Yekaterina Burmatnova, Fashion Design ’17, Fashion Merchandising Management ’11, won a contest in the fall to design a costume inspired by the circus-themed fourth season of the hit FX show American Horror Story. The 800 submissions were judged by Lou Eyrich, the show’s head costume designer; Stephanie Gibbons, president of marketing and on-air promotions for FX; and designer Christian Siriano.
Burmatnova’s winning ringmaster costume—in black, white, and red, her favorite colors—is encased in a birdcage and embellished with decorative birds. She won $5,000 and got to see her design created by a professional costume fabricator and featured on American Horror Story’s social-media channels.
The sketch was turned into reality by Jennifer Love, whose work has appeared in numerous Broadway shows, including Chicago and On the 20th Century. The dress is red stretch satin, the jacket is textured leather with neoprene sleeves, the belt was made from a metal countertop material, and the cage from metal strips. The hardest part, Love said, was to find the birds, which came from a Halloween decorating website. The entire process took two weeks.
The experience was so positive that Burmatnova is considering it as a potential career path. “I’ve discovered that I love costume,” she says.