Costume Design

Costume Designer Fabio Toblini

Note: This interview originally ran in the Bell, Book & Candle Stagenotes. Fabio Toblini designed costumes for both shows.





At what age did you discover your talent as an artist?
well.... I remember making clothes for my sister's doll when I was still in kindergarden... Although I don't remember realizing I was an artist.

How did you learn to sketch so beautifully?  Is this a natural gift? 
No, definitely not a natural gift. I tried again and again to learn the skill. I actually don't think I can draw that beautifully, but thank you.

Who or what inspired you to become a designer?
I don't want to sound too cliché, but it was definitely my mother.

What was the first show you designed costumes for?
Henry Purcell's "A Fairy Queen". It was a production of the baroque opera at the school where I studied  voice and had a part in it myself.

What do you find most difficult about creating costume designs?
I can't pin point one thing as the most difficult. Every show is it's own living thing with it's own set of challenges.

How do you usually begin the design process?
By reading the play and/or listening to the music.

What was the most fun show to design costumes for?
The Nutcracker!!!

What was the hardest show to design costumes for?
The one with the lowest budget

You design costumes for dance, opera, theatre, and musicals.  Is there one area you enjoy designing costumes for most?

not really, I like them all. It really depends on the piece and on the director.

What do you like most about the costumes in Bell, Book and Candle?
I think these costumes describe quite deeply the characters and their emotional arc throughout the story. That's what I find most successful about these clothes. 

How did you come up with the designs for the Bell, Book and Candle costumes?
By discussing the characters' personalities with Darko while looking at 1950's research pictures.

You are also designing the costumes for The Tempest.  What inspired your designs for this play?
Darko's concept and neoclassicism.

How has your experience been working with Hartford Stage?
So far so good.  The shop is very together and full of kind and talented people.

What would be your dream show to work on?
That's a tough one to answer. I love to design new shows and be the first designer to give an image to new born characters

Do you have other talents or passions outside of art and costume design?
Hmmm... my closest friends tell me I am an epicurean hedonist...

What would you be doing if you weren’t a costume designer?
That's kind of impossible to answer. When I chose to be a costume designer the other options were psychotherapy and architecture.

What piece of work are you most proud of?
The latest.