22 Oct 2010

Costume Shop Visit – Musetta’s Christmas Eve Dress

La Bohème has many important costume pieces, including Mimì’s pink bonnet and Colline’s overcoat. One of the more flamboyant costume pieces is usually Musetta’s Christmas Eve dress. Have you ever wondered how a dress like this progresses from idea to the stage? Here you go!

Susan Memmott-Allred, Utah Opera’s Costume Designer, starts by researching costumes of the era, and then sketches out the initial design:

She then works with the director to confirm the sketches and color scheme. Here’s a finished illustration of Musetta’s Christmas Eve dress:

Then the Utah Opera costume shop takes Sue’s sketches, colors, and fabric samples, and brings the dress to life. Here’s the dress and coat while it was still being constructed:

Next it needs to be fit to the singer. Here’s Celena Shafer in a fitting of the dress and coat with Ken, our cutter/draper; Sue, costume designer; and Rose, costume shop director:

And here’s the finished product, with Ms. Shafer made up and ready to go on stage: