Monday, 20 February 2012

Costume Research - School Uniform

Linking with our choice of uniform costume, we examined the kinds of school uniforms used in boarding school films.

One of our main inspirations for our character school uniform costumes is 'St Trinians'. Although it is a comedy and not a horror film, it typifies the kind of school uniform that we want to emulate by mixing traditional school wear with a more sexualised image and style. It uses blouses, ties and black skirts or dresses, although there are varied styles worn by each social group. This suggests a freedom with the dress code in order to express their individuality, which we want to use in order to suggest different kinds of characters and reflect their opposition to strict forms of authority. Many of the skirts or dresses are short, revealing legs, and the blouses can be tight fitting in order to reveal their feminine figures. These promiscuous styles are reflected in our school uniform costumes. The characters also use bold make up to make themselves appear more appealing, and we reflect this although not to the same extent until they have left the school grounds. In relation to the different kinds of social groups and styles shown in 'St Trinians', we refer most closely to the 'Posh Totty' or Head Girl idea of dress, although one of our characters also incorporates ideas of the 'Goth' style in order to set her apart form the others and suggest she could be interested in ouija boards.

'The Craft' uses similar uniform ideas to 'St Trinians' in that the students seem to express their individual styles and not maintain a strict dress code other than white blouses and black skirts. They also use gothic fashion such as rosary beads, which one of our characters also uses to suggest an interest in gothic ideas and religion. The costumes consist of short skirts and blouses that are open a few buttons, revealing their feminine forms and therefore suggesting some form of promiscuous nature. The make up of the characters is more obvious than we want as they have dark lipstick and eye shadow, but we do not want to create the same degree of gothic perceptions so will use more common colours such as red lipstick. We will also not include the same amount of accessories such as braces or chokers.

Due to the ties with Japanese cinema, we have looked at manga school uniforms for girls. They usually consist of short skirts and tight fitting blouses, and here they also have blazers. This shows how sexualised the idea of school uniform can be, as in modern culture it has become a sexual idea to dress as a school girl. This therefore links to our aim to make our characters appear physically appealing, and the use of somewhat traditional school uniforms aids that due to this idea. It also makes our characters appeal not only to young males from our target audience of 15-25, but also to older men who find the idea of school girl uniforms attractive.


Some other boarding school films such as 'Cracks' and 'The Woods' use a school uniform that is much more traditional in that it hides their forms through baggier blouses, cardigans and long skirts. Although these are traditional, they are not seen as sexually appealing and would make our characters appear too moral. The characters also  seem to care less about their appearances in terms of minimal make up and un-styled hair. We want out characters to appear more materialistic and appearance-conscious. Therefore this kind of uniform is not what we would like to emulate.


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