Characters by Reem El-Adl: Same Names…Different Looks
Before sketching designs for the costumes of any character, costume designer Reem El-Adl makes sure she assembles all the necessary elements so that each outfit effectively communicates the age, social status as well as the financial and dramatic functions of that character and the era of time they belong to.
She doesn’t only do a close reading of the script or a careful analysis of the plot, but she also delves into deep conversations with the writer, actor and director in order to pick up on the necessary details of a character’s lifestyle and daily routine.
She breaks down the character’s history with the actors and together they reach the end result where she finds the best outfit to make the actors completely reunite with their designs.
From a Maid to a Murderer:
Reem El-Adl has been able to highlight three of the most versatile performances by Menna Shalaby.
“Nawara” (2015), a simple girl living in a shabby neighborhood who works for a well-off family, wears a black cloak and the colorful headscarf that distinguished her throughout the whole film.
Catherine from “Wahet El Ghoroub” (2017) whose final look by El-Adl turned Shalaby into this redhead Irish woman, and recently Nour in “F Kol Esbou3 Yom Gom3a“, turning Shalaby into a girl descending from a poor family who later becomes the wife of an autistic wealthy man.
In the drama, Reem could demonstrate the gradual transformation of Nour’s character from a naive poor girl with simple clothes who wants to melt into that new world to Laila who wants to get revenge on everyone.
Sheikh Jackson / Mans:
Marking the first collaboration with Reem El-Adl, Ahmed Malek played the role of a school student in “El- Shawarea El-khalfya” TV series where the events were set during the 1930s.
Soon after, they reunited in several other projects, including “Clash‘, where Malek played the role of Mans. Describing it as her favorite character in the film, Reem El Adl successfully conveyed the character of the young street boy from the backstreets played by Malek.
She could totally hide his innocent features and draw a character with bold features and oxygen-dyed hair, which has been quite challenging for her.
On the other hand, Reem was able to place Malek in the 1990s frame in “Sheikh Jackson” (2017), her most favorite period. Then, once again she was able to feature him as a hip guy from the ghetto in “Leil Kharegi” (2018), then a terrorist in “Al Daif” (2018).
Saber, the Truck Driver:
Reem’s first collaboration with Ahmed Dawood was in 2011 in “El-Shawarea El-khalfya” TV series where the events were set during the 1930s. She also kept track of the different ages demonstrated by Sameh, the character played by Ahmed Dawood, in “Walad w Bent” (2010).
This made the audience feel like they’re watching a flashback of Sameh’s childhood, teenage years, and adulthood. They were able to sense the changes in him as a grown-up rather than as an old man over the years.
Reem El-Adl and Ahmed Dawood worked together again in “Segn El Nesa” TV series. However, this time she managed to turn him into a truck driver marking one of the most popular characters played on the small screen over the past few years.
Reem was smartly able to assemble the distinguished elements of Saber’s character by putting him in practical and poor yet egoistic clothes, oily hair and dirty long nails.
Luxury, Simplicity & Family:
With simple and inexpensive clothes, Reem El-Adl drew the character of Mimi (Shereen Reda) who only looks out for her family’s interest in “Al Daif” film.
On the other hand, Reem put Shereen Reda in Shahendah’s character, the wife of a powerful man who seems to be more fascinated with superficial appearances, even more than her own family. Shahendah’s costumes showcased her characteristic features, especially her snobbery.
A Strong Woman:
Through two different characters played by Nelly Karim, Reem El-Adl set a model of strong women who can face and deal with all the challenges of life. In “Clash“, Nelly played the role of Nagwa, a woman who decides not to leave her husband alone and get into a police truck with him.
She also played the role of Ghalia the warder; the woman who dons the police uniform by day and puts on makeup and feminine clothes by night and ends up as a criminal herself with the typical white outfit of female prisoners in Egypt.