October Circus Smart Speaker Series – Sparkles or Simplicity? Circus Costume Aesthetics, Function, & History
Posted on September 20, 2023
OCTOBER 29 10AM PACIFIC
Join us for this exciting talk from circus costume design scholar Jenny Leigh Du Puis!
The worn objects of circus tell a story to the viewing audience both in conjunction with and separately from the performance movement. The aesthetics of an artist’s costumed body convey symbolic and literal meanings, and are informed by factors like culture, movement, music, history, and personality.
Come to the talk with questions to ask live (or drop them in advance and catch the recording)! In her talk circus costume design scholar Jenny Leigh will:
interpret the histories of selected circus costume pieces from collections across the US
delve into common themes and trends over time
explore the give-and-take relationship of circus costume with the world of fashion
** RECORDING AVAILABLE ** for one week afterwards
What are the stories behind the garments, and how does the circus body translate the costume into moving art?
How do circus costumes balance aesthetics with safety?
What can we learn from historical circus looks?
AND WHAT IS CLOWNCORE?!
Jenny Leigh Du Puis is an Assistant Professor of Product Development and Fashion Design in the Department of Fashion Studies at Columbia College Chicago. Her design research examines safety, function, and aesthetics in the past and present history of circus attire. As a circus costume designer and technician, Jenny Leigh has worked with such organizations and productions as Circus Culture, Circus Juventas, Circus Couture, Cirque Us, Sunset Circus, Circus Smirkus, and Cirque du Soleil’s KÀ, along with freelance clients and philanthropy events. Her designs have been featured in numerous physical and digital publications, and she has acted as costume technician for documentaries and feature films. Jenny Leigh’s academic experience includes a Bachelor of Science in Fashion Design & Production from Lasell University, a Master’s of Science in Consumer and Design Sciences from Auburn University, and she is a PhD Candidate in Apparel Design at Cornell University. She has published in peer-reviewed journals on topics such as children’s face mask fit and function and exhibition curation, presented at conferences and symposia, acted as guest lecturer and visiting artist, and developed exhibitions devoted to the study of circus costume.