Panelists: Chuck Coshow (moderator), Mary Miller, Shai Mohammed, Val Villareal
Description in the program book: It’s light on one side and dark on the other and holds the universe together. Now you can use it to hold your costume together. Our team of guerilla costumers show tricks and techniques for non-sewn costumes using duct tape.
Duct tape is the unsung hero of costuming. The panelists could not praise its versatility high enough. It comes in a variety of surface colors and textures, and you can make all sorts of costume parts out of it. It is also infinitely repairable. To repair a tear, simply tape another piece over it. The panelists demonstrated some basic costume parts you can make with duct tape. For example, in the picture below, on the table in front of Shai, is a boot, completely covered with shiny red duct tape. (The boot is reclaimable: the tape can be peeled off and the boot restored to its original condition.)
The horns Val is wearing are made mostly out of duct tape. The tape is wrapped around the frame that was made, if I recall, of cardboard tubes from used-up paper towel rolls.
In the course of the panel Chuck and Val made a simple mask. Chuck cut the mask out of a paper towel and covered one of its sides with strips of green and black tape.
Then Val made a two-sided headband out of tape and attached it to the sides of Chuck’s mask.
The paper towel backing is a good thing not just because you don’t want the tape to stick to your skin, but also because the towel provides an absorbent (albeit minimally) layer. And this brings us to the an oft-emphasized advice. The wearer should keep in mind that duct tape does not breathe. He or she will be sweating like hell under all that tape. It is imperative to wear absorbent garments underneath, unless, quoth the panelist Mary Miller, your character is a slug and is supposed to drip-drip-drip across the stage.