I love both of these costumes. The butler's outfit is all in blue tones. As his name is de la Rivière (river). I was especially proud with my fabric find for his jacket as it closely resembles something worn by the character of King Louis in Sacha Guitry's movie Si Paris nous était conté (1956). As for the Arabian salesman, I was once again influenced by fabric. He wears a very square shaped coat (with hidden pockets for all the stuff he has to sell), a white belted tunic and a fez hat (which I made myself, although not in the traditional manner).
(By the way I loved his striped coat fabric so much, I bought myself enough to make myself a dress similar to the ones I'm about to show you. It is one of my projects for this year.)
To save money, considering the number of new pieces that needed to be made, we reused many of the fabrics leftover in the troupe's costume store. People who had been there awhile were impressed to recognize the material from a costume they had worn before used in a whole new manner. I was told later on that it was probably the nicest costumes they had ever had and yet it was one of the lowest totals for that department.
All of the Noble women's dresses were made using leftovers.
Duchesse Marie de la Gemmeraie
That is one of my favourite dresses.
This actress didn't really like the colour of her dress (I thought it looked nice - I especially loved the layered engageantes - and made the red in her hair come out), so when I had to make another plus size dress for an extra in 2008, we gave the extra the green and orange dress and I made her a new one which she adored. I even let her help me pick the fabrics.Comtesse Béraude de Roussignac - 2008
See how much happier she looks?Dame Barbe de la Rochelière
This is another favourite of mine. Can you believe I found this gorgeous fabric in their stash, unused? After the premiere, this actress came to me a said that in her 25 years career, this was the nicest costume she had ever worn. I was extremely touched and proud.
Every story needs romance; this is the couple of lovers of this one. This white dress is the only one with a separate skirt. All the other ones have a faux-underskirt front panel to make changing from noble woman to gypsy easier, but in her case as she is the star of the show, her skirt was fancier to begin with, so in the two minutes she had to change from gypsy to noble, we just ripped off the bodice and shirt, drop the dress over her head and put her in a set of panniers (all the panniers were sewn on an elastic waist band to once again make changes easier on everyone).
Some noble women for the ball:Marquise Anne de la Petite Bretagne Princesse Margarita Castafiore Dame Flavie de Lionne Damoiselle Mathilde D'Aubray de Castellar Damoiselle Cunégonde Loiseleur de Chasteuil
Some of the girls were so nervous in the weeks before the premiere that they lost weight, so much so that we had to take in some of the dresses bodice the night before.Damoiselles Adélaïde and Françoise de Roussignac
As these two are supposed to be sisters, I decided it would be cute to have both of them wear the same main colour for their dresses. Besides, we had so much of that lilac satin!
Kids in period clothing: they are so cute, and yet they felt so weird wearing these fancy costumes.
Now on to some more masculine clothes:
He is the evil apothecary. We used dark grey Ultrasuede for his jacket so he would look dusty. Inside, he has rows of small pockets where he can hide his bottles.
As for the maids, I was very happy to make them bedgowns, a typical 18th century coat especially popular with the lower classes.Isabeau de Poulaillon Gervaise de Poulaillon Antoinette du Chanteclair
Finally, we get to the gypsies. Instead of a historical look, I went for a more Ren Faire style because I wanted to really differentiate them from the maids and this is a fairytale after all.Rachel and Louloudji Livia the Gypsy
I don't want to sell the punch, but Livia and Agnès are one and the same.
So what does it all look like once the show begins? See for yourself!The Murder Conspiracy The Ball The Fat Lady Sings Prince Paolo di Conti and his wife, the Princess Margarita Castafiore
In 2008, the role of the Castafiore (in reference to the Opéra singer in Tintin) went to a man who happens to be an amazing Soprano singer (you can hear him sing on YouTube). I had to make him a dress that not only matched the personality of the character, but was also as low cut as the other women's dresses without making him shave his chest (hence the lace shawl), and equipped with a fake bosom. It was an interesting challenge, but it as also fun, and I believe he loved his dress.At the Dauversière Party
In 2008, the hairdressing department replaced the henchman's ugly blond wig with a turban. Being a SCAdian came in very handy: I had seen men wrapping turbans on their head at Pennsic and read about them while doing research for the Ben Bedaine costume. I was therefore asked to wrap the black turban on the actor's head every night before the show as I was the only one who knew how (and I managed to do it really fast).
It was a lovely experience. I hope to work again soon as a costumer, whether in theatre, dance, television, movie, or maybe even, at the Cirque du Soleil! I love the creative process, working with beautiful fabrics and seeing the result on stage. I'm crossing my fingers for my dream to come true.