Sunday, June 5, 2016

Camouflage Theatrical Costumes | Lera Nekhaeva

Costume designs for Gogol's "The Nose" © Lera Nekhaeva
Above About eight years ago, I was fortunate to work with a young, talented design student from Russia, named Lera Nekhaeva. At the time, I was researching camouflage (of course), and preparing a book titled Camoupedia: A Compendium of Research on Art, Architecture and Camouflage (2009). Before studying in the US, Lera had also studied theatrical design, and costume design specifically. When she showed me her sketches (see above) for a suite of striped costumes for a stage interpretation (never actually produced) of Nikolai Gogol's "The Nose," we were both delighted by the resemblance of her costumes to World War I British ship camouflage or dazzle-painting. But, as I recall, a more direct influence for her were the striped sentry stations (see image below) that are used in Russia and other countries. I don't think I had seen one then. Later, I published her costume designs in my book.

WWI striped guard house or sentry station