I don't think I would call this a high-concept show from my end. My work, as always, starts with the script and the director. Michael pointed the design team towards the works of Monty Python and Black Adder - and though I found a great sense of silliness there, I also found that the costumes did a fair amount of heavy lifting to establish a sense of period. While we are not slavishly devoted to proper historical accuracy (the looks range from late renaissance through georgian- and some are outright fantastical), the overall sensibility is very much that of Dryden's time. As a designer, I wanted to keep some of what I consider key elements of Restoration dress - a feeling of froth and air and lace, that can verge into ostentatiousness. This is particularly evident in the designs for the nobility, but the excesses of the era are toned down for our more sympathetic characters, like Ferdinand. There are also sharp divides between the groups of characters - in contrast to the refinement and excess of the nobility, the sailors and island natives are much more "natural." The magical creatures are deeply connected to their elements, and their costumes have them encrusted with manifestations thereof - Caliban's fish scales and seaweed, or Ariel's delicate feathers. Prospero and his children strike a middle ground between creatures of pure nature and the artificiality of the courtiers, reflecting the freedom and simplicity of the Island (and tempered by a bit of wizard's magic).
[Click on the image below to see more designs for the show by Katherine Garlick]