Timberlake Studios, Inc.
Graham designed the majority of her costumes throughout her career.
Timberlake has been working with the Martha Graham Dance Company since 2013. A number of their costumes were damaged during Hurricane Sandy, and it became apparent that patterns should be made of the oldest costumes so that the design wouldn't be lost.
One of the trickiest pieces of remaking historical costumes is the availability of fabrics. Fabric-making has evolved immensely since the 1950s (date of the oldest extant costumes from Martha Graham) especially in fabrics with some stretch factor. Many of the costumes were originally made by simply taking swaths of fabric and draping them directly on the dancer's bodies, so our task along with the folks at Martha Graham was to find fabric that would drape in a similar fashion, yet still move and accurately reflect Graham's original choreography. Most frustrating, in the ever-changing landscape of NYC's Garment District, we would often find a fabric we liked, make and test the sample, but by the time we went back to get more to make duplicates, that same fabric would no longer exist. Then the whole process must start again. Another challenge was that over the years, many iterations of the costumes have been made and worn, so sometimes it was difficult to determine the most "original" costume to recreate. This was especially true of the Medea dress with all the gold/green trim on the skirt. Each extant version of this costume had a different squiggle pattern and slightly different types of trim! We looked at archival photos to try to best match the original.
Isamu Noguchi, Set Designer