Curated by Will Hargreaves
A number of AUB students have worked together to re-imagine DC Comic superheroes as Shakespearean characters, the project featured many well-known heroes and villains such as Batman and Catwoman as well as some of the more obscure DC characters, all in full Jacobean costume complete with ruffs, patterned silks and ornate cuffs.
This project commemorates the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death in 1616 and also coincides with the release of two feature DC movies – Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad in 2016.
A set of forty-four male and female costumes were designed by AUB lecturers Will Hargreaves and Bunny Winter and made by the second year costume interpretation students under the guidance of tutors Mandy Barrington and Katerina Lawton.
The project provided the opportunity for the students to create the silhouettes and learn the construction techniques of the first part of the 17th century. Each design involved making either a doublet or bodice and skirt or breeches but also fused the Jacobean period costume with iconic superhero colours and motifs.
Fabrics appropriate to the period such as silks, wools, linens and leather were sourced from London and primary research was carried out at the V&A’s archive where students were able to access original 17th Century garments. Second year design students assisted the interpreters by making Jacobean versions of the masks, hats, and props for the superheroes and villains.