July 21, 2015

Doctor Dolitte (Part II)

This past weekend was the Civil War event in Mumford!  It was unbearably hot and humid, but, despite the weather, we had so much fun!  It was such a pleasure to catch up with friends, long-time and new, dance at my first ball in the most gorgeous (borrowed) sheer dress, have my likeliness taken from a tintype camera, and make so many more memories.  I am already looking forward to next year's event as well as any other opportunities to make 1860s wear that may come along!

Photograph courtesy of STAGES.

Last Friday night in Doctor Dolittle (Part I), I introduced the fall musical, Doctor Dolittle (2013), that I had the privilege of student costuming for at Stages.  Not only was it an honor to be placed in charge of designing and creating the lead female character's 1830s wardrobe (as well as her backstage quick changes); but, what made the show so special for me was that it was the first time I really saw my designs fully realized on a stage, which broadcast to a larger, local community.  I guess it was then that it clicked in my head that this fun hobby could become my career.

Photograph courtesy of STAGES.

Anyways, tonight, picking up from where we left off last, it's an in-detail look at Emma's Act I wardrobe.  In the first act, the director, Dianne Schaumberg, wanted three outfits: one for all of the courtroom scenes, another for her solo at the crossroads, and another for the scenes at Doctor Dolittle's home and circus.  So, without further ado, here are the act I costumes - enjoy!


Doctor Dolittle (Part II): Act I Costumes
*Warning: picture heavy post ahead!*


Turquoise Courtroom Dress & Bonnet

Emma first appears in the courtroom at the trial of Doctor Dolittle, and, because the actress wears this first outfit the most, I definitely wanted it to stand out.  

Preliminary Sketch 1

Preliminary Sketch 2

The dress itself was an 80s prom dress from the costume attic that I altered to fit the actress better.  White eyelet lace and cream-colored, lacy rose trim were added to the neckline, and finished with a red rose placed center front.  The ruffle on the hooped petticoat peaks out to make the dress floor-length.




Next, inspired by the wide, dinner-plate-shaped brims of the 1830s pokes, I created a matching courtroom bonnet.  (Nicknamed the "Dickens' bonnet" because the actress looked like she was ready to break out in Christmas carols.)

Once the straw bonnet base was cut to my satisfaction, I carefully bound the edges with dark-green bias tape.  Then, added red, satin ribbon ties, gathered and pleated the white, frilled, sheer material to the brim, and pleated the same white eyelet (as seen on the dress) as the bavolet.  On the outside, I gathered matching teal satin to the crown (covering the raw edges with more green bias tape) and trimmed the bonnet with red & white flowers, leaves and feathers.




Finished portfolio pictures:  The turquoise, white and splashes of red contrasted nicely with her slim figure and beautiful, dark-brown hair!

Photograph courtesy of Dan Olean.

Photograph courtesy of Dan Olean.


Lavender Crossroads Ensemble 

The next outfit planned for Emma was her crossroads dress.  I wanted something feminine, delicate and floaty for such a pretty solo as she sings and "stands at the crossroads of life."  



The dress began as a 1980s wedding dress.  After removing several giant bows and shattered linings, a length of lace with looped, cord trim stitched to the ends was draped over the shoulders and cinched by a pleated, lavender sash.  Add a pearl broach for some extra sparkle and pair it with the lavender headpiece I made the year before for Sleepy Hollow - voila, another outfit ready for the stage!




Finished portfolio pictures:  Dan Olean, the official photographer for STAGES, did me a huge, huge favor by agreeing to take photographs of Emma's finished costumes for my portfolio!  I am so, so very grateful to him for graciously giving his time and pictures; Lisa, the head costumer, for arranging the entire session; and Jessica, the gorgeous actress herself, for agreeing to pose for all of the photos!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Photograph courtesy of Dan Olean.

Photograph courtesy of Dan Olean. 

Photograph courtesy of Dan Olean. 


Cranberry Act I Dress 

The final staple of Act I.  Emma repeatedly appeared in this ensemble for the small, in-between scenes at Doctor Dolittle's home and at the circus.

Dress Design.


Easily one of my favorite of Emma's outfits.  Again, an 80s prom dress altered to fit the actress.  I carefully overlapped the lace at the collar and added looped, cord trim to hide the stitches stitches.  A wide, pleated belt and brooch (actually a vintage clip on earring) finished the elegant look.



The matching headpiece was, again, a reused piece that I had constructed previously for Sleepy Hollow.  Both were in need of a few touch-ups and repairs, as well as new ribbon ties.  It was so surprising and wonderful to see how perfectly the reused headpieces complimented their new, respective outfits.  


Finished portfolio pictures: 

Photograph courtesy of Dan Olean.

Photograph courtesy of Dan Olean.

Photograph courtesy of Dan Olean.

And that will do it for the next installment of Doctor Dolittle costume adventures!  Stay tuned for plenty more pictures up next in Emma's Act II Costumes.
Thanks for reading!

4 comments:

  1. As always, you have done fabulous work recreating dresses! You are a rock star Miss Anneliese! My favorite de-do is the teal dress....Awesome!!
    Blessings!
    g

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    1. Why thank you, Gina! Your comment has me tickled pink! (or should I say teal?) You're always so sweet :)

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  2. I missed part one! I've been away from blogging for a couple weeks, these dresses are gorgeous though! You are so very talented!

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    1. Aww, thank you, Jill! Catching up on what everyone has been sewing is so exciting! Your kind words will always be worth the wait!

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