The directors' desires for the costumes were the following: evocative of the ancient Rome setting, representative of the actor's vision of his or her character, and symbolically colorful in signifying the various factions at work throughout the play.
Lavinia, for example, is the ingenue of the production. She is a young, well-born lady who is engaged to the elder son of the old emperor. Due to Tamora's revenge, Lavinia is raped and has her hands and tongue severed. As a result of this sudden, violent change, Lavinia had two similar but distinct costumes; the first for prior to the rape scene, the second for the rest of the play. The base design had a simple bodice and full, knee-length skirt, with little fluttery sleeves. In the text, Lavinia is referred to as a 'doe' several times, and so her representative motif was a deer. The other motif we gave her was a morning glory, given that flowers are often associated with maidens and maidenhood, and the heart-shaped leaves of the flower resemble deer hoofprints.
In the 'good' version of the dress, the morning glories ringing the hem of the skirt are all blooming and healthy, while the deer are happy and frolicking. The "bad" version had wilted flowers, wounded deer, dirt and rips, and ended the run covered in fake blood.