This week we welcome costume designer Elivia Bovenzi, and her collection “The Threads of Lies”. Elivia looked at the theme of lies as seen in the story of Joseph. She created costumes for Joseph, Potiphar, and Potiphar’s wife in response to Genesis 37:3-4, Genesis 39, Genesis 41:37-45. Click on each image to zoom.
From the Artist:
In response to Lies, I chose the very well-known life of Joseph from the book of Genesis. Joseph was a young man that fell prey to the deceitful and wicked ways of others he encountered in his lifetime, from his jealous brothers selling him into slavery and lying to their father that Joseph was killed, to Potiphar’s wife wrongfully accusing him of rape. Joseph was forced to endure slavery, prison, and a world so far and different from his family and loved ones, all because of other people’s lies. Lies can be extremely damaging and can often run so deep, ensnaring those who tell them and affecting many innocent lives. But God used the wickedness of others for his perfect plan, and ultimately for the good of his people and all of Egypt, by placing Joseph in the perfect position at the perfect time. This is such a blessed reminder that God is sovereign and he uses every mistake and every hardship for the betterment of those who love him, even when it is hard to see during troubled times.
To depict the clothing of Joseph and the others, I researched historical images and references to understand what clothing people wore in the past, as well as modern interpretations of fashions that were influenced by the ancient Egyptians. I then blended different elements to create fun and historically accurate costume sketches. I wanted to show Joseph at different stages along his road from working in the fields with his brothers and receiving a colorful and vibrant robe from his father Jacob, to being a servant in the household of Potiphar, and then to being elevated to the position of second in command to Pharaoh in Egypt during the 7 year drought. I found it very fun researching images of Ancient Egypt, a time period I have been eager to explore for some time now. In the profession of costume design , the sketches are only ¼ of the work required for a production and are used as a visual tool for the designer and for the costume shop workers and seamstresses, who will eventually make the clothing on the page into a realized garment to be worn by the actor.
Elivia Bovenzi is currently an MFA candidate in Design at the Yale School of Drama, where she will be completing her third and final year. During her second year she designed costumes for Carol Churchill’s Cloud 9, directed by Margot Bordelon and King Richard 2, an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Richard II, directed by Dustin Wills. Upcoming, she will be designing An Accidental Death of an Anarchist (Chris Bayes, director) a co-production for Yale Repertory Theatre and Berkeley Repertory Theatre. She has also designed costumes for productions at the Yale Cabaret, as well as for Yale College. Previous to her time at Yale, Elivia was the resident costume designer for Russell Sage College in Troy, NY.
This work was curated by Emily Clare Zempel.
Image is copyrighted by the artist and used here by permission.