"Throughout history, popular fashion has been intrinsically tied to the socio-political atmosphere of the times. In the theatre or film, historic detail is often taken into account, but sometimes historical accuracy will be overlooked in favor of artistic or symbolic details. I applied to the University Scholars program because I wanted the chance to explore how crucial film and costume design can be in shaping an audience’s perception of a literary text. Pride and Prejudice is particularly open to visual interpretation because of Austen’s lack of illustrative details concerning setting and appearance. Because I am considering a career in costume and textile conservation, this is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about early 19th century fashion through my research. One of my main goals for the academic year is to submit my final paper to a few historic costume publications. I also plan to submit my paper to the Costume Society of America for consideration to be presented at their national symposium."
Costume and textile history, theatrical adaptation of literary texts for the stage/screen.
Academic and Other Awards
- University Scholars Program Scholarship (2011-2012)
- Florida Bright Futures
- Dean's List (2010-2011)
- Richard and Christopher Edward Adler Scholarship (2010)
- Phi Kappa Phi
- Close-Knit Gators
Hobbies and Interests
- Writing, photography, cooking, sewing, knitting, theatre, and watching baseball and soccer.
Creating a Romantic Landscape: Costume Design and the Modern Romanticization of Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen is often regarded as one of the first “modern” romance writers, and Pride and Prejudice is widely accepted as one of the great literary romance novels in Western canon. However, the novel is also a critique of England’s rigid social structure and its affects on daily life. The advent of cinema and numerous film adaptations of Austen’s novels have drastically influenced how her works are perceived. Pride and Prejudice has been adapted many times; the visual elements of each adaptation, such as set and costume design, run the gamut from paying particular attention to historical accuracy, to merely establishing a generalized landscape. I propose that the interpretation of period costume design within the Robert Z. Leonard (1940), Simon Langton (1995) and Joe Wright (2005) film adaptations of Pride and Prejudice has played a significant role in creating a modern romantic interpretation of Jane Austen’s satiric social commentary. As part of the research process, I will study the fashion of the Directoire period, and examine how the historical accuracy of each film’s costume design influences the films’ treatment of Austen’s novel. I also plan to visit an historic costume collection, to familiarize myself with extant garments from the Directoire period. Another interesting source material I plan to use is Austen’s personal letters. An additional reference point for the historic costumes of the era, Austen wrote in detail about the various fashions she encountered. Additionally, I have been in contact with a Jane Austen scholar and hope to discuss my research with her in order to gain another perspective on the topic. I hope my research will highlight how important visual design elements, specifically costume design, can be in shaping modern perceptions of a classic novel such as Pride and Prejudice.