Dorota Kołodyńska, costume designer, reveals the secrets of her team’s work.
“Working on The Pilots is also a great challenge because there are so many costumes. The plot takes place in three countries: Poland, France and the United Kingdom, in many different locales. I have divided the costumes into two basic groups: military uniforms, including—of course—our protagonist pilots, and civilian clothing. I differentiate them between leading characters who must stand out, and more toned-down secondary groups—such as pedestrians and guests at an elegant restaurant in Warsaw, or personas from this period’s world of theatre. There will also be several large group performances, including the climactic scene of the performance of Parisian Moulin Rouge—there will be glamour and feathers! Currently, we are gathering fabrics and holding fittings for all characters. When designing costumes, I try to maintain the historical nature of early 1940s attire—fashion from a period that I particularly like—but I also make them so that the performers can move freely and are able to change clothes quickly. Not only must each detail be carefully planned, but also the entire, immensely complicated logistics of changing clothes needs to be well-orchestrated. Sometimes, a single actor becomes several different characters in subsequent scenes; however, they must remain unidentifiable as an actor for the audience. We have been preparing for several months, but our actions are finally beginning to bear fruit. I have to admit that, despite many difficulties—which are normal for such an enormous project—working on The Pilots is making me exceptionally happy.”