THE PHANTOM in HIS LAIR





Touch me, trust me, savour each sensation...


The Phantom, as he is presented in his lair. He takes off the cloak and the hat, revealing a slick Rudolph Valentino inspired hair and style. He wears a black waistcoat with pocket chain, a black tailcoat, black boots, and a white shirt. When entering the lair he's also clad in a large black cloak with beadwork, as well as a black felt fedora.

His black wool trousers are very high, so that there won't be a gap between the waistcoat and the waistline of the trousers, and they have a satin stripe at each side. A diamond vowen fabric is used worldwide. His footwear consists of tight-fitting boots extending above the ankles, giving his feet a pinched, narrow appearance. By Michael Crawford they were described as "sad looking", inspired by some boots his grandfather wore. The waistcoat is often made of a watery black silk, a fabric which is repeated at the collar, but other fabrics has also been seen. Many have small details like a keychain, fancy buttons etc. His tailcoat is also made of such a diamond fabric, but with a decorative fabric at cuffs and front.

The shirt is a turndown collar with pleated front, and the design calls for studs, though I suspect snap buttons are used underneath. Originally the shirt was also buttoned between the legs, so thatwhen he stretches against the portocullis in his lair it does not ride up and destroy the smooth symmetry of his shape. But some actors found it rather unpleasant....

Original Phantom Michael Crawford collaborated with designer Maria Bjørnson on this costume. They both saw it as essential to the character to get the tiny details right. In an interview from january 1988 Crawford told that "The sleeves has to be a certain length. Too short and it would have been funny. Too long and you would have lost the length of the hands. There were also the special Phantom shoes - black, pointy-toed lace-up boots. My grandfather wore the same kind, and I felt it was important that you didn't see the socks break the line of the pants. It would be wrong to have any skin showing through." (New York Magazine January 18. 1988). Or as Maria Bjørnson put it herself, in the magazine Conoisseur in 1988: "...to draw attention to his hands and feet and give him a live-wire look".

The Phantom's mask was actually inspired by Maria Bjørnson herself. Or rather, a Masquerade hat she had once worn. Jonathan Allen, Bjørnson's British assistant told to the magazine Conoisseur in 1988: "We were agonizing over how the Phantom's mask should look. I reminded her of a hat she had once worn to a fancy dress ball at the Lloyd Webber's house. It covered one half of her face and only one eye and crescendoed on top of her head with a long feather. This became the basis for mask she eventually designed. When she showed it to Hal, she remembered to say that I had reminded her of the hat".