Brandon Thompson, center, and Alex Foster laugh while practicing taking measurements during The Art of Costume Design workshop presented by Diana Eden. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)
Brandon Thompson, center, and Alex Foster laugh while practicing taking measurements during The Art of Costume Design workshop presented by Diana Eden. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Alumna and Trustee Brings Costume Design Mentor Diana Eden for Three-Day Workshop

Nov. 21, 2016
Kristen Oliver

Costume designer and Emmy Award nominee Diana Eden brought her decades of talent and experience in the costume industry to Brenau University for a three-day workshop.

The event, titled Diana Eden: The Art of Costume Design, included three days of master classes that began Sunday, Nov. 20 and continued through Tuesday, Nov. 22. The class had approximately 40 participants and included seminars that touched on every detail of costume design, from research and sketching to shopping and renting, ageing, dyeing and fitting.

Eden is an award-winning Hollywood and Las Vegas costume designer for stage, television and film. Born in Tunbridge Wells, England, and raised in Toronto, Canada, Eden began her career in the U.S. as a dancer and actress. After years on stage, her career moved behind the curtain and evolved into costume design when she was in her mid-30s. She now comes to Brenau with her friend and mentee, Antonina Grib Lerch, a 2003 Brenau University Women’s College graduate.

Lerch, now a member of the Brenau University Board of Trustees, came to the U.S. from Belarus. She played tennis at Brenau and is the only collegian in history to be a three-time national champion in women’s singles play. After graduation, however, she hung up her racket and used her fashion merchandising major and a master’s of fine arts from University of Georgia to begin a successful career as a costumer to the stars, working with and learning from experts like Eden.

“I would have never thought we would be here together,” Lerch said. “It’s amazing. It’s been exactly 10 years since we first met, and this trip is actually very important to me in that it marks our 10-year anniversary of knowing each other. She’s been such a marvelous role model, mentor and friend. She is extremely supportive and very humble as a person, which is rare combined with her brilliance at work.”

Diana Eden: The Art of Costume Design was held in the John S. Burd Center for the Performing Arts Disque Lecture Hall and discussed a variety of subjects, including the difference between designing for theater and film, the skills and technology involved in costume design, as well as how to break into the film industry as a costumer, or someone who makes costumes for specific actors in a production.

Eden said her objective was to give the students an overview of what it is like to work in film, particularly considering Georgia’s increasingly robust film industry. These students already have “excellent theater training,” she said, but designing for film and working on a film set differ greatly. She expressed her gratitude to Lerch and all the Brenau Theatre Department faculty members who helped make the program a success.

“She’s an amazing person,” Lerch said of Eden. “I think it’s wonderful she was able to take time off and spend three days here.”

General inquiries: info@brenau.edu, (770) 534-6299 or (800) 252-5119 | Admissions: admissions@brenau.edu, (770) 534-6100 or (800) 252-5119 ext. 6100