CARLOTTA IN HER B/W DRESS







"Prima Donna, your song shall never die....."



The actual costume design doesn't reveal too many details, that might be why an additional drawing was made. But it gives a wonderful 19th century feeling. It shows a bustled dress with much roundness over the hips and back (1880 bustle rather than 1870). In the drawing there seems to be a trimmed and draped black overskirt over a pleated or gathered underskirt, and the backdrapes appears to have tassel fringe trimmings as well. The black bodice and sleeves are vandyked, and the sleeves has white (mock) chemise sleeves and netting gloves. She wears a rich fur stola ending in "tails", and a matching parasol with fur trims. The hat is pointed on one side and decorated with flowers. There's also a white "flounce" in the neck opening.

The silver metallic silk brocade and the grey and black silk damask fabrics used for this Carlotta costume were originally the same in many productions, but soon local variants appeared. It can also vary what SIDE of the fabric is used, and whether it's used in the skirt, bodice or overskirt/drapes. Some costumes has all black bodices (I've seen velvet, brocades and "plain" blacks being used), some have silver/black floral ones. Antique black glass beads and motifs are usually used on this costume, to decorate the panniers, drape and bodice. The costume also use quite a few tassels on the vandyked bodice hem and sleeve "tabs", and fox fur for the stola. The costume has a waterfall backdrape. Carlotta also wears a small, decorated hat, pinned to her wig.

This costume, feminine and extravagant as it is, has been inspired by male military uniforms. The looped front closure echoes the uniforms of the Hussars, and in female fashion throughout the 19th century such decorations on bodices and jackes became known as " la Hussarde". The "epaulettes" over the shoulder is also a military element. Carlotta is ready for battle.....

This text accompanied an exhibited dress in the USA: "A day dress in the bustle period of black and silver brocades trimmed in black jet beads. Carlotta wears this ensemble with a matching hat, black net gloves and a silver-fox-trimmed parasol which also matches the fur she wears. And lest we forget, she carries a lace-trimmed hankie for the diva tears she plans to shed."...


THE DESIGN AND PERIOD DRESSES



AUSTRALIA (+ WORLD TOUR, KOREA, SOUTH AFRICA)




CANADA, JAPAN



EARLY EUROPEAN VERSIONS





NEWER EUROPEAN VERSIONS





U.S.A.





BACKDRAPES



DETAILS