As a theatre practitioner for the last 25 years, Catherine Bradley was interested in addressing the discrepancy between often-idealized costume illustrations, and the actual proportions of each actor’s body. Illustrations frequently use an elongated figure drawing to show the costume off to advantage, in the same way that fashion designers use tall thin models to show their clothing collections. The problem with this practice is that the design shown to the director does not represent the reality of what the costume will look like on a real human being of more normal proportions.
Bradley’s interest in new technologies provided the bridge for this gap. A digital photograph of an actor proved to be the ideal building block on which could be produced an accurately scaled, proportional costume illustration which showed the actor’s true proportions. By using this technique, the costume design can be tested on a scaled illustration which is simple to produce and accurate in detail.