Making the theater production version of The Phantom of the Opera Mask of the Red Death costume Pt1: So much Lace

So...I was commissioned to make this.




I was working with one of my long time partners, and aside from the hat and shoes, I was responsible for everything else. And I do mean EVERYTHING.

The more I thought about the costume, the more I thought about the costume. Yeah, I said that twice. My brain began to brake down what complexities I needed to worry about before I even began the construction. First off, I contemplated how I was going to make this wearable.

Because of the time constraint, I didn't want to worry about snaps or zippers or anything of that sort, so velcro it was. I also wasn't mentally concerned with costume ventilation or comfort. My job was to make it wearable, and if I had more time, perhaps I could have put in more consideration to those other things, but making it look good was first of ease of use to wear. I'll get into those aspects in a later post.

After I thought of that, the next bit was how I was going to recreate all that intricate lace. Actually, that was first. This costume (and its many iterations) are noting without its over the top opulence.

The good thing for me was there were many versions of this particular costume going around.


Some of these might even be home made. One thing for sure is they all have the grand jester-y look as opposed to the original from the film.


I like this one personally. 

Let's get back to the lace.
Using the first image of the costume I posted as my main guide, I had to come up with that 'celtic knot' type of design on the light background. Forgive me if I don't use proper terms when describing pieces of this costume. Be prepared for 'sleeve thinggie' and 'arm do-dad' to be in my vernacular.  

The only way I could seven grasp at the lace was to make it myself. Finding the just right pieces in the right sizes was the challenge, and after searching all the lace and finishing shops in the fabric district, I realized I had to do the knot part by hand. Ugh.


I started with some black nylon cording and looped it through twice to get an X shape. Of course I missed some loops. When you are doing as much of this as you are by hand, it all crosses together.






From there it all amounted in constructing the lace. 


About seventeen yards later, I had what I needed.





This lace took a couple days to source and make. Though it was kinda mindless once the hand sewing was done, I had to make so much of it and *poof* it was all gone, not a half yard left to spare. Ugh. SO much lace!

Now that this opulence was out of the way, I had to set it aside. But before I did that, I snapped this pic of everything.


Look at all those textures! I have to admit, they look rather delicious!
Join me on part too where I talk about noting but those freaking sleeves!

Thanks!

4 comments:

  1. ooh, thank you for posting about this. I love learning more about the tricks of costumers and I'm looking forward to reading more about it and seeing your finished version.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Can't wait for Part 2! So much work but so gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh wow! Your work is amazing! Would you be able to create a Lon Chaney specific / Masque of the Red Death costume for me? Please let me know. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Feel free to email me about the costume :)

    ReplyDelete

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