So this is not really a movie costume.. but I thought it was different enough from what other projects I have shared, just to show diversity This outfit starts as a ballet costume, becomes a full blown diva gown c1881 and then is worn under a dressing gown for the title song. All on stage and all changes by cast not crew. And only a handful of seconds each time. There are some notorious stories of the skirt failing as well.
So first of all the big diva costume:
Hamburg, mid 90s:
World Tour (reused Aussie costumes)
So those are my main influences. The bold contrast of the Hamburg and the overall bling factor of the Aussie/World Tour The Aussie version has a sixth tab over the waterfall drapery at the back which kind of makes it my favourite of all It makes the stage change harder but hey, it's super pretty
The dance costume underneath has as much variation. The Aussie and US skirts have soft velvety ropes vs plain cord used elsewhere. So guess what I'm aiming for
This is the side hip of a US costume.
So, someone who saw this exhibit (one of the US tours) said the ropes were in fact tubes of velvet. And in fact were basically rolled strips of velvet as opposed to being sewn in to tubes. This has been confirmed by people in the workshops (sigh, so envious.) I finally lucked in to some stretch velour that is a close match to my velvet already used to make this task even easier.
So finally my work:
Collection of materials. This hoard is a decade in the making. The rope skirt at the top will be replaced as this was made way back when I had no idea what the skirt ropes were made from in the Aussie show. The bodice and faux bodice pieces are centre bottom.
Dance outfit overhaul:
Faux bodice (attaches to the top of the Diva skirt), bodice decorations, decorations on the bodice with old rope skirt. The centre front is made from strung beads in gold. These are heavy and I hadn't made them yet. They are centre right in the photo of the hoard
The bodice decorations are made from two layers of fusible interfacing on the back of a plush velvet. The border is gold cord prich stitched in place. The gold shapes are gold metal organza Heat n Bonded to the velvet. Since then I have sewn bugle beads in a herringbone pattern around the inside edges and couched the outlines in fine gold cord.
To support the heavy drapery, and also allow the onstage change, the underskirt cannot be made of hoops. The gown Carlotta wears, and the Princess and other ladies of the chorus do, but this skirt needs to be put on in a specific way- wrapped from the front. The stage versions do all use tulle as I have but I interpreted the layers a bit.
There is 30m of netting on there. Two layers zigzagged together as a really firm base, shaped in gores with the back seam open. Then short tiers of pleated net sewn to that and two longer layers over that and finally a single layer of net to enclose all the flounces and prevent them catching on the legs or inside of the skirt. The waist and each side of the back opening are sewn as well to again prevent catching.
Overskirt and drapery:
Waterfall drapery, I have a how to plot your own guide on my site: waterfall drapery « mdb- costuming it includes variations on the theme
Old apron drape, but it shows the bodice and faux bodice well.
The tabs that hang from the waist are decorated in almost every way possible! Velveteen circles are Heat n Bonded to the shot green taffeta. Then I used an awl to poke a hole at the bottom of each and threaded some braid into that and hand sewed the trim all around each circle:
Several months/years later of sort of but not really working on them:
Bugle beads covering the gold on the bodice decorations (also cord couched around each shape) and appliques made from the Saree and three piece. The Saree pieces were all fray checked and hand cut then glued to the velveteen. The appliques made from the three piece outfit were Heat n Bonded to the taffeta.
Each tab was machine sewn to a lining and gold ribbon machined around the edges and then trim hand sewn over that.
And most recently I have started sewing the jewels on...
Oh there is way more to go on than that! More appliques to be made as well.
And trialing all the skirt layers to see what I liked:
That brocade is real metal with a shot and warp printed ground but it just is too fine a repeat to really hold its own against all the trim. So I'll stick with the original green skirt and start sewing ribbon to red shot taffeta to make the pleated hem.
Tonight I Heat n Bonded the last of the embroidered pieces of the three piece outfit. You can see the tunic fronts quite well. The waterfall drapery hem was Heat n Bonded too. Using pins and lunch paper to shape and prevent scorching. Still melted some of the plastic beads but I will go over them individually as I hand sew the ribbon on the green side.
Tomorrow I'll be bonding the fill in shapes on the tabs to make them a little more blingtastic.
And I have run out of spaces to post images!