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Road to the Oscars: Costume designer Sally Lynn Askins

Posted at 6:04 PM, Feb 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-04 23:58:42-05

WACO, TX — Costume designers will compete for the Oscar this Sunday. The 92nd Academy Awards airs on 25 ABC, February 9th at 7 pm.

On our "Road to the Oscars," 25 News went to Baylor's Theatre Arts Department where costume designer Sally Lynn Askins and a team of rockstars design and produce incredible costumes for the university's productions.

On the second floor, the sounds of sewing machines make every costume come alive.

"When you're sitting out in the house and they all walk out and what you've seen in your mind is right in front of you, it's magic. The magic is part of it and that's what we go for," said Askins.

The work of Sally Lynn Askins has graced stages worldwide, more than 200 productions and counting.

"It's the ultimate fulfillment of playing with dolls and dressing them, and you grow up and you can design the world with the director and design team, and instead of dolls you have people to dress. It's the fulfillment of creating a whole world and a fantasy," said Askins.

It starts with the story, a vision and an incredible amount of research.

"We've decided things like the color palate, the time period, the style, the texture. How are we trying to portray this world? The very reason why we're doing this. The story we want to tell. If there's no story telling, it's juts a parade of costumes. You have to have a story," said Askins.

Sally says art in community is theatre, and with a team, you are able to create something much bigger than you could make on your own.

"If you think of an iceberg with the tip showing. The performance is the top. All the rest is the iceberg under the water because there's that much going on," she said.

Shop manager Erin Torkelson helped organize the thousands of items produced over the years, donating to local theaters and high schools. Designer Sarah Mosher made sustainability of the materials a priority.

"When you go into the arts, it's not just you. You are a custodian of the information and pass it on with what it means to be a human being," said Askins.

Askins also works with a local group called "Therapy Center Stage" which uses arts to impact mental health awareness. For more information on the group, click here.