DON ATTILIO





"I must leave you with your new maid....."



Habit Ó la Franšaise to the extreme... The original West End costume had newer fabrics as base, but on top there were added antique satin panels from India, embroidered with silver. This goes for most costumes used in "Il Muto", and it was done to give the costumes an antique look. Newer costumes has used rich brocades, often metallic.

The costume cosists of a jacket - a justaucorps - like the ones worn in late Baroque and early Rococo era, with turned-back cuffs, a three-pointed pocket on each side, and elaborate trimming. A waistcoat is worn underneath, as well as knee-breeches and white stockings. There's also a rich jabot (a white ruffle in neck/chest), plus laces at the cuffs. The wig is long and grey, with defined curls decorated with black bows, and there's also "horns" in front. Horns are well-known symbol of fertility, but also of men whose wives were unfaithful, which in an old saying was "wearing the horns of a cuckold".

A very period detail on this costume is the shoes, or rather: the red heel. It was the definite symbol of aristocracy and wealth, especially in France. It came into fashion as early as 1620, and remained fashionable until the French revolution. Louis XIV wore red heels most of his life, and it can be seen in many portraits of the period. Alas few stage productions includes that tiny detail today, but I was thrilled to see it at least being used in Canada and Las Vegas.