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Podcast - Costume Designer Gypsy Taylor

From the The Matrix to 1980s Australia, Gypsy Taylor discusses the art and craft of costuming and the design inspiration behind her most recent projects including Our Flag Means Death, The Way We Wore, and soon The Newsreader.

Gypsy Taylor on the set of The Way We Wore

Find this episode of the Screen Australia Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Pocket Casts

In this episode of the Screen News podcast, costume designer Gypsy Taylor shares her creative inspiration in shaping the looks behind flamboyant pirates of Our Flag Means Death, the fashion-focused sets of The Way We Wore, and other projects.

Whether designing back-alleys of Australian noir or magic-infused fashion of The Wheel of Time, Taylor’s design inspiration is a process of research and immersion - from museums and libraries to playlists and Pinterest.  But it all starts with the script, ”the script is everything, the story is everything.”

“I'll quite often just sketch one character's evolution throughout the entire script for the season or the series, whatever it might be that I've got in front of me.”

We stuck to that rule for the whole series in that if it didn't fit in a suitcase or it wasn't borrowed, she couldn't wear it.” - character concept art for Wellmania.

Collaboration with production design and hair and makeup continues the process, informing the details, and the final flourish comes from casting, the actor’s own interpretations of the character influencing the finished look - “you’re collaborating with teams of artisans, and at the end of the day, you’re creating the same thing [the story], in a different way.”

“On Our Flag [Means Death], it was very rock and roll, so I was listening to a lot of Iggy Pop and The Cramps and new romantic punk music stuff that I could get inspired.” - concept art of Blackbeard’s Crew for Our Flag Means Death.

Despite a fascination for film and familial passion for art, it was only after several years working in concept art and post-production, and a costume design workshop in London, that Taylor made the leap to working in the art department.

Assistant and illustrator roles on big budget Hollywood films followed, including two films in The Chronicles of Narnia series, working as a Disney Imagineer on Walt Disney’s Pandora – The World Of Avatar, and a time as costume illustrator alongside Catherine Martin. Her love for crafting immersive worlds on screen has led her to sets across the world, and now, based in both Los Angeles and Sydney, she’s passionate about bringing the knowledge of the global art industry back to Australia.

“For me to go over there and have that knowledge about how it works and, and the source of where it all comes from, makes it easier for me to come up with design concepts because […] now I can bring all that knowledge to my designs and bring it back home.”

“I picked six fabric patterns that you might see all over the world, like a tartan or a leopard or a stripe, very classic patterns. And that became the walls. And then whatever she was wearing was the pattern piece from the wall, which would have been the next evolution [of the costume design process].”- host set and costume design inspiration for The Way We Wore.

For the full episode, listen to the Screen Australia Podcast.

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