And other time tripping, tongue twisting lessons of the stage, and behind it. Almost one year ago I met Sandy (Alexandra Bonds) at All Hallows Eve at the Hult Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Eugene. A magnetic force drew me to her. Her sweater had little plastic skeletons sewn on the front, and their bones knocked together and caught my eye. We had a friend in common (the fabulous Ariana Schwartz), and when I learned (Sandy) had been the Costume Design Professor at the University of Oregon for about as long as I had been alive, I asked the obvious question; “how extensive is your costume collection?” “Extensive.” She replied.
It took me a few trips down to what I called “The Lair of Costumes”, due to the lack of windows, the low ceiling and fluorescent lighting, to understand the collection we were dealing with. The words, “four decades of design” sound catchy, BUT IT’S THE TRUTH. Sandy designed for thirty-six years, two productions (plays) a year. She led students through the design process over seventy times in her career. From idea to sketch to reality. From research to design to build. She lead a constant and unending charge to add the missing character to any play, the costumes. The unnamed characters.
Here is one such character; Clarice, from the 1750 Italian play A Servant of Two Masters. Designed and performed on stage in 1996 at the University Theatre.
The hand curated runway shows center on garment collections from twenty plays, and include nearly ninety individual costumes. Moving from the 1600’s through the centuries with period inspired garments and taking occasional stints to exotic places like Bali and Japan, we end with fantastic interpretations of Shakespearian classics. This collection as a whole has never been together on a stage, nor will it be again. These shows are a true curtain call.
As Halloween approaches, I understand better why it is Sandy’s (Professor Bonds) least favorite holiday. Hers is a gift given to the stage, not for mere dress up. Her level of costumery far outweighs anything I have ever seen. Her costumes, meticulously built from a sketch to reality, are a testament to a life spent in collaborative design. She has always been behind the scenes. This is her Portfolio.
A Lifetime of Costumery with Alexandra Bonds
Once in a lifetime collection, 4 decades of design, 2 fashion shows. One designer.
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