In Memoriam: Eiko Ishioka

The sad news of the passing of Eiko Ishioka, Japanese art director, stage and  costume designer, was reported worldwide last week. In the past three decades, her costume work became well known when her designs for films such as The Cell (2000), and Bram Stoker’s Dracula (for which she won the Best Costume Oscar in 1992).

Jennifer Lopez in an Eiko costume in The Cell (2000)

Gary Oldman in Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992), wearing one of my favorite film costumes of all time

Eiko’s costume work was not restricted to the screen, and designed the costumes for the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics as well as for The Cirque du Soleil’s Varekai and the current Broadway production of Spider Man Turn Off the Dark.

Eiko's Villain costumes for Spider Man: Turn off the Dark

I was fortunate to have an up-close look at Eiko’s costumes for Spiderman a few weeks ago, when I was treated to a backstage tour of the theatre and wardrobe departments by a friend who works on the show. The costumes for the villains are spectacular – sculptures more than costumes that look as amazing up close and dismantled as they do on stage.

Eiko's costume for Icarus in the Cirque du Soleil's Varekai

With Spiderman running at full force, and the upcoming release of what will be Eiko’s last film, Mirror, Mirror, it is ensured that her work will continue to delight, enchant and inspire fans of excellence in costume design.


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