by Arnie Fenner

Part of creating memorable fantastic art has to do with designing costumes for the characters that will seem both “right” for the story and unique. A shirt is a shirt, armor is armor, a crown is a crown, without the artist’s contribution, without their vision.

So it’s with sadness that I note the passing January 21 of Eiko Ishioka at the age of 73 from pancreatic cancer. A designer of everything from album covers to set designs for stage plays to costumes for Cirque du Solil and a host of Hollywood films, Ms Ishioka’s style was instantly identifiable. Her work on The Cell was appropriately surreal and eerie while her recent designs for the Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark Broadway production were a definite highlight. Eiko received the Oscar in 1992 for her stunning costumes for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Director Francis Ford Coppola collaborated with her on a gorgeous book of her designs for the movie that can be ridiculously difficult to find in the collector’s market.

Blending a heightened sense of the dramatic with an arresting color balance, Eiko Ishioka’s work was inspiring and influential, particularly in our field. She will be missed.