Romeo and Juliet: Costume design (including hair and make-up)

Romeo and Juliet: Costume design (including hair and make-up)

Overview of Costume Design

  • Costume, hair and makeup design are crucial for capturing the period setting of “Romeo and Juliet”. Typically, this is the romantic and violent Verona of the late Middle Ages or Renaissance.
  • However, different productions might use different time period settings as per the director’s vision. Costumes could range from historical accuracy to contemporary interpretations, all while keeping the characters’ social statuses, families and individual personalities into consideration.
  • It’s important to understand certain symbolic choices that can come with costume, hair, and makeup design. For example, masks could symbolize the secret identities and hidden truths in the masquerade scene.

Individual Character Designs

  • Romeo’s costume can often be designed to reflect his noble status through fine, elegant clothing. The colours may symbolise his family affiliation (Montague - often blue) and his emotions throughout the play.
  • Juliet’s costumes frequently include soft, feminine outfits usually in lighter tones to symbolise her youth, innocence, and purity. Similar to Romeo, her family affiliation (Capulet - consistently red) may influence her clothing colour.
  • The contrast in colours between the two households can aid in visually distinguishing between the Montagues and Capulets, reinforcing the constant tension and conflict.
  • The design for Tybalt’s costume is often interpreted as a clear reflection of his fiery, confrontational nature. His clothing might include a dangerous-looking sword and the red colours associated with the Capulets.
  • Mercutio’s appearance should convey his boisterous and eccentric personality, possibly through flamboyant or unconventional style.
  • How the characters’ costumes evolve throughout the play can reflect their changing statuses, moods, and the progression of the plot. Juliet’s attire may transition from pure and childlike to more mature as she falls in love with Romeo and then experiences grief, death.

Role of Hair and Makeup

  • In terms of hair and makeup, a traditional approach would utilise wigs and makeup to reflect the styles popular during the period setting. However, contemporary adaptations may use more modern styles or a mix to create a distinct visual impact.
  • Makeup can also be used as a tool to emphasise the drama and emotion of different scenes. For example, increasing paleness and darkened eyes on Juliet in her death scene to reflect her weakness and the tragedy of her death.