Meet Ron Leamon: Professional Costume Designer

 
by Kim Merrikin, Seattle Goodwill
October 23, 2014
 

Ron Leamon is a local costume designer with over 30 years of experience in films, television, commercials, and live events. His work has been showcased at MOHAI and the Festival International Cinéma Costumes et Mode in Paris which celebrates costume design in film. He has designed costumes for actors like Alan Arkin, James Earl Jones, David Lynch, Dolly Parton, and Parker Posey. Leamon’s works have showcased Seattle and the great Northwest in feature films, and he’s an active participant and leading advocate in the northwest film industry—and he was kind enough to answer a few costume questions for us:

 

What is your favorite aspect of creating a new wardrobe or costume for someone?
The collaboration between the talent/client and the concept/character.

What are some projects you’ve worked on? Which was your favorite?
Most recently, I designed, “LAGGIES,” a movie filmed in Seattle starring Kiera Knightley and directed by Lynn Shelton. Other films and television shows include Stephen King’s Rose Red, Under one Roof, the pilot of Twin Peaks, Past Midnight, The Architect, Switchmas (Ira Finklestein’s Christmas), Grassroots, Man Choo (Late Autumn). One of my favorite was an early one called, “The Feud.” It was very 50’s /60’s stylized and had an amazing cast which became noted names in film.

Do you ever rely on Goodwill and thrift stores for pieces to costumes?
Oh yes, many times. Especially when we are looking for worn or retro look. What great resources to “treasure hunt” for that perfect garment!

How do you celebrate Halloween? What is your favorite aspect of the holiday?
My partner and I love to decorate the inside house with our Halloween villages. My favorite aspect is the costume parties, of course.

Do you plan on creating a costume for yourself? If so, can you share what it’ll be?
My costume is always last minute, since we are always working on Halloween. I love Liberace.

What aspects of costume creation do you think people spend too much time on?
I think sometimes too much attention is spent on makeup and not enough on detail. Accessorize, that always helps. I remember the first time I saw Tippi Hendren  “The Birds” costume at a party. It was original. It was detailed down to her pearls, handbag, gloves and hair style. Not to mention the birds sewn on pecking at her clothing.

What part of a Halloween costume would you say is most important?
Conveying the character/story – whom or what you are.  Pay attention to color and details.

What advice can you offer to the novice costume maker as they hit the thrift stores?
Have a reference of what you are trying to accomplish. Set a budget. You know what your skill level is with regards to craft and sewing. And, most important, have fun!

What are some of your favorite Halloween costumes you’ve had?
I made a friend Endora of Bewitched.  I made myself a hotpant Liberace sequined costume with boots and cape.

What trends do you think we’ll see unfold in Halloween costumes this year?
Ice bucket challenge, Hunger Games, a continuation of zombies, Frozen, LEGO, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

For more Halloween costume ideas and to enter our 5th Annual Costume Contest, please go to www.seattlegoodwill.org/halloween.


 

Kim fancies herself a professional communicator. She has experience in writing, graphic design, and social media, and is always looking to expand her knowledge base into other fields of communication. She loves people, coffee & Seattle (including the rain).

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