Alum Spotlight -- Q & A with Costume Designer Kendra (Morgan) Raymond
11 May 2020
Kendra (Morgan) Raymond and alum of the Department of Textiles, Merchandising and Fashion Design has found success as a costume designer in the film industry. Kendra recently completed work as the costume designer on the film Rosie (2020).
In 1943 America, factory worker Rose Donnelly must stand up for her female co-workers when their supervisor ignores blatant harassment and refuses to treat them as equals to their male co-workers. The Official Trailer recently debuted.
When you graduated, did you plan on pursuing costume design?
When I graduated from UNL in December of 2013, I had plans to at some point work on getting into costuming for film. I loved the idea of getting to go to the Oscars, and that journey began the following year in February 2014.
What were a few key things you learned in TMFD classes that prepared you for costume design?
Big things that helped were sketching out all of my designs no matter how crazy they may have seemed at the time. There have been plenty of times since graduating that I looked back, revisited, revised and then even made some of my designs that helped me to get where I am now. Never throw any sketches away! Always practice when possible, because sketching is truly one skill that if you don't use it, you will lose it. That happened to me, and it was hard to get back into it again.
Tell us a little about the costume design process you did for Rosie.
The first thing I do when considering a script is a read through to understand the story. Then immediately go back through and make a list of all the characters, any possible clothing changes, or issues I see. After which I meet with the director & producer to go over notes and any questions or concerns. With Rosie, I also made a couple of general mood boards for the men & women of the film at two different points, so four total. We were then all able to communicate what our vision was moving forward and work out any differences of opinion.
From there, after receiving the position, I pulled a costume supervisor onto the team to assist with the ins and outs. We spent months acquiring costumes BEFORE we even had measurements! I NEVER recommend this! The only reason it was necessary is that I was due to give birth not long before filming started and needed things to be in place in case my son decided to come late. That way, my supervisor knew where to go, who to speak with, etc. to pick up the costumes. Luckily he arrived on time, and there wasn't an issue. We received most of our costumes from Lucid Studios, Antique Stores, Amazon, donations, etc...all of our WW2 uniforms are authentic as well and came from eBay.
Overall keeping a cool head when things get stressful or unexpected things to happen is critical. We had a few "how do we fix this?" moments, but we pulled through with great success. Honestly, I wouldn't trade any of it. The whole crew was terrific! They also welcomed having my son on set, which by the way, was 12 days after he was born. So any time I needed to do something, I'd just say "Who wants to be the baby sitter?" and there would be at least three people with their hands up! :)
Are you involved in the development of other films?
I was working on being involved with several other student thesis projects. One was to be the costume designer for a short 6 part TV series for a UCLA student, and the other was to be a Costume Supervisor for an AFI film. Since moving to Nebraska, I have talked with several folks on different film and commercial projects, but nothing concrete right now due to the lasting effects of the pandemic.
Lead actors with the costume designer. Left to right: James Ciskanik, Sarah Youngblood, Kendra Raymond (costume designer), Bethany Walls and Staci Ashley. Photo Credit: Jessica Stewart.
Textiles, Merchandising & Fashion Design
College of Education and Human Sciences