Costume Design

Fiona Victoria Hopkins

What an opportunity! To design for "love" and bring this out through the textures, the fabrics, the vibrancy, the shapes and the veils we wear - was a costumiers dream!  To evoke our truths vs. our perceptions, and truth vs honesty gave me a palette to give life to these metaphors and biases.  

Character defines the costume, and vice versa. I always try to marry this relationship to my designs. I see my designs as a continuous work of art, and as the production moves through rehearsals so too will the costume design. 

As an actor myself, with a wealth of Shakespearean experience, I appreciated the necessity and desire an actor has to be included in the design process. I am a great believer that costumes are not just an item of clothing you put on, but a frame of mind you wear from within. Through this collaborative process, I endeavoured to help create the person within the garments, not just the garments themselves. 

Gauging ideas and direction from the company, I sought inspiration from the nature around me to assist with the organic creation of these pieces. Canberra’s wildlife was a significant influence for me, and an aspect of the unique SBTLII Shakespeare experience that I wanted to include.

Using the backdrop of Canberra as my guide, I chose to incorporate the beautiful colours, shapes and patterns that can be seen in Canberra’s birdlife into these costumes. Be it a peacock ruffle collar, a cockatoo-like cape, or a flamingo-inspired kilt, I extended and explored my creativity through the influence and inspiration with flourish!

Finally, I added my signature flare of wearable art to make these costumes ‘pop’ on stage, inspired by my love of surrealism and its relationship to fashion. I see my designs as a continuous work of art - moving and intertwined pieces, layered on each other to produce richness of symbolism, time and place.

The challenges as a costumier is always to allow the costume and the actor to be one.  I am blessed with an innate perceptiveness to create a seamless garment so to speak that bonds effortlessly to the actor.  The physical challenges of outdoor theatre are not without their perils and Canberra in high-Summer required some innovative costumes to meet the heat.  

Working with Lakespeare has been an absolute honour, it’s not often you get to work with so many creatives and be creative for a common goal, delivering Shakespeare to our community, under the southern cross !

This illustration has a lot of history to it - it's one I did back in 1997. Sometimes the designs we do are drawn from the imagination yet to find a home to the wearer!


Now I believe it belongs to Viola our “masters mistress”... “our fancies Queen". 

Worn now by Lexi Sekuless as it was meant to be @Lakespeare 2019 


We'd love to hear from people who have enjoyed Shakespeare by the Lakes 2019. We are also keen to hear from potential corporate sponsors and those with professional skills who can complement our team.


© 2019 by Lakespeare and Co


Location: Canberra ACT Australia

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