Costume Design by Kathryn Sutcliffe

 Fantastic conceptual image created by Kathryn Sutcliffe.


Costume Design by Kathryn Sutcliffe


Kathryn Sutcliffe has recently graduated from the Performance Costume course at the Edinburgh College of Art and for her degree show work created these fantastic designs for film inspired by the fantasy novel The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch.  The book itself is about a gang of thieves that attempt to pull off the latest in a long line of increasingly elaborate cons on wealthy nobles when they are interrupted by a mysterious and murderous character who is seeking revenge in the criminal underworld.


The narrative of this book has a distinctive contemporary feel however it does have strong historical references which led Sutcliffe to study 16th and 17th Century clothing as a starting point to her research.  What’s great about Sutcliffe work is that she studied current fashions trends as well as historical trends to create a unique blend of costumes for the characters in the novel which included people from all levels of society.


The Falconer Costume. eca fashion show 2012
(photo by Jim McMillen)


Kathryn has experimented with fabrics and textiles to create three dimensional textures and surfaces. In each costume she tried to bring subtle elements of the characters personality or occupation – their costume gives an indication of who they are! The Falconers coat has fabric sewn into the feathery panels and flaring shapes which indicate a birdlike quality.  From the images the detail in these designs is staggering, clearly a lot of patience was needed to design and make a costume with so many fine details!


 The Falconer Costume. Detail.

The Falconer Costume has a medieval look to it with its overlaying textures and tones contrasted with the hard flat surfaces of the metal.


Another great conceptual image created by Kathryn Sutcliffe.


The character in the above image is Dona Sofia, an ‘alchemical botanist’. Her work and the novel’s contextual environment have been blended in the design, with natural plant forms tied in with the city’s futuristic and mysterious glowing glass architecture, lunar surfaces, the marbled appearance of mixed oils and reflections on water.


 Dona Sofia ‘alchemical botanist’

The different design elements create a costume that is elegant, mystical and mysterious looking.

 Dona Sofia alchemical botanist.  Details.

Kathryn Sutcliffe is a fantastic designer and maker.  She is clearly dedicated as can be seen from the attention to detail in her designs and making skills, see the text below for an insight into her designer enthusiasm!

My favourite part of the designing and making process is thinking about all the small details that really help to bring out the personality of a character. Designing for film, a medium in which every small thing is seen in high definition meant that I could indulge this and spend time hunting down the perfect finishing touches and developing textiles for my costumes. Nothing compares to the excitement of seeing a finished product coming together as you’ve imagined it in your head.  – Kathryn Sutcliffe.


A nice statement from a talented and enthusiastic designer!  For more information about Kathryn check out her website.


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