March 6, 2013


Wow, the first performance weekend of our "Singin' In The Rain" at Ponderosa High School Theatre has gone beautifully!  Really this is a stellar cast and crew and set of directors - I am so lucky to be working with!

I wanted to share one of my favorite dresses (it is hard to choose however, which one dress was the most favorite - that's like picking your favorite child when you have 6 of them.  Although, there are days...but I digress!)  

There are certain pieces I wanted to be just right for this play.  Iconic dresses and outfits that scream "Singin'" if you know what I mean!  Anyone who loves the movie or the play wants to see key things lit up for them - it brings joy and satisfaction to the viewer or audience member and my job as Costumer was to get those things right as much as I could!

Google image: Olga Mara's Spider Web dress on the red carpet in the opening scene is one of those iconic eye-catching pieces representing the outlandishness of the flapper era.  

So I set about to create my version of this showstopper. 

I found this dress for under $5 at Salvation Army.  It had "good bones" and a bit of a plunge neckline, backless to boot.  Perfect base for my dress.

I marked off lines with a soap chip for fringe placement.

Close-up view of my fringe lines.

I started by adding my first layer of black fringe - a fabulous 10" chainette fringe that I found only at Dove Originals Trims.  This was attached to the bottom hem of the dress. 

Then I added layers and layers of 4" black chainette fringe to all my soap lines.

Making the spider web was the trickiest part.  I drew out what I wanted the spider web to look like.  At first I tried knotting with a rayon cording - and it just did not hang right.  Then I tried a rhinestone trim that I had laying around from a previous project.  I thought maybe it would read well on the stage and catch the light to reflect it well.  

I tried sewing each intersection but it was a pain and I did not feel it would be secure.  So out came the glue gun.  I put globs on the front and back where they overlapped.  It dried clear and looked OK.  

So the spider web was going to be in back because that was my biggest area to work with.  (I couldn't really do quite the plunge in the front like the original - it's a high school show after all, people!)  Plus, I actually just thought it would look cooler with the spider web in the back.  

The front piece had it's own story: I made this piece at first, then the actress and I decided it would be hard to get in and out of the dress if we attached the front piece, so we gave her a cool beaded necklace with tons of strands that resembled the fringe.  But it was all plain and black and boring really.  Then the next rehearsal we both showed up and she really wanted the rhinestone front piece and so did I!  So we only attached it partway so she could get in and out of it and just attach the other part of it with safety pins each time.  A little extra work but worth it for the look!  I love it when little things like that fall into place!

Here she is, in all her Olga Mara glory!  This is the costume room.  She was great!

Rockin' the fringe!

Love the spider web on the back!  It's flexible enough to move with her as she dances.

Loved her attitude as Olga Mara!

Now time for performance!  Here are some pics of the scenes starring this beautiful girl and showstopping dress!

Her proud mom taking a picture onstage after a performance well done! 

THAT was fun!  Stay tuned for more...

{FYI, I was the Costume Director for Ponderosa High School's "Singin' In The Rain".  This play was directed by the fantastic Geoffrey Reynolds - look for us on Broadway one day ;) ;) }

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