: “Far from being the oxymoron that many might think it is, Islamic an even more radical and forceful form of feminism than was Muslim secular feminism...” (Sikand, 2010, p.1) Depicting Cleopatra as a modern, confident and sensuous Muslim queen is entirely compatible with such views and gives me confidence that my interpretation of her is realistic.

i v. I dentity with in th e context of faith For my take on Cleopatra’s character I wanted to redefine the role of the veil and how it is usually interpreted within western media. “A Muslim woman veils because she knows she’s an exquisite, rare, extraordinary, timeless diamond, internally and externally... It’s an honour, a form of preservation. This is liberation, not just of the body, but also of the heart, mind and soul. This is Islam’s equivalent to feminism.” (veil is Islam’s form of feminism, The Sunday Times, 2005.) I wanted Cleopatra’s veiling to reflect this and to make it clear that it is an item she wears to complement her beauty rather than something she cowers behind. It is there to empower her and not to diminish her in any way. Although commonly known as the ‘Islamic veil’, historical evidence suggests that the veil was worn within the ancient Near East and Arabia many years before the rise of Islam (Read and Bartowski, 2000, p.401). This makes it a crucial cultural symbol as well as a religious one.

There are many reasons why women choose to practice veiling. Some women wear the veil to express a deep religious commitment while others will see it as a symbol of Middle Eastern strength and a way of criticising Western dominance (Read and Bartowski, 2000, p.399). The veil, or hijab, as it is also known, is a symbol of : “an identity threatened by a ruthless enemy” (White and Hernandez, 2013, p.67) and is used by many women as a form of political protest and as a symbol of perseverance and strength. Although these traits may make the hijab seem austere and somewhat dowdy, Mona Abaza’s (2007) research shows that the veil has also become a fashion statement (p.282). Many young Muslim women around the world are using the hijab not only to express their faith and culture but also themselves and their individual style. Abaza (2007) argues that the veil has changed from a more serious symbol of cultural strength into a “...form of “embourgeoisement” implying aspirations for social inclusion” (p.282), fitting into the lives

of modern Muslim women and fashion in the broadest sense. Islamic street fashion is a rapidly growing fashion movement full of young women calling themselves ‘Hijabis’ and blogging about their experiences and hijab wearing techniques on Youtube. I wanted Cleopatra to capture the spirit of this new generation of hijab wearing women and for her to express the creativity and style that these women have found. “Many of those on both the left and the right in the West deny Muslims an identity and a complex subjectivity...” (Treacher, 2008, p.70) This captures perfectly why I feel my particular take on Antony and Cleopatra is so important. I wanted my work to contribute to changing this stigma and for Cleopatra to be depicted as a multilayered and inspirational character for women everywhere.

B. REALISI NG TH E CO NCEPT I N TEXTI LES AN D COSTUM E 1. Repres entati on of Th emes in Costume My research and analysis of key themes gave me a clear picture from which to begin to interpret the settings and characters of the play in textile and costume. ROM E Ch aracteristics

cold logical ruthless arrogant self-assured critical powerful severe

Co lours

black grey jade acqua muted ochre beige


leather sports mesh (airtex) pvc latex jersey neoprene perforated suede perspex

Visual Effects

draping folds strong lines simple structure

Accessori es

armour sunglasses headbands sandals military boots

EGYPT Ch aracteristics

opulent vibrant warm modest relaxed self-assured exotic exuberant

Co lours

ruby purple gold orange cream magenta turquoise plum


silk chiffon satin cotton muslin gold leather

Visual Effects

rich layers soft draping revealing/concealing

Accessori es

jewellery hijab turban layered belts pointed slippers gold heels platforms

2. CH ARACTER PROFI LES AN D COSTUM E ANTO NY Antony is one of the three Roman triumvirs (Emperors) running the Roman Empire after Julius Caesar’s murder. He is in charge of the Eastern third of the Empire which includes Egypt. Despite his high status, he still sees himself as a soldier and is a humble man who regards himself as equal to his men. By the time the audience enter the story Antony has already fallen in love with the Queen of Egypt, Cleopatra and is rumoured to be shirking his duties as Emperor in favour of staying by her side: “...his goodly eyes that o’er the files and musters of war Have glowed like plated Mars, now bend, now turn The office and devotion of their view Upon a tawny front. His captain’s heart...reneges all temper And is become the bellows and the fan to cool a gypsy’s lust.” (Shakespeare, W. 1623, Act1. Scene 1) Throughout the play Antony is torn between Rome and Egypt. His loyalties are split between his duty to Rome and his love for Cleopatra. He considers Egypt his home and gives his heart to Cleopatra wholeheartedly but it is clear that he has an immense sense of responsibility towards his people as well, as can be seen when he potentially sacrifices his relationship with Cleopatra by marrying Caesars’ sister Octavia in order to create a political alliance.

Because of Antony’s image as a soldier, I wanted his costume to incorporate armour. It is doubtful that Antony would fight on the front line as Triumvir and Emperor but armour is an important clue as to how he sees and presents himself and illustrates his connection to his army and the people of Rome. But because he is not a every day soldier it was important for his armour to be highly stylised and show his status as Emperor but also be big and cumbersome to show the weight of responsibility that he carries for his nation. Antony’s colour palette is saturated like the rest of the Roman cast and consists of various shades of grey.



ENO BARBUS Enobarbus is the representative of Antony’s supporters in the play and is his right hand man and best friend. He is the only Roman to talk about Cleopatra and Egypt in a positive light: “...we did sleep day out of countenance, and made the night light with drinking.” (Shakespeare, W. 1623, Act 2. Scene 2) He consistently reassures the audience of Antony and Cleopatra’s love and commitment to each other when it seems doubtful they will make it through yet another hurdle. Enobarbus provides a relaxed and jovial counterpoint to Antony and is a loyal and understanding friend. We know Antony is doomed when Enobarbus elects to leave him for Pompey. Costume Because Enobarbus is a more easy going character, I wanted his costume to be more relaxed than that of his Roman counterparts. He seems to admire Cleopatra and Egypt and does not have as much to prove as Antony. His clothes are more informal but still have a bit of Roman rigidity. I also wanted his colour palette to favour earthier tones which still reflected the saturated tones I had chosen for the Roman costumes as a whole. Background

CAESAR Octavius Caesar was adopted by Julius Caesar at a young age and is not only his namesake but determined to prove that he is worthy of the name. He represents core Roman values such as logic, ruthlessness and honour and is probably the most Roman of all the characters in the play. He often comes across as pompous, his language is frequently a lot more structured than that of the other characters and he frequently refers to himself in the third person. He is a formal man who does not take part in festivities and seems to regard himself as above such things. He is also Cleopatra’s biggest critic. Not only is he disappointed with Antony for being infatuated with her but he despises her exuberance and theatricality which are at odds with his own values. Caesar is a politically driven character and views any kind of emotion as a weakness. He feels that Antony has allowed himself to be ruled by a woman by falling in love: “...Let’s grant it is not Amiss to tumble on the bed of Ptolemy, To give a kingdom for a mirth, to sit And keep the turn of tippling with a slave, To reel the streets at noon, and stand the buffet With knaves that smell of sweat.” (Shakespeare, W. 1623, Act 1. Scene 3)

Costume Seeing Octavius Caesar as the personification of Rome in ‘Antony and Cleopatra’, I wanted him to have a costume that conveyed this. His costume is therefore a lot more structured than those of Antony and Enobarbus, indicating his closer connection to Rome and its strict principles as well as his vision of himself as Rome’s rightful Emperor. I have added the accessory of a head band for Caesar to show his pompousness and his vision of himself as Rome’s main leader. Caesar’s colour palette has bright shots of green through beige and grey to show his regality and power.


He even arranges a marriage between his sister, Octavia and Antony in order to form a political alliance with no thought for his sister’s feelings or the fact that she has recently been widowed.


Octavia is Octavius Caesar’s recently widowed sister. She is described as the Roman ideal of womanhood: modest, beautiful, subservient and the complete opposite of Cleopatra: “If beauty, wisdom, modesty, can settle The heart of Antony, Octavia is A blessed lottery to him.” (Shakespeare, W. 1623, Act 2. Scene 2) She views marrying Antony as a loyal act to her nation and offers no resistance to the arranged marriage. She is later torn between being a good wife or a good sister when Antony and Caesar’s relationship falls apart. Costume I wanted Octavia’s costume to share the same architectural influence as the rest of my Roman characters but because she is female, and is held in high regard because of her femininity, I looked at architect Zaha Hadid’s work which is softer and contains more curves to contrast with the angular, linear structures I had researched for the male Roman characters. Octavia’s colour palette is closely linked to Caesar’s and contains more blues and greens than the more neutral colours I used for Antony and Enobarbus.



Pompey is the son of Pompey the Great and a rival to the Roman Triumvirs. He is described as someone who is greatly respected by the Roman people: “The people love me and the sea is mine; My powers are crescent, and my auguring hope Says it will come to th’full. Mark Antony In Egypt sits at dinner, and will make No wars without doors” (Shakespeare, W. 1623, ACT 2. Scene 1) His skillful leadership and is therefore a threat to Antony, Lepidus and Caesar. Pompey controls the seas and has allied himself with pirates. His threat to Rome is what makes Antony and Caesar reunite to try and stop him. Costume Background

Because of Pompey’s prowess at sea, I researched dazzle pattern used to camouflage boats during WWII and subsequent conflicts. Because of Pompey’s alliance to pirates I also looked at Vivienne Westwood’s pirate collections to get inspiration for his silhouette.


Cleopatra is the Queen of Egypt and the embodiment of the nation, as is mentioned throughout the play. Her extremely changeable moods are said to reflect the Nile and the changing flow of its waters: “...her passions are made of nothing but the finest part of pure love. we cannot call her winds and waters ‘sighs and tears’; they are greater storms and tempests than almanacs can report.” (Shakespeare, W. 1623, Act 1. Scene 2) She is beautiful, charismatic, glamorous, intelligent and vivacious and it is immediately obvious why Antony is so captivated by her. Cleopatra is fun and witty and the relationship between her and her entourage is soft and teasing. However, she has a temper: she beats a messenger because he brings her the news of Antony’s marriage to Octavia. She considers Antony to be the love of her life even after her love affair with the infamous Julius Caesar and it is through her relationship with Antony that we see both her strength and her vulnerability. On the one hand she comes across as having the more dominant role in the relationship, teasing and taunting Antony and seducing him with ease, but his conflicting loyalties to both Rome and Egypt reveal her vulnerability and just how completely she has given herself to him and to their relationship. Costume I wanted to achieve a balance between contemporary and more traditional Egyptian clothing. The fact that Islamic art in Egypt has retained many ancient Egyptian emblems and styles encouraged me to try to convey both of these influences through my embroidery. I also wanted Cleopatra to dress like a modern woman while still showing her regality. This meant simplifying her silhouette and using long volumes of fabric to show her wealth. For her accessories, I researched 1920s Art Deco jewellery which is more angular and more modern in appearance than traditional Middle Eastern jewellery. In my take of ‘Antony and Cleopatra’ Cleopatra identifies herself as a Muslim but still wants to convey a sense of sensuality through her clothing. I decided to do this using soft chiffons and silks, giving the impression of nudity even though the body is fully covered.


CH ARM IAN Charmian is Cleopatra’s chief attendant and just as vivacious as her mistress. There is little formality in their relationship and Charmian feels sufficiently at ease to tease Cleopatra about her past entanglements as well as her relationship with Antony: “Cleopatra: ...Did I, Charmian, ever love Caesar so? Charmian: (impersonating her mistress) O that brave Caesar!� (Shakespeare, W. 1623, Act 1. Scene 5) She loves Cleopatra and is intensely loyal to her, ultimately choosing to die with her. Costume


Charmian is younger than her mistress so I wanted her to be finely dressed but with a much more casual edge. I achieved this by mixing draped dresses with skinny trousers and platformed high heels. Her colours are also distinctly younger and brighter than those I used for Cleopatra.


The soothsayer is an Egyptian fortune-teller (further reinforcing Egypt’s distance from the cold logic of Rome). The soothsayer is a crucial link to Egypt’s mysticism and the fact that Antony listens to him shows his own acceptance of this “foreign” ideology. “In Nature’s infinite book of secrecy A little I can read.” (Shakespeare, W. 1623, Act 1. Scene 1) I have shown the soothsayer as a mystical, shaman type figure who embodies Egypt’s preoccupation with the spiritual rather than the cold, hard facts which dominate the Roman world. Costume The soothsayer’s costume was primarily inspired by John Galliano’s 2010 Spring/Summer collection in which he explored Egyptian motifs, turbans and layering. I liked the idea of the soothsayer wearing many contrasting patterns and fabrics but I wanted his colour palette to consist mostly of black and gold to convey his mysteriousness.



D ESI GN D EVELOP M ENT - cleopatra










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I began the project to transform Antony and Cleopatra into a contemporary film because I felt the play had been overlooked in the recent trend of adapting Shakespeare’s writing for a modern audience. This oversight is strange when one considers the relevance of the core themes in Antony and Cleopatra. The clash of cultures, war and power are all topics a contemporary audience would identify with and see reported on in the media on a daily basis.

Abaza, M. (2007). Shifting Landscapes of Fashion in Contemporary Egypt. In Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body & Culture. 11 (2-3), (pp 281297). Bloomsbury Journals.

I have endeavored to create a concept which, if made into a film, would sit well alongside ‘Coriolanus’ (Fiennes, 2011) and ‘Romeo + Juliet’ (Luhrmann, 1996) and which balances the realistic themes of the former with the pseudo realistic imagery of the latter.   My research for this project has included academic works, Shakespeare plays along with their re-interpretations, academic journals and a variety of visual references from the traditional roots of Antony and Cleopatra’s story to contemporary fashion. Many aspects of my research have developed over the course of this journey in ways I had not originally imagined. When I began, my research was more literal, looking, for example, at military dress and camouflage.  However, I then decided that I wanted a more pseudo realistic look for the film and explored motor cross armour and utalitarian trends in menswear instead. Egypt’s colours have also been developed to be more exaggerated and dramatic in contrast to the sandy, realistic colour palette I began with. From the beginning I made sure to give myself sufficient flexibility to take these changes on board and to ensure that my two worlds of Egypt and Rome were not hindered from developing as my research progressed. For example, my research into Roman architecture and Egyptian hieroglyphs gave me a solid understanding of the foundations of both nations that I was then able to build on and expand with relevant modern imagery. This is evident in my costumes for both Antony and Cleopatra. Antony’s costume contains drapery initially inspired by ancient Rome but executed through approaches used in modern menswear while Cleopatra’s costume contains a combination of Egyptian hieroglyphs and Arabic script arranged into a bold, contemporary pattern. 

Barlas, A. (2013). Uncrossed Bridges: Islam, Feminism and Secular Democracy. In Philosophy & Social Criticism. 39, (pp 417 – 424).

The themes which were central to my concept (opposing worlds, empire, hegemony and war, feminism and identity in the context of faith) were all explored in depth and heavily influenced my designs and textile development. For example, Rome’s logical nature is shown through the regimented structures informing the embroidery of the Roman costumes, while the Egyptians’ rich culture and faith is shown through their more traditionally informed costumes and the bright colours combinations. However, in developing my concept it was also crucial that both nations looked as if they belonged in the same world. I have tried to do this by using contemporary fashion research across the board and by creating exaggerated stylised looks for all my characters so that my design concept is visually consistent for the audience.   The main challenges I still have to resolve with this project are to create costumes that are of a high enough quality for film and which fully embody the themes which are central to the play. When my models appear at the final show I want the audience to understand instantly what Antony and Cleopatra stand for. Antony - a strong, fearless leader, a symbol of Roman strength and a man who is head over heels in love with Cleopatra - a charismatic, complex, sensuous Muslim queen who is an icon of both feminism and Egypt. If I achieve this I will have been successful.

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Bigelow, K. (Director). (2008). The Hurt Locker. (Motion Picture). USA. Blanks, D. R. (1998). Cultural Diversity or Cultural Imperialism: Liberal Education in Egypt. In Liberal Education. 84 (3), (p 30). Centeno, MA. & Enriquez, E. (2010). Legacies of Empire. In Theory & Society. Springer Science & Business Media B.V. Cox, M. (2007). Still the American Empire. In Political Studies Review. 5 (1). Curran, D. J., Maier, S.L., & Renzetti, C.M. (2012). Gender & Spirituality. In Women, Men & Society. (pp 333 – 364). Boston: Pearson. Doran, G. (Director). (2009). Hamlet. (Motion Picture). United Kingdom: Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) & British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

Elver, H. (2012). The Headscarf Controversy. United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. Ferguson, N. (2005). Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire. (2nd ed.). United Kingdom: Penguin Books Ltd. Ferrara, A. (Director). (1987). China Girl. (Motion Picture). USA. Fiennes, R. (Director). (2011). Coriolanus. (Motion Picture). USA. Haddad, Y. Y. (2007). The post – 9/11 hijab as icon. In Sociology of Religion. 68 (3), (pp 253 – 267).

Harvey, D. (2003). The New Imperialism. United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. Hashim, I. (1999). Reconciling Islam and Feminism. In Gender & Development. 7 (1), (pp 7 – 14). Hossain, M. (2001). Book Review of Shirazi, F. The Veil Unveiled: The Hijab in Modern Culture. Gainesville, Florida, USA: University Press of Florida.

Miller, J. (Director). (1981). Antony and Cleopatra. In BBC Shakespeare Collection (TV Series). London, UK: British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). Petersen, W. (Director). (2004). Troy. (Motion Picture). Germany. Read, J. G. & Bartkowski, J. (2000). To Veil or Not To Veil?. In Gender & Society. 14 (3), (pp 395 – 417). Rothkopf, D. (1997). In Praise of Cultural Imperialism?. In Foreign Policy. 107, (p 38).

Jonson, B. (1623). First Folio. United Kingdom.

Saliba, T. (2000). Arab Feminism at the Millenium. In Signs. 25 (4), (pp 1087 – 1092). USA: University of Chicago Press.

Khan, S. (1998). Muslim Women’s Negotiations in the Third Space. In Signs. 23 (2), (pp 463 – 94).

Scott, R. (Director). (2000). Gladiator. (Motion Picture). USA.

Kramer, M. (2004). Cleopatra. In The Magazine Antiques. 166 (1), (pp 40 – 42).

Shakespeare, W. (1623/2000). Antony and Cleopatra. United Kingdom: Woodsworth Editions Ltd.

Legenhausen, H. M. (2000). Islam vs Feminism. In Middle East News Online. Durham.

Shirazi, F. (2009). Velvet Jihab: Muslim Women’s Quiet Resistance to Islamic Fundamentalism. Gainesville, Florida, USA: University Press of Florida.

Lemoyne, T. (2002). Book Review of Mathews, G. Global Culture/Individual Identity: Searching for Home in the Cultural Supermarket. In American Anthropologist, New Series. 104 (1), (pp 367 – 368).

Sikand, Y. (4 February 2010). Are Feminism and Islam Compatible?. Mumbai: DNA, Sunday.

Luhrmann, B. (Director). (1996). Romeo + Juliet. (Motion Picture). USA. Magdoff, H. (1966). The Age of Imperialism. New York: Monthly Review Press. Majid, A. (1998). The Politics of Feminism in Islam. In Signs. 23 (2), (pp321 – 61). Manaf, N. (2006). The Veil, My Body. In S. Husain. (Ed.), Voices of Resistance (pp 246). Emeryville, CA: Seal Press. Mankiewicz, J and Mamoulian, R. (Directors). (1963). Cleopatra (Motion Picture). USA. Marshall, G. A. (2008). A Question of Compatibility: Feminism and Islam in Turkey. In Critique: Middle Eastern Studies. 17 (3), (pp 223 – 238). Mendes, S. (Director). (2014). King Lear. (Theatre Production). London, United Kingdom: National Theatre. Mernissi, F. (1987). Beyond the Veil: Male – Female Dynamics in Modern Muslim Society (revised edition). USA: Indiana University Press.

The Sunday Times (5 July 2011) Islam and Feminism. Malaysia The Sunday Times (13 March 2005) Veil is Islam’s form of feminism. Australia: Perth. Taymor, J. (Director). (1999). Titus. (Motion Picture). USA. Treacher, A. (2003). Reading the Other – Women, Feminism and Islam. In Gender & Sexuality. 4 (1), (pp 59 - 71). Troy, L. (2002). The Ancient Egyptian Queenship as an Icon of the State. In NIN. 3 (1), (pp 1 – 24). Turner, B. S. (2006). Religion and Politics: Nationalism, Globalisation and Empire. In Asian Journal of Social Science. 34 (2), (pp 209 – 224). White, T. R. & Hernandez, J. M. (2013). Muslim Women and Girls: Searching for Democracy and Self-Expression. In Journal of International Women’s Studies. 14 (3). (pp 64 – 82). Williams, R. H. and Vashi, G. (2007). Hijab and American Muslim Women: Creating the Space for Autonomous Selves. In Sociology of Religion. 68 (3). (pp 269 – 287).

Visual Refeences

Wise, R and Robbins, J. (Directors). (1961). West Side Story. (Motion Picture). USA. Wyler, W. (Director). (1959). Ben Hur. (Motion Picture). USA. Zayzafoon, L. B. (2005). The Production of the Muslim Woman: Negotiating text, history and ideology. Lanham, MD, USA: Lexington Books.

PAGE 2. Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton as Antony and Cleopatra in ‘Cleopatra’. Mankiewicz, J.L. (1963). Photograph. Retrieved from: Claudette Colbert and Henry Wilcoxon in Cleopatra. DeMille, C.B. (1934). Photograph. Retrieved from: http://theplaystheblog.files.wordpress. com/2013/09/anthonycleopatra4.jpg?w=640 PAGE 5. Coriolanus in parade uniform Fiennes, R. (2011). Phtotograph. Retrieved from: Coriolanus in casual military uniform Fiennes, R. (2011). Photograph. Retrieved from: PAGEs 6-7. Antony Hopkins as Titus. Taymor, J. (1999). Phtograph. Retrieved from : Laura Fraser as Lavinia. Taymor, J. (1999). Photograph. Retrieved from: Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Matthew Rhys as Demetrius and Chorin, Taymor, J. (1999). Photograph. Retrieved from: Alan Cumming as Saturninus. Taymor, J. (1999). Photograph. Retrieved from:

PAGES 8-9 The Montague boys. Luhrmann, B. (1996). Photograph. Retrieved from: The Capulet boys. Luhrmann, B. (1996). Photograph. Retrieved from: Leonardo Dicaprio as Romeo. Luhrmann, B. (1996). Photograph. Retrieved from: John Leguizamo as Tybalt. Luhrmann, B. (1996). Photograph. Retrieved from:

PAGE 15 - (ROM E ARCH ITECTURE M O OD BOARD) Wavy building. (Author unknown) Photograph. Retrieved from: Lineal architecture photograph. (Author unknown) Photograph. Retrieved from: AAAAAAAACBQ/xWV0SRviLpo/s1600/BlackandWhiteGlassArchitecture-long+goodbye.png Glass bridge. Luxe, W.M. Photograph. Retrieved from: Dubai building. (Author unknown) Photograph. Retrieved from:


Abu Dhabi Performing Arts Centre. Hadid, Z. Photograph. Retrieved from:

Grey balaclava coat. Alexander Wang menswear A/W 2013. Photograph. Retrieved from:


Rectangular print t-shirt and skirt. Rick Owens menswear A/W 2012. Photograph. Retrieved from: Black tunic. Lanvin menswear S/S 2013. Photograph. Retrieved from: White drape t-shirt . Givenchy Homme S/S 2010. Photograph. Retrieved from: Black suit with white detail. Yohji Yamamoto menswear S/S 2014. Photograph. Retrieved from: mens/yohji-yamamoto/full-length-photos/gallery/1000070 Clean, futuristic men’s cut. Roark Collective A/W 2010. Photograph. Retrieved from: Camouflage sheer shirt and utalitarian straps. Christopher Raeburn men’s RTW S/S 2014. Photograph. Retrieved from: fall-ready-to-wear-2014/review/christopher-raeburn

Armour with fluorescent pipping. Acerbis Koerta. Photograph. Retrieved from: Black moulded armour. Spada. Photograph. Retrieved from: Clear chest protector. Thor. Photograph Retrieved from: PAGE 17 - (EGYPT LO CATI O N M O OD BOARD) Mosque arches (Photograph) In Sir Weir, M. (1989) Images of Egypt (page 13) London: Pyramid Books White building (Photograph) In Sir Weir, M. (1989) Images of Egypt (page 26) London: Pyramid Books Hookah bar (Photograph) In James, T.G.H. (1992) Egypt: The Living Past (page 6) London: British Museum Publications Ltd. Man with rolled rugs (Photograph) In Dennis, L. (1992) Living in Morocco (page 34) London: Thames and Hudson Ltd.

Swimming pool with painted scene (Photograph) In James, T.G.H. (1992) Egypt: The Living Past (page 52) London: British Museum Publications Ltd.



Orange tunic (Author unknown) Photograph. Retrieved from:

Background image of Mosque wall (Photograph) Hattstein, M. and Delius, P. (2004) Islam: Art and Architecture (page 25) Italy: Konemann


White hijab draping . NurZahra. Photograph. Retrieved from:

Camouflage background (Photograph) In Newark, T. (2007) Camouflage (page 46) London: Thames and Hudson Ltd.

Gold face jewellery. Givenchy A/W 2009. Photograph. Retrieved from:

Antony actor portrait (Mads Mikkelsen) Direnzo, P. Photograph. Retrieved from:

Desert black and beige. Gul Ahmed A/W 2010-2011. Photograph. Retrieved from:

Draped leather jacket . Kill City. Photograph. Retrieved from:

MIA in pink veil. Photograph. Retrieved from: PAGE 20- 21 ‘Ben - Hur’ film poster. William, W. (1959) Photograph. Retrieved from: M0010087_01[H585-].jpg ‘Troy’ film poster. Petersen, W. 2004. Photograph. Retrieved from: Arabic coke (Author unknown) Photograph. Retrieved from: McDonalds among Chinese scenery (Author unknown) Photograph. Retrieved from: PAGE 23 The double standards of Western Feminism ( Sketch. Retrieved from: rvvcccdesize.jpg Muslim feminist quote (Author unknown) Photograph. Retrieved from:

Kevlar armour. Knox. Photograph. Retrieved from: Clear chest protector. Thor. Photograph. Retrieved from: Draped t-shirt .Diane von Furstenburg. Photograph. Retrieved from: eno barbus M O OD BOARD Architecture background (Author unknown) Photograph. Retrieved from: AAAAAAAACBQ/xWV0SRviLpo/s1600/BlackandWhiteGlassArchitecture-long+goodbye.png Draped green long sleeved t-shirt. Yohji Yamamoto S/S 2014. Photograph. Retrieved from: ON_0368.1366x2048.jpg Relaxed black suit. Yohji Yamamoto S/S 2014. Photograph. Retrieved from: Sheer white t-shirt. Givenchy S/S 2013. Photograph. Retrieved from: Blue short suit. Xufu Huang S/S 2014. Photograph. Retrieved from:



Architecture background image (Unknown author) Photograph. Retrieved from:

Background: Dazzle pattern ship (Author unknown) Photograph. Retrieved from:

Model character profile (Paris Men’s Fashion Week) Photograph. Retrieved from:

Head tattoo portrait. Gobelin, J.M.G. Photograph. Retrieved from:

Grey coat. Quasimi Homme S/S 2010. Photograph. Retrieved from:

Utalitarian bottles on braces. Miharayasuhiro menswear S/S 2011. Photograph Retrieved from: mMo.jpg

Orange satin sash. John Galliano menswear S/S 2010. Photograph. Retrieved from:

White pirate look. Vivienne Westwood circa 1980s) Photograph. Retrieved from: AAAAAAAAKJc/r4X6CW2W7Zo/s1600/derek.jpg

Yellow jumpsuit. Quasimi Homme S/S 2010. Photograph. Retrieved from:



Hieroglyph background. (Photograph). In Sandison, D. (1997) The Art of Egyptian Hieroglyphics (page 2) London: Hamlyn

Architectural background .Hadid, Z. Opera House, China. Photograph. Retrieved from:

Illamasqua arabic beauty shot. Illamasqua Human Fundamentalism Collection. Photograph. Retrieved from:

Draped red vinyl. Vogue Paris 2010. Photograph. Retrieved from:

Sheer blue skirt and top Haider Ackermann S/S 2012. Photograph. Retrieved from: S2012RTW-HACKERMAN/#15 - haider ackermann

Black draped dress. Matthew Ames S/S 2009. Photograph. Retrieved from:

Cream and gold dress .Zuhair Murad S/S 2012. Photograph. Retrieved from: AAAAAAAAAzc/TkSqIarA9iA/s640/blogger-image--619268210.jpg

Red catsuit. Hexa by Cuho S/S 2012. Photograph. Retrieved from: jpg

Gold dress. Zuhair Murad S/S 2012. Photograph. Retrieved from:

Grey drape jacket. Matthew Ames A/W 2010. Photograph. Retrieved from:

Red hijab. Jaso, R. Photograph. Retrieved from: CH ARM IAN M O OD BOARD Painted Moroccan door, (Photograph.) In Dennis, L. (1992) Living in Morocco (page16) London: Thames and Hudson Ltd. Grace Bol portrait (Author unknown) Retrieved from: model%2Bgrace.jpg

Grace Bol portrait (Author unknown) Photograph. Retrieved from:


Black hijab and platforms (Author unknown) Photograph. Retrieved from:

Architecture background. (Author unknown) Photograph. Retrieved from: AAAAAAAACBQ/xWV0SRviLpo/s1600/BlackandWhiteGlassArchitecture-long+goodbye.png

Top knot styled hijab (Authur unknown) Photograph. Retrieved from:


Pink dress. Phantise Ethno von Miranda Konstantinidou S/S 2013. Photograph. Retrieved from: SO OTHSAYER M O OD BOARD Moroccan interior. (Photograph) In Dennis, L. (1992) Living in Morocco (page 26) London: Thames and Hudson Ltd. Gold velvet turban. Assif Hasan May 2013. Photograph. Retrieved from: jpg Blue long turban. Nauman Afreen PFW4 London Collection. Photograph. Retrieved from: Leopard print turban. John Galliano menswear S/S 2010. Photograph. Retrieved from: Mens/John_Galliano/00060big.jpg Patterned jacket. Illamasqua Human Fundamentalism Collection. Photograph. Retrieved from: ANTO NY D ESI GN D EVELOP M ENT Roman architecture background. (Photograph) In Ramage N.H. and Ramage, A. (1991) Roman Art (page 22) Melbourne: Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge CLEOPATRA D ESI GN D EVELOP M ENT Mosque pillars background. (Photograph) In Hattstein M & Delius P (editors). Islam: Art and Architecture. (page 36) Konemann, Germany, 2004

Hieroglyph background. (Photograph). In Sandison, D. (1997) The Art of Egyptian Hieroglyphics (page 7) London: Hamlyn

O NLI N E REFERENCES Berardinelli, J. (1999) Titus. Retrieved from Dargis, M. (2011). He’s the Hero of the People, and He Hates It. Retrieved from Ebert, R. (1996) Romeo + Juliet. Retrieved from French, P. (2012) Coriolanus - review. Retrieved from Holden, S. (1999). It’s a Sort of Family Dinner, Your Majesty. Retrieved from Robey, T. (2012) Coriolanus, review. Retrieved from Travers, P. (1996) William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet. Retrieved from











35 metres


Bombay Stores, Bradford £2.99 per metre

3 metres



£35 per skin

3 skins


Euro Fabrics

£6.95 per metre

1 metre


French Connection (bought on E Bay) Online Boutiques


1 pair





Cloth House, London

£7.99 per metre

2 metres


Cloth House, London Fabric Land, Southampton LePrevo

£12 per metre £5.99 per metre

2 metres 6 metres

£24 £35.94

£25 per skin

5 skins


Cloth House, London E Bay

£17.80 per metre £20 per sheet

2 metres 1 sheet

£35.60 £20

1 sheet 1 sheet

£18.36 £30

1 roll 10 2 weeks’ rent



Chiffon (tops, skirts, veil, Bombay Stores, Bradford £2.99 per metre laser cut shapes


Cream 12m/pink 8m/ maroon 9m/dark pink 6m Shiny polycotton (under top) Gold leather (veil, accessories) Stretchy lycra (under veil) Shoes



2 3 4

ANTO NY 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16


Lightweight jersey (t-shirt) Mesh (over t-shirt) Heavyweight jersey (trousers) Leather (gilet x 3 and laser cut shapes x 2) PVC (armour covering) Moulded neoprene sheet (chest armour) Perspex (chest plate) Plastazote (shoulder, arm and leg armour) Webbing and buckles (armour) Boots (rented)

= 679.79

Wickes £18.36 per sheet Pentonville Rubber Prod- £30 per sheet ucts Lted E Bay £ 5.29 per 5 metre roll £ 5.95 per 10 units West Yorkshire Play£9 per week house








My main textile theme for Antony was a grid pattern inspired by abstract photographs of architecture and which also reflected military camouflage from the 1980s. I initially explored this idea through colour and line by heat pressing plastic and then working a black grid pattern into it. However, the result gave Antony’s armour a rather messy, splodgy look that was not cohesive with the clean, precise aesthetic I wanted to achieve with my Roman characters. In the end, I opted to give Antony a more simple, military look by abandoning colour and dressing him in various shades of grey. The fabrics I selected included jersey (trousers), leather (chest piece and gilet), PVC and perspex (chest piece). Another important development for Antony was my decision to scrap the original idea of building his armour out of textiles and to use plastazote instead to create a firm base. This led in turn to my embroidery moving away from the 3D shapes I had been experimenting with in the early stages of development to something much cleaner and flatter.

As part of my textile research for Cleopatra, I looked into ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics and Arabic writing in order to explore both sides of Cleopatra’s rich heritage. However, when I first explored the placement of my embroidery and how it would work on Cleopatra’s garments I had only considered using the Arabic writing. Eventually I decided to combine both the Egyptian hieroglyphics and Arabic writing along with some line drawings inspired by a mosque door in order to show how all of Cleopatra’s influences are blended and simultaneous. This created a much more graphic look that worked well with the contemporary aesthetic I was trying to achieve.

In the course of developing Antony’s gilet, I decided that I didn’t want it to be plain and experimented by engraving a leather sample using the grid pattern from my original textile exploration. This worked so nicely that I decided to feed it back into my textiles for Antony’s armour and to build the grid through laser cutting rather than printing. This gave the armour a much cleaner, more masculine look and correlated perfectly with the textile ideas I was developing for Cleopatra. Despite the vast differences in the look of their two costumes, they are brought together through the same embroidery technique.

I had originally planned to use machine embroidery to create my embroidery for Cleopatra but I soon realised that this would look too fussy and weigh down my light chiffon garments. Instead I pressed bondaweb onto printed chiffon fabric containing my new pattern, cut these shapes out and then overlaid them to create a layered effect that made the most of the chiffon’s translucent qualities. However, cutting the fabric by hand resulted in the shapes fraying slightly so I decided to use the laser cutter to obtain a cleaner finish. I still wanted to include some of my original sublimation printing so I decided to transfer that onto an underskirt designed to flash from beneath my main body of textiles and create yet another layer of pattern. Fine gold leather also became an essential for my Cleopatra textiles. Smaller shapes in my pattern were cut out in the heavier fabric to give Cleopatra’s costume yet more texture and dimension.

1. Original sketchbook drawing of abstract architectural lines.

1. Original textile drawing including hieroglyphics, Arabic writing and Mosque door lines.

2. Printed and pleated textile on top of airtex demonstrating how Antony’s t-shirt would have shown through the plastic.

2. My first experiment in placing the embroidery on the body. Black Arabic writing printed onto paper pinned onto polyester satin.

3. Printed textile warped into 3D shape using various pleats. Photographed on the shoulder to try to establish how to build up shape for the armour.

3. My first bondaweb chiffon sample using printed chiffon in various shapes and colours.

4. Printed textile on the new plastazote armour piece.

4. A refined sample using laser cut bondaweb chiffon and gold.

5. Developed sample of leather laser cutting sewn onto cloudy grey PVC and pinned onto the plastazote armour piece.

5. The sublimation print and how it works as a under layer.

6. Back panel of the gilet engraved with the original grid design.



CO NSTRUCTI O N D EVELOP M ENT Antony 1. I experimented with draping elements of Antony’s costume. At first I tried draping t-shirt pieces on the stand but decided that this wouldn’t work with his armour piece. Instead, I decided to explore drape through his trousers, keeping his top half clean and simple to achieve the right balance of elements. The trousers were created by amplifying a basic leggings block and draping the trousers onto the stand in order to experiment with shape and volume. They were then draped and pinned onto my model to get the perfect fit. 2. Mesh sleeve covering jersey sleeve. I have since decided to use airtex rather than the mesh to give a cleaner, more refined look. The jersey will be completely covered in airtex. 3. A simple gilet that will eventually be made out of leather. A scarf is used to create volume and drape and to enhance the trousers. The idea is for the shape to look organic and to allow the leather to retain its natural qualities. 4. The first costume fitting with elements of the costume all put together to see how they work. I am happy with the shape thus far and am looking forward to seeing Antony’s garments in their real fabrics to get a sense of tone and colour. Arm our D evelop ment 1. Armour mocked up with old camping matt to get sense of shape and size. Pattern was created by cutting darts into curved shape. 2. Armour completed in thick white plastazote more suitable for withstanding the shape of the armour.

CO NSTRUCTI O N D EVELOP M ENT Cleopatra Cleopatra’s costume was designed to show various layers of fabric, giving an illusion of transparency to make her sensual and alluring without showing any flesh. I was very inspired by traditional Muslim clothing and its floaty qualities but ultimately, I wanted Cleopatra to look modern and so developed a much cleaner silhouette for her. 1. Draped over top pictured over the scalloped under top. This was developed by slashing into a basic bodice pattern piece to create shape. 2. First fitting: altering the scalloped top with darts. The panelled skirt is showing its shape nicely. Toile chiffon has a very loose weave so I think the shape will be further enhanced when I create it in the real fabric. 3. Elements of toiled costume photographed together to show the use of layering and drape. A gold necklace will be sewn onto the over top to reflect the gold embroidery on the skirt panels. 4. Developed embroidery pieces over toile to show the colour and composition of the shapes. H I JAB D EVELOP M ENT It is important to note that Cleopatra’s hijab is not a conventional hijab. Instead of bringing the fabric together under the chin I have gone for more of a veil like look. This is for practical reasons such as keeping fabric away from her elaborate shoulder pieces but also emphasises her independent way of practising her faith. 1. Cheap fabric from the market bought to toile Cleopatra’s hijab on top of a solid jersey base (this will eventually be made of satin stretch).

3. Back view of armour. Reinforced with extra plastazote to make sure it lies well against the back.

2. Hijab messy pleating experimentation from the back. I wanted to give the hijab as much shape as possible whilst also retaining a nice clean drape towards the bottom that would fall nicely onto the floor.

4. Neoprene sheet filled with rice bags and covered in leather using latex as glue. The edge was then superglued back to hold the leather in place.

3. The hijab toiled in the cream fabric from which it will eventually be made.

5. First test of perspex chest piece that was cut with a saw and then moulded using a heat gun. Final will be cut with the laser cutter.

4. Drape on the head using the final fabric.

6. Perspex chest piece before it was moulded photographed against the leather.

5. A textile sample of the sublimation print (with pressed laser cut pieces) placed over the hijab to get a sense of drape and the final finish.

7. Armour pieces photographed together and shoulder armour spray painted grey.

6. A textile sample showing the length of the back of the hijab.

Antony & Cleopatra: Final Major Project  

Costumes for contemporary film based on William Shakespeare's 'Antony & Cleopatra'

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