THE TRITON COSTUME









HISTORY

This was a part of my 2011 blog project, where I will try something new each week. I asked people to come up with suggestions of what to try, and one said "Making a Phantom costume in one week". Now, I've made many Phantom costumes in the past, but none in one week only. So here we go... The Triton costume was chosen because I had some of the items already needed - golden wristbands, boots etc - and because it seemed do-able in such a short time span to make a fitted bodice with draped, knee-length skirt.



Various stage costumes: Original 1986 West End, ca. 2008 World Tour, ca. 1989 Broadway, 2000 Copenhagen and 2008 West End.




JANUARY 10, 2011:
Buying fabrics and various trims. Trying to keep the costs down. Bought one meter of a turquoise silk with gold "coin" pattern, two meters of a matching polyester, and two meters of a black netting with golden and black embroidery and beading. This will be the main fabrics. Also bought red fringe for the skirt hem (will be sprayed golden), and four meters of a old embroidered turquoise sari chiffon. Zooming in on the costume design showed interesting details:

*Red details in the skirt, making a nice transaction from turquoise bodice to red tights.
*Beads on the golden fringes on skirt hem.
*Golden heels and golden wings on the turquoise boots.
*Either gold stars or bells going down the bodice front, big at top, small in the bottom.
*Golden trim going over the shoulders, possibly ending in a big clasp holding the backdrape in place.
*The backdrape is not attached to the wrists, like in the stage costumes.
*Golden wrist bands similar to the Hannibal slave girls.
*Dots in the bacdrape, of red, golden and black nuances towards a light turquoise background.
*Crescent moon tiara with "wings" on the side, and a big 6 pointed star in center front.


Maria Bjørnson's design for the Masquerade character "Triton girl", or the "Diana" as I originally baptized her.




Needed for this costume:

*Turquoise corseted bodice with gold decorations.
*Black/turquoise draped skirt with red and golden details.
*Red tights. (HAVE)
*Turquoise boots with golden details. (HAVE, more or less)
*Large drape of the same colours as the overall costumes, attached to the back.
*Golden crescent-moon-and-star tiara.
*Golden mask on golden stick.
*Golden wrist bands. (HAVE)




JANUARY 11, 2011
Drafting the panels, loosely based on the Aminta bodice. The bodice is made of 10 panels, and of four layers of fabric - unbleached cotton, padding, and fancy fabric. Each panel is boned. My apartment is a mess. Seriously. One meter of fabric was almost not enough for the bodice. The front and back panels demanded lots of space, and the pattern also needed to be mirrored. but in the end I worked it out.



JANUARY 12, 2011
Stitching bodice panels together and trying to achieve a good fit. Noticed I made the side panels too short, but too late to change now. Blast. Other than that, it's looking good. Also lining the black lace with the turquoise polyester. Nice colour effect. The bodice is front closed, unlike the stage costumes. The only reason for this is to make it easier to dress myself. This of course means that the skirt has top open in front too.


JANUARY 13-15, 2011
Bodice is almost finished. Adding a padded layer under the silk was a good move. It smooth everything out. Golden/turquoise trim is sewn to the bodice front, but I have a hard time figuring out how to make the ornamental wings seen in the design. It looks so simple and cool, but all versions I've tried out for the replica looks a bit misplaced. The black/golden lace was decorated with harlequin square red sequins, to echo the red seen in the design.



JANUARY 16-17, 2011
Skirt is loosely gathered and stitched to the bodice, then draped up in loose tucks in the waist. This makes the lower half of the skirt drape nicely. The tucks in the waist will be sewn down and decorated with gold cord and stars. Oh, and gold spray is just too much fun... I've sprayed both the hem fringe, various stars, the cord and tassel for the waist and whatnot. And it works great! Economical too - I can buy the wrong colour if it's cheaper and fix it up at will. Alas I ran out of gold spray, so parts of the fringes are still red. It'll be fixed.





WHAT NOW?
Well, that was as far as I got in one week. And I was actually impressed. Usually I spent months and months on making Phantom costume replicas. But I lack all sorts of decorations, and I also lack the props. Will continue on those, and hopefully present the finished costume soon. Next up: tiara and mask on stick.



MASK ON STICK
A purple feather mask served as basic. It was bought dead cheap in the Danish interior chain "Søstrene Grene". I also bought a foam brush and gold paint there, and added gold paint in gentle strokes. Letting a tiny bit of the purple show through created a nice effect. The mask was painted on both sides, and glued to a long wooden stick, also painted golded. A large "diamond" was glued to the centre front of the mask. the result might not have the elegant wings of the design, but it still reminds of it.




THE TIARA
As for the mask-on-stick, I used feathers as a basis and painted them golden. These feathers were white "angel" wings, and the white basis didn't make as nice effect as the purple ones. Had to add gold of a different colour on top to get a nicer shade, the first layer was too orange. A large pair of "angel" wings were attached to the front of a tiara basis. On top of this I attached a semi-large silverstar. God, I love my new glue gun... On the side of the tiara I will glue on smaller golden wings, to echo the points seen in the costume design. The star was originally silver, but was painted golden.



DECORATIONS
In the costume design the shoulder straps are very narrow and all covered in gold. The back drape appears to be fastened to the top of the shoulders with big golden clasps too. I'v tried out different versions, and ended on two flower like brooches with gold sequins. The drape will show most of the bodice back, as seen in some stage costumes. I chose that because I'm very happy with the fit of the bodice back, though the pattern of the fabric don't quite match up. I added a bullion like gold trim I've had for years. I've had too little left for other projects, but I had just enough for the Triton. It really makes a difference. I've also added golden beads to the fringes of the skirt, to mimick what's seen in the design. Starting to see the end of the project now...



THE GOLDEN FRONT
The bodice front follows up the golden wing design from the mask-on-stick and the tiara. I was in doubt on how to make this. Originally I wanted to try out real wings and paint them golden, like in the mask. But I came across a sequined fabric with golden leaf deco. This fabric was so cheap, so I bought it, cut out the sequined parts and put them together in a pattern reminding of wings. On top I put some heavy golden appliquées I originally bought for the Elissa costume. I'm really happy about the result.
Still debating on whether to have bells or stars down the front. The design is a bit unclear on that point. Most stage costumes have small bells, which would indicate that is what the designer wanted. But I like the idea of stars as well. I guess it comes down to what I find which will suit the project.


APRIL 2011 - ALMOST FINISHED
The Triton costume is almost finished. I have draped the skirt and attached the big golden tassel/cord belt. The back drape is sewn to the shoulders in front and back, and pinned to golden wristbands when worn. The wig is painted turquoise (but was not finished for the photos), and mask-on-stick, tiara, tights and boots ready to wear. What remains is to improve the tassel/cord belt and attach large golden stars as seen in the design. I also need bells or stars in front of the bodice. But the new pictures shows the outfit pretty much as it'll be when finished.

I'm particularly happy about the bodice, as it's boned and interlined to make the surface smooth, and well constructed. I also love the backdrape. It's feather light, and I love the idea of attaching it both in front and in the back. Gave a rich look. I'm less happy about the skirt. I love the materials, but it was hard to get the drapings right in the waist, while at the same time make it fall nicely at the hem. It works well enough, though. And it's fun to wear!






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