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Crafting the Fabric of Nightmares


Shawna Trpcic (’88) was no stranger to creating signature character looks for television and movies. Her studies in Costume Design at Otis set her on a path all the way to Hollywood—on set of the award-winning film Cabin in the Woods.

Shawna was given the challenging task of creating signifiers through detailed costumes, which support the story and vision of what would be the ultimate tribute to horror movies. Her understanding of iconic period fashion became essential, as was her ability to sketch her ideas on the fly when what started with 40 monsters quickly multiplied into costume needs for over 250 monsters.

Leading a large team, Shawna oversaw the costume creation for all 250+ monsters, each one crafted with care, love and detail. She gave the look to now memorable and fan-favorite monsters and characters, referencing iconic horror villains and fabricating entirely new ones, often with only a brief written description to go off of.

After acquiring a solid fine arts foundation and serious drafting technique at Otis, Shawna pursued her dream of making fine art for the body, a creative expression with many moving parts.

At Otis, you learn real world skills to articulate your vision, and to conquer any number of villains that come your way.

“Otis is incredibly rigorous, there are no compromises and they expect 3000 percent, and I think those are all very good things. They don’t let you be average.” —Shawna Trpcic

Learn more about Fashion Design and Costume Design at Otis