I was happy to oblige when our wonderful director Jay Lesenger requested clothes from the lovely, zany 1830s for this production. I began my research at the Special Collections Library at FIT, where you can browse real fashion magazines all the way back to the 18th century. The challenge of this piece is to dream up the most exquisitely beautiful dresses for Cinderella, while at the same time not shy away from exquisite tackiness for the stepsisters’ gowns. It was easy finding insane details in the womenswear of the early 1830s, when new dye technology made citrus oranges, yellows and pinks trendy and gravity-defying hairstyles and fantastical historical details were the norm. I made the older stepsister Clorinda’s dress a nightmarish harem fantasy with eye-popping green streamers on orange plaid, while her brash little sister Tisbe wore a blinding mix of pink polka dot (some hand-painted by my intrepid assistant Megan Rutherford). Our budget was tight, so I mixed in vintage 1960s nylon negligees which were easy to find and felt right for the spirit of the dressing scene. Cenerentola’s gowns were much simpler, made of beautiful fabrics with subtle sparkle adding glamour. I made handmade silk organza flowers to float on the sleeves of her wedding dress. Tommy Kurzman designed the inspired wigs and many friends helped it all come together. As always, the double-cast students were a joy to work with, as well as exhilaratingly talented!
By: Gioachino Rossini
Stage Director: Jay Lesenger• Conductor: Gary Thor Wedow
Set Design: Peter Harrison • Lighting Design: Julie Duro
Cast: Zachary Brown, Elisabeth Harris, Andrew Henry, Si-Yeon Kim, Nick Krsnich, Yongjae Lee, Philippe L’Esperance, José Luis Maldonado, Alexander Mason, Marshall Morrow, Daniel Rich, Dongwei Shen, Zhiyu Shi, Kelly Singer, Marcel Sokalski, Polixeni Tziouvaras, Hongni Wu, Yunlei Xie, Shue Yang, Zuhao Zhang
Photos: Carol Rosegg