Babylon 5 Fan Club Weekly Chat Transcripts  

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Thursday May 21, 1998 chat with Ann Bruice Aling and Kim Holly

Moderator {public msg} Good evening we have here on stage Ann Bruice Aling ,costume designer and Kim holly Costume Supevisor

the Drakhtor {question presented} Kim, what is zerka fabric?

ann_bruice_aling {public msg} should i know that?

Reschell {question presented} Do you rely strictly on pro fabric sources, or do you ever run into a bolt out in the regular world that you just have to grab up for costume use?

Kim_Holly {public msg} Well, its a fine Minbari fabric used in the smallest amounts in the black uniforms

ann_bruice_aling {public msg} we shop everywhere.  we shop at fabric stores where the general public shops

ann_bruice_aling {public msg} sometime we have to special order fabric.  we had to special order the teal uniform fabric.

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} there are some speciality latex work we've had to have done.

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} g

 Reschell {question presented} When you're costume-concepting, does the creator indicate how fluid/rigid a costume is supposed to be according to the civilization to which it belongs?

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} ga

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} joe initially had a lot to say in terms of the background and the historical perspective of the majoralien races

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} so i knew if they were a peaceful people or a warring peoplle, cold climate etc.

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} and then i would interpret what kind of sensibility that called for.

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} and of course joe has the final say on everything....

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} gaa

 Callista {question presented} The Centauri outfits seem to resemble French Revolution Era. Was that the way it was planned or did the designs just resemble them by coincidence?

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} They were definitely meant to be Imperialistic and Pre-Napoleonic but  I'm sure I considered a lot of things from that period of time...British, European.

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} I took familiar silhouettes and made them our own.    ga

 Ivanava {question presented} Can you share with us what fabrics were used to make Delen's green and brown costume??

 Kim_Holly {public msg} The tabbard is silk and the bodysuit is a very stretchy shiny lycra

 Kim_Holly {public msg} ga

 Kaz {question presented} For a new race, how many costumes do you prepare for Joe to chose from? and who gets to model them :)

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} I generally do 1-2 variations after talking with Joe.  after the 2nd and 3rd season we were on the same wavelength

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} so it required less repetitive sketching although the new uniforms which were really important, I worked on for quite a while until we honed in on them.

 Jen12 {question presented} Can you tell us anything about the uniforms that we are going to see on Crusade?  Are they going to be something familiar, like the EarthForce, Army of Light, or Ranger uniforms; or something completely different?

 Kim_Holly {public msg} Completely different

 Kim_Holly {public msg} ga

 The_Doctor {question presented} Which has been the most challenging outfit for you to create and were you satisfied with how it turned out?

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} it always seems like the one you're owrking on

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} i would think that g'kar wardrobe was because of the complexityat the moment is the most challenging.

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} and the centauri women guest that came through were difficult to fit.

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} our most challenging were the teal uniforms by way of fit.

 Ivanava {question presented} Ann - Can you share with us how you came up with the idea for the uniform stat bars...and what they are made of.  Do you create them "in-house" ???

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} they're not made in house.  we have a wonderful metal person who

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} the brass shape just seemed to fit the sharp angle look we were going for.oes them for us.

 Kaz {question presented} Have you ever had an actor who was allergic to his costume and had to rework it?

 Kim_Holly {public msg} Just recently in "Call to Arms"  an actor couldn't wear a wool cape so we had to  change it.  ga

 Bub_Ramone {question presented} when creating the Narn armor, what made you decide upon the green shine for G'Kar and the padded neck armor for warriors

ann_bruice_aling {public msg} that was such a long time ago i've forgotten.

 Mr. Morden {question presented} How much work went into the PsiCorp uniforms? Especially such costumes as Talia and Lyta?  They looked very original so how long did it take to get them down perfect?

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} we worked diligently on those...probably more talia's things

ann_bruice_aling {public msg} her suits were all very couture looking...definitely designed and were fit within an inch of their life.

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} andrea wore them very well.  pat actually evolved into a little racier look which requires less work becasue it's less courtre.

 Reschell {question presented} Since both B5 and Crusade are set in the future, do you ever wish that you could have access to future fabrics, at least for the effect (spandex malleability with the color/sheen of silk, for example), or do you find current fabrics adequate for the effect you want?

 Kim_Holly {public msg} Ann says we use largely silk and wool and leather

 Kim_Holly {public msg} mostly natural fibres and for the look of this show that is quite suitibale ffor our historical  look.  I just favor naural fibres.  ga

 Bub_Ramone {question presented} we always hear how long makeup takes to be applied.  What costume takes the longest to put on for cast members?

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} g'kar

 Doctor Rock {question presented} I have heard popular rumor that the most beautifull women in hollywood are not on the screen but in makeup and in costume behind the scenes, so is this true

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} of course!

 Kim_Holly {public msg} No doubt! Of Course!

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} without question.

 Pelianth {question presented} How hard do you find designing new costumes, is it easier or harder to create something toatlly different from what you've already done?

 Reschell {question presented} The Centauri, Narn and Minbari costumes seem to be so beautifully detailed -- do you ever have costume designs where some of the beautiful details have be eliminated because of budget constraints?

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} that's  my job...that's why they pay me.

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} actually not that often!  the garments that are designed, what i put on paper we're able to do.

ann_bruice_aling {public msg} we cut corners on the contemporary civilian looks.

 Medlab {question presented} Of all the items you have made, if you could go back and 'spare no expense,' which would you most like to 're-do' and why?  How would it be different?

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} i think that it would be the security look.....

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} the featured aliens i feel we spared no expense.

 Kaz {question presented} How many extra costumes do you make, for scenes that are rough and might require a change of clothing?

 Kim_Holly {public msg} Most of the principles have three changes

 Kim_Holly {public msg} One on set, one for stunt double, and one standing by

 Kim_Holly {public msg} for those coffee spi

 Reschell {question presented} Is one of the special skills of a costume designer learning how to "see" how a fabric will look under lights when you're looking at in normal circumstances?

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} yes.

 Kaz {question presented} Do you ever buy off the rack and if so how much alteration do you do on them?

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} we buy alot off the rack.  almost all contemporary civilian looks are off the rack and then tweaked.

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} we take lapels off men jackets and collar off the shirts.

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} rearranged closures so they're more interest

 Morin {question presented} Do you machine or hand embroider details like the scrolling on Centauri coats, or do you use mostly trim and pre-made patches?

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} i think the coats you're referring too are rental jackets so we did not hand embroider.

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} but someone did...probably in the 30's.

 Bub_Ramone {question presented} what clothing designer do you respect the most and what b5 fashions would you like to see on the runways of Paris?

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} deleen's things and some of the minbari looks are quite interesting and could be a hit.

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} i'm not influenced by fashion, i'm interested in costume history...

 Reschell {question presented} How large a support staff do you have?

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} kim.

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} kim is it.

 Kim_Holly {public msg} I have three on set and three shopping and prepping for the next day

 JoanDarc {question presented} Seeing there is talk of doing semi-regular movies..How soon in advance are you told of these, so you have time to prepare them and how long do they usually take to make?

Kim_Holly {public msg} There is never enough time!

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} we get a script several weeks in advance but we're al

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} ays rushing.

 K57 {question presented} What's the heaviest costume?

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} king arther and kosh

 The_Doctor {question presented} Does Londo only have the two coats, or does he have a green one stashed away somewhere?  :)

 Kim_Holly {public msg} not in our closet!

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} unless it's at home somewhere.  he does have a white emperors coat though.

 Medlab {question presented} Which of your creations do you consider to be your 'finest work?'  Which do you consider your least successful?  Why?

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} my sone michael.  self-explanatory.

 mfarah {question presented} What about alien *footwear*?

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} make that son.

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} a lot of it we try to make quiet and go away.  a lot of black soft wrestling boots. and dance boots.

 Reschell {question presented} What do you do to "distress" costumes for Downbelow residents?

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} sand them, dip them in dye baths, paint on them, bleach them, put stage blood on them.

 Mr. Morden {question presented} Could you share with us what fabrics were used to make Mr. Morden's brown suits such as the one from "Into the Fire" and the well known ISN suits worn by the reporters?

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} they were off the rack wool

 Kaz {question presented} Have you ever had a costume rejected by Joe and then later used by another race?

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} blends.

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} nope.

 The_Doctor {question presented} Do guest actors compliment you on how well the outfits help them with creating their characters?

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} often.  michael york and majel barrett, wayne alexander...they've all commented.

 Reschell {question presented} A lot of the B5 people seem to have stage backgrounds.  If you do, what's the main difference you find between costuming for the stage and costuming for a TV series?

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} i do have a theater background.

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} my background lends itself to this project.

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} you can't compare this project to other tv series.

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} it's like doing eclectic theater.

 Jen12 {question presented} What advice do you have to give for aspiring costume designers?

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} work hard!

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} to observe and not to burn bridges and be willing to do any project for anyone to learn.

 Satai_Leo {question presented} Did you create Kosh's encounter suites...or was that left up to the special effects dept?

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} we only deal with the outer drapy robes.

 Medlab {question presented} How will 'Crusade' expand on and benefit from your previous works?  If you could have things 'your way', what would you most like to see done in "Crusades?'

ann_bruice_aling {public msg} i can't answer that question yet.

 Reschell {question presented} Which costume would you, yourself, most like to wear (in terms of look, not comfort)?

ann_bruice_aling {public msg} i would like to try one of the centauri lady costumes.  one of londo's wives costumes.

 K57 {question presented} Have you ever had a costume emergency?

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} only about every half hour!

 Bub_Ramone {question presented} I'm creating a Narn costume in the coming weeks similar to Ta'Lon's .  What is the best fabric to use for their uniform

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} the breast plate was made out of padded ostrich leather .  over a black cotton jumpsuit.

 Bub_Ramone {question presented} do you watch the show on tv to see how your products appear to the rest of the world?

Kim_Holly {public msg} Yes, I do!

ann_bruice_aling {public msg} yes! and we watch dailies

 the Drakhtor {question presented} Ann, is there one costume that you were particularly pleased with in the way it developed from rendering to final result?

 Moderator {public msg} We have time for one or two more questions

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} i'm proud of a lot of them...lorien would be one of them.

Bub_Ramone {question presented} have you been approached by fans requesting outfits to be made?

Kim_Holly {public msg} Yes, they write us all the time for patterns anf fabrics but not to actually make them for them.

 JoanDarc {question presented} Considering you have such a small staff, I have to give you my utmost respect for the great job you do on the designs, my question is How long have each of you been doing this for, and what previous shows have you done if any?

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} most of us have come from many years of theater.  this is my only tv show.

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} i've done a few films.

 Reschell {question presented} Just want to express gratitude to the costumers doing "chat-duty" tonight.  It's a rare, rare opportunity to get this kind of viewpoint.

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} thank you !  we're enjoying it too!

 Kim_Holly {public msg} II've been inthe business for over 15 years but much of our staff it quite young  and  less experienced except for some theatre

 Medlab {question presented} Which costumes present the 'greatest challenge?'  Were you ever confronted with a 'piece' you just couldn't do?

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} i feel the least satisfied with the was an interesting design that got bulky and cumbersome.

 Callista {question presented} Where did you come up witl Loriens Headpiece?

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} optic nerve did that one.

 Moderator {public msg} this will be the last question

 Reschell {question presented} Is there any kind of costume that you're eager to make that has not yet come up in the B5 universe?

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} you never know until it's presented to you!

 Moderator {public msg} Thank you very nuch for comming tonight

 ann_bruice_aling {public msg} thanks everyone we had a great time!

 Moderator {public msg} Keep an eye out for the posting of next weeks guest


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