Exaggerated silhouettes, hidden magnets in costumes, delicate paper jackets and a whole lot of pink. The costumes for Cinderella are as whimsical as the production itself.
We paid a quick visit to our Costume Shop to get an inside scoop on how our characters’ rags turn into glitzy (and fashionable) riches. Hear from Jeannique Prospere and Julie Carr-Schafer, our Head of Costumes and Costume Supervisor, on how their team stitched some life into this dazzling production.
What’s the Costume Shop working on right now?
Jeannique: Right now in the workroom, we’re working on several costumes for choristers. We rented the production from Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam and most of those costumes only required simple alterations, but we had to build a few of them ourselves. I’d say about a quarter of them are being made here. Each chorister has two costumes, one made of Tyvek which is a kind of paper, and one made of sheer silk organza.
Did you say paper?
Jeannique: Yes, it’s a similar material to what is used to make FedEx envelopes.
Julie: You could also find it covering the sides of houses or buildings.
That must be fun to work with...
Jeannique: It’s actually, one of the biggest challenges of this production—the materials we’re working with. The paper suits and the silk organza coats are very delicate as you can imagine, which makes it very hard to change or alter the garments.
What happens when you do have to make alterations?
Julie: The Tyvek does behave more or less like regular fabric, but once you perforate it, it becomes harder to work with—it can rip easily even though it’s not as delicate as normal paper. That’s been one of the toughest challenges for sure.
Paper jackets aside, what are some of the other costumes that have been fun to work on?
Julie: Alidoro is definitely one. This whole piece snaps on and off—it rips away sort of like basketball shorts would. It looks like it has six or so layers of clothing to it, but it’s really just one piece that’s been sewn together. It’s got a ton of snaps and magnets in it to keep it together, and then it snaps off to reveal a formal tails costume underneath.
The sisters’ dresses are another. They come out in these completely garish but adorable pink pannier costumes. Panniers go under a skirt to help it keep its shape. Normally, a pannier skirt would not be this short, but since this is the fantasy world of Cinderella, the look is a bit more exaggerated.
That skirt looks like it might be tricky to move around and sing in.
Julie: It can be, which is why it was really important that the performers get used to its shape as early as possible. We gave Erica [Petrocelli] and Gabriela [Flores] rehearsal panniers to work with. That way they got used to the shape and spacing of the garment. It’s not a typical silhouette to deal with.
What are you most excited for audiences to see?
Jeannique: I think the whole color palette is just so much fun. It’s all very bright and joyous, and I’m looking forward to sharing that joy with the audience.
See these colorful costumes live and in-person. Get your tickets for Cinderella here.