Interview with Dora Luís - Costume Designer for FLOR SEM TEMPO
Dora has been a costume designer for over 20 years. She started her professional career in the textile industry, but soon realized that the television textile industry was directly matching her interests. But what, exactly, does a costume designer do? Dora will explain it to you!
Tell us more about your professional career.
I started by being trained and working in the textile industry, but I soon realized that I would change the textile industry for textiles in the television industry. When I finished the industrial modeling course, I did atelier and closet work for events and advertising. From here the opportunity arose, more than 20 years ago, to be a closet assistant in an Endemol production, where I took my first steps in television, and where curiously, I met a good part of the cast of this project, Flor sem Tempo. I went through Foco, a former RTP production company, and Plural, as a closet assistant. When I was invited to join the SP Televisão team, as a costume designer, right at the beginning, I considered it an irrefusable challenge, which I embrace to this day with great pride, where I think I have grown personally and professionally, by having the privilege of working with so many talents from the most diverse areas.
What exactly does a costume designer do? How long, on average, does it take to prepare your work for a telenovela?
A costume designer, in this case, of a telenovela, designs a look for each character, a closet that is consistent with the script and the artistic vision proposed by the scriptwriter and direction. Taking into account the character's profile, which the author defines (age, profession, lifestyle, emotional characteristics) and after reading and discussing the project (synopsis and first scripts) a research phase begins, which depending on the nature of the project, can be longer or shorter. I would say that, for the projects I have been doing lately, 2 or 3 weeks will be the ideal, although, by default, I am always researching to find the best ideas and meet these criteria. After this mood board is approved, we move on to the realization. Here, usually, and as I already have some experience, between 2 to 4 weeks will be enough. It's time to do tests and talk to the actors, adapt styles and visions, followed by the actual image tests, where we check if we're going in the right direction and what adjustments need to be made. And, finally, we move on to the recordings, where this whole process is multiplied over and over again, on a daily basis, because a telenovela has many actors and episodes and we need to feed these looks with a complete closet, suited to the needs that arise with new scripts and planning requirements.
What new challenges did the telenovela "Flor sem Tempo" brought you?
Each new project brings its own challenge of a new story, environment, cast. It also brings the challenge of always doing more and better. It is always different and has specific demands. There are environments and casts that I know better, others that force me to research more. In this case of Flor Sem Tempo was, without a doubt, the sailing, the novelty for me. Our coordinator, Jorge Queiroga, is passionate about sailing, which made the process much easier. The preparation of this project, in record time, also forced me to be faster and to think of different and more creative solutions and working methods. I have a team that helps me a lot, and with which I have been working for some years, in most of the elements, which makes the whole process easier and also much more fun! Without all these people, none of this would be possible.