Animal Farm - Design Book

Page 1



George Orwell

Stage Adaptation: Isabella Samuelsson



1. Concept statement 2. plot synopsis 3. research

4-5 6-7 8-19

-George Orwell 10 -Russian history 11 -Stalin vs Trotsky 12 -real events 13 -Fake news 14-15 -Historical References 16-17 -Fashion Inspiration 18-19


4. Development


-animal shape 22 -Headpieces 23 -textiles 24-25 -Characters 26-41

5. Final Designs 6. Costume Process 7. FInal Costume

42-67 68-73 74-81


Animal farm Concept statement


Animal Farm was written in 1943-1944 by George Orwell, published in 1945. It is an allegorical novella that tells the story of a farm of animals that rebels against their human farmer, hoping to create a farm where the animals are in control, free and happy. Eventually the animals are betrayed and the farms end in a worse state under the dictatorship of a pig called Napoleon. George Orwell wrote the fable as a reflection of the events leading up to the Russian Revolution of 1917 and then into the Stalinist era of the Soviet Union. I want to make Animal Farm as a stage production set in a modern, parallel, time. It will be inspired by the real characters that the book is originally based on, from 20th century Russia, but also with some inspiration from 21st century politicians and world events. I want all the animals to be very human-like but with animal faces, as headpieces. The costumes are going to be inspired by different historical silhouettes, with some details inspired by Russian fashion at the time before the first world war. I want to work with contemporary textiles and materials to make it a bright and eye catching production. The characters will have different amount of embellishments depending on how highly ranked they are. So for example the pigs will be the most decorated, bright and colourful. There is going to be a transition in the costume so that the pigs are getting more and more decorated and human-like by the end of the play. I am mainly going to use colours that are associated with the different kinds of animals but very exaggerated. I want to use sheer, transparent, iridescent or shiny fabrics to get a look that is very unnatural and catch the audience’s attention. In contrast to this I need to use some more structural fabric to build the shapes I am looking for. I want to try different techniques of embroidery and beading to build textures and pattern.


Mr Jones is the owner of the neglected Manor Farm near Willingdon, England. He starts to drink in the aftermath of a very damaging lawsuit and forgets to feed the animals. One night, the Old Major, a prized middle white boar, tells the other animals about a dream where they would all be free and equal and take care of the farm themselves. He dies shortly after, but his speech starts a movement where the animals educate and organize themselves. Three months later the animals starts a rebellion and Mr Jones flees from the farm. The animals are now free and two pigs; Napoleon and Snowball takes commando and writes the Seven Commandments that sets out rules the animals should follow, mostly to make sure that no one takes the lifestyle of humans. The animals get back to work and they do it better than ever before, they have more food and energy since there is no human taking the harvest from them. The pigs are taking more of the goods of the farm, the apples and the milk disappears but the pigs explain that they need it because of the hard

Animal farm Plot synopsis work they are doing, organising everything. Mr Jones is trying to take back the farm again with help from more men but he is chased of the farm. Snowball and Napoleon disagrees about everything and eventually Snowball is chased of the farm by Napoleons security force, dogs that he has brought up to protect him. Napoleon is now the one and only leader and is referred to as ‘our Leader, Comrade Napoleon’. As time goes by the animals are working harder and harder to get less and less food, the only ones that are getting more luxuries are the pigs and the dogs. The rules are altered slowly so that the animals of the farm would not notice, and things that were absolutely forbidden just after the rebellion is now somethings that the pigs does regularly. The farms ends up in a state worse than before the rebellion, under the dictatorship of Napoleon and his helper Squealer. In the end, the farm animals can no longer tell the difference between pigs and humans.




Eric Arthur Blair was born in Moltihari, Bihar, British India, on the 25 June in 1903. He is more known as his pen-name George Orwell and his most successful novels are Animal Farm (1945) and Nineteen EightyFour (1949). When Orwell was one, his mother took him and his sister to Oxfordshire, England. He described his family as lower-uppermiddle class. He first went to St. Cyprian’s School and then he got into Eton on a scholarship. His academic performance reports suggest that he neglected his academic studies but he worked as a writer on a few magazines. In 1922 Orwell joined the Indian Imperial Police in Burma. He was a bit of an outsider

critical towards the way Stalin had ruled his country. Animal Farm was finished in February 1944, during the WWII when the UK was in an alliance with the Soviet Union against Nazi Germany. The book was not published until the 17 August 1945 because of this. Publishers of different persuasions and political associations found the book good, but because of various reasons decided to not publish it until after the war. George Orwell wrote his best-known piece, a dystopian novel, Nineteen EightyFour in 1948. The book explores the

george orWell but he was fast to learn the language and he spoke fluently in Burmese. It was around this time he changed his appearance from a toothbrush moustache to a pencil moustache. After he got ill in dengue fever, he returned to England in 1928. After living and working as a writer in Paris and marrying Eileen O’Shaughnessy in 1936 he decided to go to Spain to take part in the Spanish Civil War on the Republican side. He wanted to fight against Fascism but after he was shot in the throat he returned to England in 1937. Because of this he was declared ‘unfit for any kind of military service’ during the world war two. Instead he worked as a journalist and in 1941 he was taken on full-time by the BBC’s Eastern Service. He resigned in 1943 to focus on his new book Animal Farm. Animal Farm is an allegorical novella reflecting the events leading up to the Russian Revolution and the Stalinist era of the Soviet Union. George Orwell was


dangers of totalitarian rule, and it reflected what could happen if the Nazis or Stalinism were allowed to keep going. His books have been widely popular and are constantly referred to as examples of dystopian and politically commentary of the time. He died of tuberculosis, on the 21 of January in 1950, London. “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear”

Russian 1900s History In the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian Empire was ruled by Tsar Nicholas II and under his power Russia began to industrialize during the end of the 1800s. This led to a large increase in the size of the urban middle class and of the working class which led to a new demographic in the political landscape. The working class became the first to establish political parties in Russia. In the early 1900s, the working- and livingconditions, high taxes and land hunger gave rise to more frequent strikes. This caused a first revolution in 1905 that took place in St Petersburg and called for the Tsar to abdicate. The outcome however was contradictory. The Tsar was still in power but agreed to change the political system in Russia to stop the uprising. Russia was a part of the World War I between 1914 and 1916 which exposed a weakened government and Tsar. A show of national unity had accompanied Russia’s entrance into the war, but military reversals and the government’s incompetence soon soured much of the population. The conflict between the Tsar and the government meant that both of them were losing there power. In 1917, after fuel and food shortage, the second Russian Revolution was a fact. The Revolution was violent and bloody and led to the abolition of the monarchy in Russia and the start of the Bolshevik establishment in 1923. The Bolsheviks executed the tsar and his family on 16 July 1918. The Bolsheviks formed the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, or the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, marking the beginning of the Russian Civil War between the revolutionary Reds and the counter-revolutionary Whites. In 1922, the Communist Reds were victorious and formed the Soviet Union, making Russia communist. The first leader of the Bolsheviks was Lenin, and just before his death in 1924 he picked Joseph Stalin as the next leader of Soviet. He was the leader of the Communist Party until 1953. During Stalin’s time as a leader he conducted the Great Purge which involved large-scale repression of the peasantry, ethnic cleansing; purges of the Communist Party, government officials, and Red Army; widespread police surveillance, imprisonment, and arbitrary executions.


Joseph Stalin was born to a poor family in 1878 in Georgia, that was a part of the Russian Empire at the time. As a youth joined the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party and he raised funds for Lenin’s Bolshevik faction via robberies, kidnappings and protection rackets. Stalin became part of an informal foursome leading the government, alongside Lenin, Trotsky, and Sverdlov. Leon Trotsky was born in Ukraine in 1879 to a family of Jewish farmers. He embraced the theories of Marx and his life was based around a single, ultimate goal: worldwide workers revolution. Joining the Bolsheviks in 1917, Trotsky worked closely with Lenin. Together, they prepared the overthrow of the ruling Provisional Government which kept the country in the disastrous war. In the Russian Civil War (1918-1921), he organized

Stalin vs Trotsky

and led the Red Army to an impressive victory over counter revolutionary forces. Before Lenin died in 1924 he chose Stalin for the position of General Secretary of the Communist Party. Stalin took advantage of the situation not only to appoint his own people but also to advance his own ideas about the future of the USSR. Stalin introduced the nation of “socialism in one country” but Trotsky wanted a world revolution. Because of Stalin, ‘Trotskyism’ soon became a turn of opprobrium for elitism factionalism, and a lack of connectedness to the masses of workers and peasants. Trotsky responded to these developments by calling for a restoration of workers’ democracy within the Communist Party. Stalin expelled Trotsky and his followers from the party in 1927. Trotsky was deported to Turkey after being in exile in Kazakhstan. Stalin ordered his secret service


agents to kill everyone close to Trotsky, his old secretary and his comrades. Trotsky survived an assassination attempt but died in 1940 when Ramón Mercader struck him with a pickaxe in the side of the head. Ramón denied all connections with Soviet. Stalin could feel a deep satisfaction, the individual who symbolized opposition to Stalinism had been eliminated. This closed the conflict between the two men.

animal farm allegory

- The true events The events and story in Animal Farm is based on true events that took place in Russia in the beginning of the 20th century. To begin with, Mr Jones’s treatment of the animals that led up to the revolt was the same as how Czar Nicholas II, ruler of Russia up until the Russian revolution in 1917, treated the Russian people. This lead up to Old Major’s speech about Animalism which is an allegory of Karl Marx’s book, Communist Manifesto. The animals’ revolt against Farmer Jones is Orwell’s analogy with the Bolshevik Revolution in October 1917. The Battle of the Cowshed represent the allied invasion of Soviet Russia in 1918 and the defeat of the White Russians in the Russian Civil War. The pigs and how they are the superior group, represent the rise of a Stalinist bureaucracy in the USSR, and Napoleon’s emergence as the farm’s sole leader reflects Stalin’s development as the leader of Soviet. The pigs’ appropriation of milk and apples for their own use stands as an analogy for the crushing of the left-wing 1921 Kronstadt revolt against the Bolsheviks. The difficulties and efforts of the animals to build the windmill suggest the various Five Year Plans. The Battle of the Windmill represents World War II and the fact that Napoleon was nowhere to be seen reflects how Stalin stayed in Moscow when Germany advanced. Napoleon’s dealings with the human

Whymper paralleling the Treaty of Rapello where Soviet and Germany signed an agreement 1922 under which each renounced all territorial and financial claims against the other. Frederick’s forged bank notes reflects the Hitler-Stalin pact of August 1939 after which Frederick attacks Animal Farm without any warning and destroys the windmill. The ending where the animals cannot tell the difference between pigs and humans when they play cards together, represents the establishment of “the best possible relations between the USSR and the West”- but in reality were destined to continue to unravel. The disagreement between the allies and the start of the Cold War is suggested when Napoleon and Pilkington, both suspicious of each other, “played an ace of spades simultaneously”.


Stalin and photos

- altering the truth

One of the Soviet Union’s main negative characteristics (with plenty to chose from) was falsification. In Stalin’s Soviet photographs were retouched to for example delete people from significant moments. This was the product of a real conspiracy to change public perception in the USSR during Stalin’s dictatorship. Stalin’s commitment to censorship and photo doctoring was so strong that, at the height of the Soviet Union’s international power, he rewrote history using photo alternation. This was not just an alternation of history, many of the people who were “deleted” from the photos also disappeared from real life, or straight away killed. Stalin used a large group of photo retouchers to cut his enemies out of supposedly documentary photographs. After Trotsky was exiled by Stalin for mounting a failed opposition to his leadership, Trotsky was snipped, airbrushed and covered up in


countless photographs. Stalin also sometimes inserted himself in photos at key moments in history or had photo technicians make him look taller or more handsome. Photo editing can be a way of literally erasing today’s political enemies from tomorrow’s picture of history – and making the future as unreliable as a present filled with propaganda and lies.

The falsification that Soviet engaged in is not something that has only happened there or then. In our modern day society we would talk about it in terms of ‘fake news’ . Fake news is false or misleading information presented as true news. It is often used in politics with the ambition to ruin someone or a groups reputation, or to at least plant some doubts as to what is true and right. Fake news has increased with the rise of social media and especially with Facebook. The term ‘fake news’ has also been used about real news and facts to claim that they are instead lies. This is something that former president Donald Trump used a lot in both his presidential campaign and when he sat in office to describe any negative press coverage of himself. It has been increasingly criticized, partly because of Trump’s misuse, with the British government deciding to avoid the term, as it “conflates a variety of false information, from genuine error through to foreign interference” The intent and purpose of fake news is important. In some cases, what appears to be fake news may be news satire, which uses exaggeration and introduces nonfactual elements that are intended to amuse or make a point, rather than to deceive. Propaganda can also be fake news. Some researchers have highlighted that “fake

news” may be distinguished not just by the falsity of its content, but also the “character of [its] online circulation and reception”. I thought it was interesting to connect the way that Stalin retouched photographs with how false information spreads nowadays, especially combined with how the pigs in Animal Farm edits the Seven Commandments and are making the rest believe that they have always been the same.

Fake NeWs


Historical reFerences

For my interpretation of Animal Farm I wanted to take inspiration for both the silhouettes and the detailed textiles from historical references and traditional Russian clothing. In the pictures to the left we can see a modern version of the same techniques used in the painting to the right.


The shape of Henry Howard’s, Earl of Surrey (~1517-1547, images to the left), robe has an exaggerated width that expresses a powerful man that I wanted to incorporate in my silhouettes for my costumes. This would be the inspiration for the more powerful characters, like the powerful pigs in Animal Farm and for the previous farmer, Mr. Jones. The image to the right shows a costume ball attendee to the Romanov royal costume ball of 1903. The impressive and detailed textiles of her dress is something I wanted to bring into my project as well.


Fashion inspiration

The looks on the images above are all great examples of fashion creations that have been inspired by historical shapes. I like how the designers have brought the interesting and detailed structures to build up the outfits for the male models. Since most of the characters in Animal Farm are male characters I wanted bring in an influence of female or androgyne fashion that would work with my concept. Images above of creations by Palmo Spain


Inspiration from the runway of pink, sheer, shiny and almost wet looking fabric. Although they are all made out of different materials they achieve the same impression that I was looking for.




ANimal Shapes Headpieces


I wanted the characters to have clear animal features when it came to the headpieces. With mostly human shaped silhouettes otherwise I wanted it to be obvious which animal the character is. I looked at other artist’s work and how they have constructed their headpieces. I wanted my actors to be able to see through the mask without any issues and for the audience to be able to see the actors vaguely through the animal face. I also wanted the mouth to be fully visible so that the actors could perform without restrains. Therefore I choose to design wire structured headpieces cover with a power mesh. To figure out how the wires would be structured I made many sketches on top of my character but also on top of pictures of my own face. .


Textile Development

The textile research and development for this project was inspired by the detailed textiles of historical Russian dresses before the Russian Revolution. I wanted to use a mix of techniques that I could achieve with limited resources to machinery and special facilities. I played around with different ways of embroidery and embellishments. I was also committed of finding a “wet” look for my pigs, I wanted them to look fleshy, disturbing and flashy at the same time. This was achieved by layering fabric of different weights and shine on top of each other. The most successful attempt I had was with iridescent organza on top of cotton drill. The textiles looked quite plastic and unnatural which was a impression I thought went well with my interpretation of the story. The less powerful characters would have influences of more rustic textiles, even though they would also be made out of man-made fibres. The images on this page are my samples and the images on the right-hand page are inspirational textiles.



Character development

- Napoleon Napoleon is a large, rather fierce-looking Berkshire boar, not much of a talker but with a reputation for getting his own way. At first he is just a common farm pig but together with Snowball he was pre-eminent. They were the ones elaborating Old Major’s teaching into a complete system of thoughts that they later called Animalism. Napoleon is a master at pulling strings behind the scenes. He and Snowball disagree about everything and when it becomes clear that Snowball is going to win the election for his plans, Napoleon unleash the dogs he raised to be his security force and they chase Snowball of the farm. He becomes the one leader and

gets more and more brutal, he lies and rewrites history and blames everything that goes wrong on Snowball. He favours the pigs and dogs. He secretly changes the Seven Commandments and starts acting more and more like a human, something that was extremely prohibited before the rebellion. Napoleon is an allegory and representation for Joseph Stalin.

I wanted Napoleon to be big and wide compared to the other animals and I wanted him to have a harshness to him in the structure of the costume. I wanted him to get more and more decorated throughout the play and that he would look very humanlike but with pig features.


Napoleon is described as a Berkshire boar in the book which is normally a black breed, but I wanted to make Napoleon into the classic pink pig colour. I wanted his textiles to be a mix between soft, sheer, flowy fabric and more iridescent, wet looking structure.

Textile developments:


Character development

- Snowball Snowball is described as more vivacious compared to Napoleon, he is quicker in speech and more intensive. However he is not considered to have the same depth of character. He believes in a continued revolution, to defend Animal Farm they must stir up rebellions in other farms throughout England. He is the one trying to educate the other animals and he is also studying the books in the farmhouse himself. He make plans and schemes on how to the life at the farm could improve so that the animals would not have

to work as much. He also writes the first version of the Seven Commandments. Snowball is chased of the farm by Napoleon’s dogs and after he is gone he is blamed for all the problems on the farm. The animals who are accused of supporting Snowball is eventually executed after being forced to confess. Snowball is based on Leon Trotsky.

For Snowballs costume I wanted a more sleek and lean silhouette. I still wanted him to look fancy since he is a pig and a part of the superior group. He has a corset just like Napoleon but his corset is put on in a different way to make it clear that they are opponents.


The inspiration and textiles for Snowball are more structured and with more straight patterns. He is the same pink pig colour so the differences have to be clear in the shape of the costume and the style of the embellishments.

Textile development and inspiration:


Character development

- SQuealer Squealer is a small fat porker pig. He has very round cheeks, twinkling eyes, nimble movements and a shrill voice. He is a brilliant talker that “could turn black into white” with his speeches. Squealer takes the central role in making announcements to the animals when Napoleon appears less and less. Squealer is Napoleon’s right hand and he makes all the actions that Napoleon decides. Squealer preys on the animals confusion and alters the Commandments from time to time as needed. He manipulate the animals by saying that the Commandments have always been

the same and that the rules have never changed. For example “No animal shall sleep in a bed” is changed to “No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets” as the pigs starts to use the farm house and sleep in the beds. Squealer represents the Russian politician Vyacheslav Molotov and the Soviet Newspaper Pravda, Stalin’s key propaganda.

I wanted Squealer to have a clear resemblance with Napoleon while also highlight the differences in size between them. Squealer is short but wide and wears the same kind of corset style as Napoleon, with a portrait of himself. I also wanted to incorporate some writing to underline his role as the propaganda machine.


The inspiration for Squealer is taken from a small porker pig, the real character he is based on, Vyacheslav Molotov, and flowy ruffled textiles. I wanted his textiles to be heavy embellished with embroidery and applique.

Textile inspiration:


Character development

- Old Major Old Major is also called Willingdon Beauty and he is a prize ‘Middle White Boar’. He shares his thoughts he got from a dream, to the other animals on a big meeting. In his dream the animals would run their own farm instead of the farmer Mr Jones. He thinks all their misfortunes can all be traced back to ‘Man’, who is ‘the only creature that consumes without producing’. He teach them a song called “Beasts of England”. He talks about a rebellion, but it is unclear when the rebellion actually will happen. He dies three days after giving the speech. His skull is later dug up and saluted by the animals, but later, Napoleon buries the skull again because it “represent the old days when Animal Farm was violent and primitive towards humans”. Old Major’s speech is a simplified version of the basic tenets of communism, it refers to Karl Marx’s The Communist Manifesto 1848. Old Major is partly based on Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin.

The Old Major has similar textiles as the rest of the pigs, but his costume is a bit more toned down. Since he is only alive before the rebellion I wanted him to look less extravagant and more structured. The shape is inspired by military outfits with the shoulder decorations. I also wanted to bring in the details of the snout as decorations around the buttons.


Character development

- Mr. Jones Mr Jones is the alcoholic owner of Major Farm that later turns into Animal Farm after the animals rebel. He is a heavy drinker that spends a lot of his time in the pub and neglect both the farm and the animals. He forgets to feed the animals multiple times because he is drunk. This is the aftermath of a very heavy lawsuit his gone through. One night when Mr Jones comes back from the pub, the animals have had enough and drive Mr Jones and his family away from the farm, removing Jones from power of the farm. He lives at the Red Lion Inn in exile, feeling sorry for himself and commiserating with sympathetic and perplexed farmers. He tries to recapture the farm along with the other men but is defeated by Snowball. In the end it is mentioned that he died in a home for alcoholics Mr jones is an allegory for Tsar Nikolai II.

The costume for Mr Jones is inspired by Tsar Nikolai II clothes and the details and beading of them. At the same time, I wanted him to look powerful, with wide shoulders and elaborate sleeves. I focused mostly on giving him a fancy look that could be similar to what the pigs would look like in the end. Mr Jones is wearing a headpiece like all of the other characters, but his is his own face enlarged.


Character development

- Boxer Boxer is a hardworking, naïve and ignorant cart-horse. He is the farms most dedicated and loyal labourer. He is faithful and strong, and believes that any problems can be solved if he works harder. He tries to learn the Alphabet but can only remember the first four letters. He gets up earlier in the morning than anybody else to get more work done. His solution to everything is ‘I will work harder’ and his other motor is ‘Napoleon is always right’. Boxer is the only close friend to Benjamin the cynical donkey. Boxer is one of the more prominent animals during the Battle of the Cowshed and the Battle of the Windmill and he gets a medal for his efforts. Boxer later defends Snowballs

reputation and the dogs try to attack him but when Boxer pins one under his hooves, the other dogs flee. Boxer is injured but heals, but he’s working too hard and doesn’t eat enough. He’s getting thinner and collapses from overwork. The pigs say they sent him to a veterinarian but the animals see that the van say’s ‘slaughter’ on it. The pigs use the money they get from the knackers to buy whiskey. Boxer is an allegory for the Russian working class who helped to oust the tsar and establish the Soviet Union but were eventually betrayed by the Bolsheviks.

The costume for Boxer needed to signalize “hard working” and I therefore wanted him to have more leather details and the whole costume to go in brown tones as a contrast to the plastic pig pink. I wanted the shape of his trousers to resemble the legs of a working horse, with the horses hair growing just above its hoofs.


Boxer is based on a coal miner named Alexey Stakhanov who was famous for working over his quota. The Stalin regime built a personality cult around him that rewarded workers who showed a similar heroic dedication to production and efficiency. The textiles for Boxer’s costume are more rough and inspired by this hard working man.

Textile development and inspiration:


Character development

- Benjamin Benjamin is an old wise cynical donkey. He is one of the few animals that can read as well as the pigs. But he doesn’t say anything when the pigs changes the commandments, he rarely uses his ability because he feels there is nothing worth reading. The one time he actually reads and tells the other animals what he has read is when Boxer is sent off in a van to the slaughterhouse and he reads the text on the van. He also reads when Clover as him to read the Commandments when they have changed for the last time. he is often vague and pessimistic. He’s not happy when things goes well and not sad or surprised when things goes badly. He is aware of their mistreatment and can see how the basic rules of their society are changing. He is unwilling to act on it in any way that would threaten his security. It is a bit unclear what Benjamin represents he could represent the ageing population in Russia or the Menshevik Intelligentsia.

I wanted the costume for Benjamin to have influences and a connection to Boxer, the working horse, since that was his only friend. I wanted Benjamin to look smart and dress quite old fashioned with the intention of not being too bothered with his own looks. I also wanted his textiles to be a mix between the rustic work leather and the flouncy pink shiny fabrics.


Character development

- \Dog soldier The puppies, later the dogs, are originally the offspring of Jesse and Bluebell. They were taken away at birth by Napoleon and raised by him to serve as his powerful security force. They are always with Napoleon to protect him and they are the ones that chase Snowball off the farm. They want try to attack boxer but boxer fights one of them off and then puts his hoof on top of another so they get scared and backs off. The dogs are based on Stalin’s security force NKVD or the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs. They were established in 1917 to conduct regular police work and overseeing the countries prisons and labour camps. The dogs are the animals that have most privileges after the pigs.

For the dogs I wanted to have a very powerful and intimidating silhouette with the headpiece being a scary barking or drooling dogs face. I wanted the textiles to be a combination of stiff and structured leather and rubber with softer shiny fabric like organza to connect them with their leader Napoleon. I wanted to incorporate a remake of the NKVD emblem, with the hoof and the horn replacing the hammer and sickle used in the original.


Character development

- Mollie Molly is a quite young mare. She is very superficial and a shallow materialists who cares nothing for the struggles of her fellow animals. She loves her sugar and her ribbons and she does not care about the revolution unless she is promised sugar after it. The pigs try to tell her that she does not need sugar or her decorated ribbons. Once the Rebellion happens, Mollie is found admiring herself in the mirror with one of Mrs. Jones’s ribbons. Mollie has a hard time waking up in the morning and is always finding excuses to be late or leave early. When other animals begin

to learn the alphabet, Mollie’s only interest is learning to spell her own name. She eventually betrays the farm and leaves for a place where she can get sugar and ribbons, probably at the neighbouring farm. Mollie represents the bourgeois middle class during the Russian Revolution.

The costume for Mollie had to be a contrast from the rest of the animals since she did not care much for the rebellion but cared more of her own looks. I wanted to bring in loads of ribbons and bows in different shapes and forms to highlight her love for them. The trousers have a similar shape to Boxer’s trousers since they are both horses and I wanted to make that connection. Mollie’s whole costume is white and silver with influences of pink, colours that are not made for working in.


The inspiration for Mollie came mostly from the arts of plaiting the horse mane and the incorporation of ribbons in this. The textile inspiration was a mix between flowy sheer chiffons and built up textures of weaving and embroidery.

Textile inspiration:


Character development

-Moses Moses is a tame raven, considered to be a spy for Mr Jones. He only makes a few appearances in the book. He talks about a Sugarcandy Mountain where all the animals should aim to go to. The Sugarcandy Mountain is a sacred land where they can live free from oppression and hunger. He is the representation of religion. He is not much for the rebellion cause nothing is going to be as good as Sugarcandy Mountain anyways. As Karl Marx famously stated: “religion is the opium of the people” and Moses tales serve as an opiate to the animals misery. Most of the animals do not like Moses because he never helps with work and tells wild stories.’ In exchange for his loyalty, Mr. Jones feeds him ‘’crusts of bread soaked in beer.’’ When Mr. Jones is driven off the farm, Moses follows.

I wanted the costume of Moses, the tame raven, to have clear influences of a Christian priest clothing, with the black jacket and with the white standing collar. I did not want him to be all black however, I wanted him to have some details of muted colour to represent the Sugarcandy Mountain, a colourful paradise. The colours also look a bit like the shimmering feathers on a raven. The shape of the coat is inspired by the feathers of a raven.


Character development

- hens The hens are the first ones to rebel against the superior pigs. The hens are initially fully behind the rebellion and the ideals of Animal Farm. However, they become somewhat disillusioned and terrified when Napoleon insists that they must surrender their eggs. The hens’ rebellion is unsuccessful, and nine die over the course of their fiveday resistance. The hens represents the Ukrainian peasants who attempted to resist Stalin’s five-year plan and died. For the costumes for the hens I wanted to have a flowy fierce empowering feeling. I wanted to include loads of ruffles or gatherings to imitate the feather structure of the hens.


Final D





Iridescent organza 100% polyester

Polyester chiffon

Iridescent organza on cotton drill

Napoleon, the leader of the Animal Farm. Become more and more human. Powerful, intimidating, quiet.

Embroidered Chiffon, 100% Polyester

Quilted cotton drill and organza

Embroidered chiffon on cotton drill




Iridescent organza 100% polyester

Machine stitching on tulle, 100% polyester

Quilted satin, 100% Polyester

Snowball, the enemy of Napoleon. Become the one to blame for everything when he is gone. Intelligent, creative, loquacious.

Embroidered and beaded Polyester Satin

Embroidered Satin, 100% Polyester

Velvet ribbon on Iridescent organza




Quilted satin, 100% Polyester

Quilted Satin 100% polyester

Applique on suede, 100% polyester

Squealer, the right-hand of Napoleon. Is the propaganda apparatus on the farm. He make the animals obey the rules.

Polyester weave stitched to satin

Embroidery details on satin

Suede on Iridescent organza with bemis




Quilted cotton drill

Quilted organza layered with tulle and cotton drill

Organza on top of tulle

Old Major, the great thinker before the rebellion. Dies before the rebellion but is the one who came up with the theories to start with. Wise.

Iridescent organza 3D weave on satin

Iridescent organza on chiffon with bemis

Iridescent organza on polyester with bemis

Old major



Velvet ribbon on chiffon

Iridescent organza on 100% polyester

Quilted Paper Lame, nylon/metallic

Mr. Jones, the previous owner of the farm. He is an alcoholic farmer that has been neglecting the animals on the farm, causing the rebellion.

Embroidered Satin, 100% Polyester

Polyester weave stitched to satin

Organza squares on poyester weave

Mr jones



Polyester/viscose weave

Iridescent organza quilted on faux leather

Stitched tulle on faux leather,

Boxer, the working horse. Boxer is always the hardest working on the farm and thinks that all problems can be resolved if only he works a bit harder.

Alpaca wool machine knit

Wool yarn through faux leather

Velvet ribbon and cotton weve on faux leather




Iridescent organza quilted on faux leather

Bleached Faux leather and viscose knit

Wool yarn through polyester suede

Benjamin, the wise and cynical donkey. He does not want to be involved in the events on the farm and keeps to himself. Good friends with Boxer.

Gathered power mesh ruffle, 100 % polyester

Tulle stitched to faux leather

Machine stitched polyester tulle




Quilted Iridescent organza on cotton drill

Recycled bicycle inner tubes

Stitched net on polyester suede

The Dogs, raised by Napoleon as his personal security force. They are always ready to attack and follow Napoleon’s orders.

Iridescent organza, chiffon, 100% polyester

Bleached Cotton Poplin

Machine embroidered PVC

Dog soldier



Iridescent organza with ribbon thorugh chanels

Iridescent organza on tulle and chiffon

Metallic Foil Satin, 100% Polyester

Mollie, the white, young mare. She is very superficial and only cares about her own well-being. Loves sugar, ribbons and wants to look pretty.

Polyester lace

Mesh ribbon embroidery on tulle

Quilted iridescent organza on tulle




Black chiffon on mixed organza, 100% polyester

Black net 100% polyester

Bleacehd cotton rib knit

Moses, the tame raven. He is the symbol for religion and talks about the Sugarcandy mountain, a paradise for all animals.

Iridescent organza 100% polyester

Silk Dupion

Patchwork with silks dupion, cotton drill and net







Cost Proc


tume cess


TEXTile Process

The making of the costume required a lot of straight line sewing. The textiles for the bodice is quilted cotton drill with a layer of iridescent organza on top. I sewed the layers separately to make the lines as straight and neat as possible. For the trousers it is similar technique used but without the wadding layer. The corset is embroidered and beaded by hand.



Headpiece process

To make the headpiece I started with a base structure of millinery wire. I then built the snout and ears separately and attached to the head structure. The wire is then wrapped with strands of dressing net. The last step was to cover the headpiece in power mesh and attach it with hand stitching.


ToILE Shape

This costume is built up by many layers, starting with a wadded bodysuit to get the right shape of the pig legs. The trousers (as seen on the top-right) was draped on top of the bodysuit to get the right fit. In the bottom-left we can see the first attempt at the shirt that goes underneath the bodice, it will only be the collar and the sleeves that will show. The sleeves needed adjustment to get the right balloon shape an gathering of the top sleeve. The last layer shown in the images to the bottom right is the bodice. I made the toile out of plastazote but decided to make it out of quilted cotton drill instead to get a more comfortable and more moveable costume.