Folks folks folks! They’ve finally skipped the stiffest “Elizabethan Ruff” decorations on the UK Star Princess costumes!

To the left is a photo of Maria Coyne, where the bodice has three layers of “ruff” decoration over the bust. It also kinda look like they forgot to decorate the top with the glittering hotstones, so it further underlines the feeling of something being off in the upper half.

Compare it to Kelly Mathieson’s bodice, where the glittering hotstones are spaced more out, and the decoration of the bust softer, giving it a more unisone look. And the addition of an ornate silver trim/appliquée between bodice ruffle and arm puffs is also a cool lil’ touch. Small tweaks, yet SO MUCH BETTER.

anonymous asked:

Kelly Mathieson's star princess, seems to be strapless, compared to the usual nude coloured straps all the other West End dresses have had before. Is that a normal thing for a Victorian woman to wear? Have there been cases in the replica production for the star princess to be strapless? It does look quite dreamy though, much better than the previous principal's "Celine Schoenmaker" star princess dress.

It feels like bodice straps is a feature that comes or goes on Kelly Mathieson’s bodice? In some photos it has straps, in others it does not. 

EPK look, without straps, and with the puffed sleeves hanging very low due to the lack of a supporting shoulder strap to attach them to. 

Backstage, without any straps. 

Backstage look, with straps from both bra/singlet and bodice. The latter appears to have falled down, making the puffed sleeves hang a bit too low here as well. 

I don’t know what the exact situation is. Maybe they’re in the process of changing the straps and/or puffed sleeves attached to the straps. Maybe the costume moved/felt better without straps. Maybe they were removed for the EPK. I dunno. But she has at least worn straps at one point. Strapless, the ornate silver trim at the side appeared. So it seems a remodeling happened. 

(I thought for a moment it might be two different bodices, but the placement of the hotstones looks identical, so I guess not)

As for the question on this being period or not… Strapless, sleeveless bodices are far and few in Victorian context. There’s almost always some sort of strap involved, be it a string of beads or a gentle drape, or a thin fabric strap matching that of the bodice. The most “nude” look is probably to be found in the portraits of John Singer Sargent in the 1880s through the 1900s: 

(top: “Madame X” (Madame Pierre Gautreau), 1883-84, from The Met, and bottom: Edna and Betty Wertheimer, 1901, from Tate Gallery)

This is the look of fashionistas and something done for evening wear and parties. It doesn’t represent the general Victorian fashion as such. The preference was more coverage, though a generous cleavage was common. But it goes to show the fashion at least existed. 

anonymous asked:

Hi Anea! A question I've been wondering about: have the west end star princesses always been this weird, or did it start off looking like the costume design then suddenly went nuts and turned into the neon monster with the weird bodice it is now? :P


The West End Star Princess costumes used to be so nice. They had bell-shaped skirts with a strong ombre effect, petal-like bodice tabs, ornate beading, and of course gentler pastel colours. The silks and ruffles also dded a feather like look to it all. The dresses around 1998-2002 are some of my all-time favourites, in fact:

But around the time of Maria Bjørnson’s death (Dec. 2002) things started change. They pushed the colours to the max - apparently someone felt things needed to be more “vibrant” - and the skirts became more conical in shape. Eventually the beading was also changed, to glue-on hotstones instead of actual beads. This because the beading suffered during the lifts in Masquerade. Eventually the ruffles over the bust and puffed sleeves was also replaced by the stiffer “Elizabethan ruff” style.

Today the costumes may look the same at first glance. But at second glance you notice the silhouette is different, the colours bolder, the fabrics more “plastic” looking and the decorations stiffer and flatter:

So yeah, the West End dresses used to be very nice and not as N-E-O-N coloured as today. That change kicked in around 2003, and has only reinforced itself for every new costume made. I hope they eventually calm down on colours and start to add the softer, more detailed decorations again. It would bring the costume back to the “ballet tutu” style seen in the design, and also in many productions worldwide (including the US and Japan). 


So it appears the last Christines to have beaded bodices in West End was:

  • Rachel Barrell (2004-06)
  • Celia Graham (2002-07)
  • Robyn North (2003-04, 2007-09)
  • Tabitha Webb (2005-06, 2009-11)

It looks like the first Christine - or at least the first principal - to wear the hotstone decorated bodices was Gina Beck in 2008.