THE STAR PRINCESS





"Think of it.... a secret engagement! Look - your future bride...."

Christine appears in a ballet like costume at the grand Masquerade ball in second act. Maria Bjørnson re-designed this costume around 1988, when POTO was to open on Broadway. At the premiere in 1986 the costume was silver coloured and more resemblant to a saloon girl, whereas the new costume was blue and pink with lots of stars, and softer in shape. Bjørnson referred to it as "The Star Princess". I've always seen this costume as a symbol of the evening sky and it's sunset, when the blue sky fades into pink, and with the stars and the moon being barely visible.

The costume is made from dyed silk satin in pinks and blues (for the bodice), layers of pink, blue and silver tulle (for the skirt), and lots pearls, crystals, ribbons and stars and the crescending moon. An average dress use 1400 beads and crystals on the skirt and bodice. The ground layers of the skirt has several blue layers, and on top there's often a patterned silver one (I've seen both floral patterns, non-patterned and squared ones being used), and with one or several pink fabrics on top. Some versions also have a sparkly silver upper layer. US versions apparently have a built-in slipper as well.

Both the skirt and the bodice is meant to go from pink to blue; in the bodice the lower half is pink and gradually turns into blue over the bust, in the skirt the upper layer(s) is pink, and the innermost are blue. In between pale blue and/or silver fabrics are often used. The blue of the skirt is mostly visible when Christine dance, especially when Raoul lifts her. The blue of the skirt is specified in the design: "Hombré (ombre) net skirt with under layers changing to blue inside".



I've seen several allegorical "Night" dresses being used in Victorian masked balls, and most of them has had a moon tiara and several decorative stars. But I was thrilled to find an older "Night" costume from the 18th century, featuring a very similar skirt and overall shape.

Visit this site to see a picture gallery showing different versions of the Star dress.


POSSIBLE INSPIRATION


First sketch shows an 18th century engraving of "Allegory of Night", where the skirt is decorated with stars. The second show a French fancy dress from the early 20th century called "The gold star". That one also has a skirt spangled with stars, as well as blue puffed sleeves emerging from the bodice. The stars are gradually changing size, and they're also in neat rows - just like the Bjørnson sketch.