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Orlando is inspired by the novel by Virginia Woolf, herself a writer who tried to break free of sex and class restraints. Stanley Kauffmann writes in the New republic that the novel was originally written for, and inspired by, Vita Sackville- West, said to be one of Woolf's lovers. It comes out of that pre- Beauvoir time in the earlier 20th century when society regarded women as second class citizens. 

In 1600, nobleman Orlando (Tilda Swinton) inherits his parents house, thanks to Queen Elizabeth I (Quentin Crisp), who commands the young man to never change. After a disastrous affair with Russian princess Sasha ( Charlotte Valandrey), Orlando looks for solace in the arts before being appointed ambassador to Constantinople in 1700, where war is raging. One morning, Orlando is shocked to wake up as a woman and returns home, struggling as female to retain her property as the centuries roll by. 

Character design Process

Our brief was to design the main character Orlando and Another central character from a chosen scene from each act. Each act was a different era in time, ranging from Elizabethan all the way through to Art nouveau. My designs focus on Elizabethan, Baroque, Rococo, Neoclassical and ending on Art nouveau. I focused on historical accuracy when designing each era from makeup to costume to hair.

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