Broadway performances are impressive not only because of the unique stage décor and the actors’ brilliant skills but also because of the stage clothing. Costumes have a major role in building the character’s personality. The costume designer must create a look that represents convincingly the era in which the action takes place and also the specifics of the geographical location. The clothing should have details that reveal the character’s personality traits. So it is not an easy job to make the perfect clothing combination. Let’s have a moment to appreciate some of the best-dressed characters on Broadway!
Anna’s “Shall We Dance” gown in “The King and I”
This iconic look is from a musical released in 1951. The designer of the gown is Irene Sharaff (a famous American costume designer for stage and screen). The gown was made of satin and was coloured in tender lavender shade. Anna Leanowens (played by Gertrude Lawrence) wears the gown during a ball. She dances with The King around the whole ballroom which causes the dress’s layers to twirl. The dancing couple looks magical and the enchanting gown is the reason for it. The gown has a touching story outside the play’s plot. When Gertrude Lawrence died her final wish was to be buried in the gown from “The King and I”. Her wish was fulfilled.
Lola from “Kinky Boots”
“Kinky Boots” is a musical that tells the story of the unusual partnership formed between Charlie and Lola. Charlie owns a shoe-factory which suffers hardship. In order to save the family business, Charlie forms a partnership with Lola – a drag queen.
Lola is one of the more provocative, yet best-dressed characters on Broadway. In the musical Lola wears a short glamorous red dress combined with red high heel over the knee boots. The designer of this look is Gregg Barnes. This outfit makes Lola look like she is ready to conquer the stage. It is definitely a remarkable costume.
Carla’s bodysuit from “Nine”
William Ivey Long, who designed this bodysuit, has won a Tony Award for its creation. Carla is a seductive mistress and the bodysuit is one of her weapons. She is barely naked wearing it. The bodysuit is made of black lace. It has floral ornaments that have to cover the intimate parts of Carla’s body. Anita Morris, who played Carla in the musical, looked extremely sexy and tempting in this sheer bodysuit. It is one of the iconic Broadway looks.
Ursula from “The Little Mermaid”
The costume Ursula (played by Sherie Rene Scott) wore in “The Little Mermaid” musical can be considered a piece of art. She wears a gown with scaly ornaments in aqua shades. Her octopus legs are part of the gown and they follow its round shape. This villain’s look is magnificent more than it is frightening.
Diana Ross in “Motown the Musical”
The gown that the actress was wearing in this musical made her a style icon. The costume designer is Emilio Sosa. The glamorous gown is in red and it is combined with a ruffled silk overcoat in the same colour. This look is very feminine and expressive.