The Phantom of the Opera - The Texture Edition3/20/2014
When I was in Grad School, I designed a lot of shows and earned the reputation as the colorless costume designer. The very first show I did, the director wanted everyone in black. It was a challenge because having actors on stage in plain black clothing makes them appear flat and two-dimensional. So, I created all black ensembles with tons texture; some had feathers and some had leather. Trust me, it makes a world of a difference. If you notice, a lot of costume designers on screen do this too. It simply creates more interest and personality.
Similarly in fashion, many of my favorite bloggers do the same. Chriselle Lim is a pro at mixing different textures. So, for this Spring, try mixing things up with monochromatic outfits instead of trying to mix different patterns.
For this blog post, I'm dedicating it to one of my favorite stories of all time, "The Phantom of the Opera." I first heard about it when I was in high school. We read the book in French during my final year of French class and I fell in love with the story. I wanted to see the musical, but never had a chance to visit Vegas or New York so when I saw that it was going to be on the big screen, joy seriously filled my heart.
The film is set in 1870, Victorian time when lace and corsets were still part of every woman's wardrobe. I loved Gerard Butler's costumes. Although he seems to be wearing all black, he's not. His black coat is lined in white. His cravat is brown and his waistcoats is a floral brown silk. Christine is in all white ensemble, but with lots of lace and embellishments. (Again, the importance of textures!) It's really great to see the stark contrast between the two (black vs. white) because Christine is like a ray of sunshine, while the Phantom is a creature that lives in the night. ("Music of the Night" is one of the saddest songs, in my opinion aside from "I'm Not that Girl" from Wicked.)
Opera attire was always flashy and heavily decorated. Unlike costumes you see on screen where you get to see the costumes in detail with camera closeups, people sitting in the opera houses were far away from the stage. Costume designers had to exaggerate details in order for people to see. We do this in theater too, but opera houses have a much larger budget hence the crazy embellished costumes.
"Masquerade" was one of my favorite scenes because of the black, white and silver costumes that the chorus wore.
Raoul was in dark navy military coat and Christine was in a pale pink gown, nothing too flashy, yet different enough to be one of the focal points.
When the Phantom arrives, he's dressed in a blood red attire, making him really stand out from the crowd.
I re-watched this film earlier this year and still love it. It's such a beautiful, tragic love story and whenever I need some costume inspirations, this never fails me.
Have any of you seen the Broadway musical? I still haven't been able to see it yet. Hopefully, I'll get to see it soon.