Costume class wins awards

Lisa Kim

The Cerritos College costume class took one first place and three second place awards at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire held recently.

Mary Moore’s middle-class child costume design, modeled by Moore’s niece, won first place in the children’s category. Cristy and Katie Guidry, who are sisters, tied for second place in the adult peasant category. Denise Davis won second place in the adult middle class category.

Winners received Renaissance Faire items, such as a leather bound diary and a goblet with coupons for free drinks.

The costume competition has been going on since the spring of 1992.

The costume design class is taught by Susan Watanabe.

Of the people who participated, most were beginning students. Watanabe said that most of the students didn’t even know how to sew when they came to the class. By the end of the class however, not only do they know how to sew, each student has completed at least one costume and a costume piece for the costume show.

Student makes their renaissance costume entirely by themselves from scratch. Students are responsible for researching the costumes, for finding the proper fabrics, and for drawing the designs. Once students make their rendering, Watanabe makes patterns based on their drawings.

Some time near the beginning of the semester, the entire class takes a field trip to the cloth store. There it selects the fabrics that it will use for the costumes. Watanabe only gives suggestions on which fabrics to use for different parts of the costume. For instance, she tells students that a certain type of fabric will become a chemise.

“What the judges are looking for are appropriate fabrics and construction for the period,” Watanabe said.

According to Watanabe, in the past other contestants have used fabrics that were too brightly colored, and not corresponding with the dyes that they would have used in the Renaissance. Others have used fabrics that were too finely woven for a peasant.

The class will be next offered in the spring of 2003.

Watanabe said of her student’s accomplishments “I’m very proud of all the students. They worked hard, they completed their costumes, and they looked good out there.”