We’ve been working with in-demand designer Gary Card to create the costumes for MK ULTRA. Although he’s collaborated with top names including Stella McCartney, Lady Gaga and Topshop, these will be his first designs for contemporary dance so it has been a real treat watching his ideas develop.
Here’s the first glimpse of how two of the costume designs are going to look alongside an insight to the printing process.
The costumes have just been printed by Nicola Killeen Textiles who have an impressive client list, previously printing, dyeing and hand-painting costumes for high-end productions from London 2012 Olympics, the Queens Golden Jubilee, translation and production of the textiles from The Lion King production on Broadway to London in 1999, which continues today, and the costumes for Cats, which has been revived on Broadway and opens in Dubai and Korea later this year. Nicola has been hand painting Cats since the 1990s.
After Gary’s designs were shaped to fit a one-piece bodysuit pattern from costume maker Sasha Keir, the designs were colour matched by Jack at NKT and digitally printed onto polyester lycra using a ‘sublimation’ technique.
This technique involves printing the image in reverse onto transfer paper, before laying the paper onto white fabric and feeding it through a rotary heat press at 190 degrees Celsius. The inks vaporise in the heat and fix into the polyester fibres of the cloth, giving us the material that you’ll see in MK ULTRA.
On Tuesday 28 February, the dancers were able to try on their outfits for the first time at the costume fitting. Here are some pictures of Ryan (character name Vance Vincence), Joao (Andreas) and Shanelle (Sasha) behind the scenes.
Tickets for the premiere are still available – get yours here: https://www.birmingham-rep.co.uk/whats-on/mk-ultra.html