Director Jerrold Tarog brings another Filipino hero to the silver screen, following his film adaptation of Gen. Antonio Luna's life. Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral puts the spotlight on the country's youngest general, Gen. Gregorio Del Pilar, played by Paulo Avelino.
Working on a historical film does not only entail perfecting the cast, the script, and the cinematography. The authenticity of the period film is also heavily anchored on the costume department. Steve Salvador, Goyo's costume designer tells Preview that he perused "an abundance of period photos from the internet which we referenced for the looks. In addition, I used Jose Moreno's History of Philippine Costumes and Gino Gonzales' Fashionable Filipinas as our primary reference." To recreate the garments of the past, Steve "adamantly avoided modern fashion references." Ultimately, his goal was "to create the most historically 'correct' looks as much as possible."
Below, we talk more with Steve as he recounts his experience making the film's costumes.
What was it like working with the cast?
"It was a wonderfully fulfilling experience working with the cast of Goyo. The ensemble was comprised of the best artists of the industry. It was an honor on my part to have been invited to do their costumes."
How did you start creating the costumes for the cast?
"As early as January 2018, I started studying the script and created costume studies for each character of the movie. Actors were measured as soon as the production staff finalized the casting. Costume production began by February 2018 as soon as the designs were approved."
What was your mood board like?
"Our mood board was in sepia tones. One of the challenges was to create a color palette since most of the reference photos were either sepia or in black and white."
How did you go about dressing the main women cast? How about for the female cameos?
"The female cast members trusted me with their designs and never did I hear anyone complain no matter how cumbersome their clothes were. Once dressed and styled, they were all up to it until the end of the shoot."
How did you create Goyo's costume to stand out above the others?
"Goyo's costumes were copied from old photos of the general himself. We used the young general's photos as reference."
How long did it take for everyone's costume to be finished? Did you work with a local designer?
"From the time we started sourcing materials, each costume required at least three weeks before the initial fitting. All of the costumes were custom-made for the actors. We provided everything from accessories like jewelry, fans, handkerchiefs, gold-laden slippers, etc. All of the costumes were made by the Goyo costume department with the help of some local craftsmen."
How did you choose the fabrics to be used?
"Most of the costume materials that we utilized were made from natural fibers which were abundant during the period (cotton, linen, jusi, sinamay, etc). I used silk and brocade for some of Ilustrados' costumes to show a certain degree of opulence. For the American soldiers, the main material for their uniform was wool."
What's the biggest challenge when making costumes for a local period film?
"Initially, I thought that the real challenge was creating authentic costumes. As we started making them, it dawned upon us that other than being authentic, it needed to look good on the screen. We worked hard to achieve the latter without compromising the original challenge."