On Wednesday, November 8, at GVSU’s Loosemore auditorium in Grand Rapids, Michigan, The Mosaic Film Experience hosted an evening of film screenings and a panel discussion about film, fashion, and art. The night began with a screening of the college finalists from the 2017 Mosaic Mobile competition, a short film competition where high school and college students shot and edited their entire project on a mobile device. The winners of the college category were:

After viewing the films, a panel consisting of LA-based Costume Concept Artist, Phillip Boutte, Jr., Professor of Art History, Suzanne Eberle; Professor of Illustration, Durwin Talon; and Professor of Animation, Julie Goldstein discussed the intersection of film, fashion, and art.

(Illustration by PHillip Boutte, Jr.)

Professor Eberle began the discussion with an overview of fashion history.

“It’s important to remember that there is a reason why people wore different clothes,” said Eberle.

Clothing has social, political, and practical implications that must be examined when analyzing the past.

After Eberle, Professor Durwin Talon talked about character design and conceptualization. He used Alice in Wonderland as an example. Alice’s features that we recognize today (blue dress, blonde hair) are a culmination of decades of character concepts and modeling.

Phillip Boutte, Jr. took to the podium to discuss his career as a costume concept artist. Boutte has worked on films such as The Hunger Games, Black Panther, X-Men, Justice League, and Captain America. Boutte told the audience that he “gets the feel” of a character through personality traits and setting. He stressed that visuals contain much power and are often taken for granted. Boutte also challenges Hollywood by conceptualizing non-white characters into his portfolio, as championing diversity is one of his passions.

Boutte then went on to highlight some of his work for X-Men and Madonna. He said that much of his work revolves around research. For Madonna, Boutte watched 1920s films to get headdress ideas.

By the end of the discussion, the attendees had a thorough understanding of how fashion, film, and art are related as well as how research and innovation are major parts of the creative process.

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