maria bjornson

Maria Björnson is the real unsung hero of this piece. She doesn’t get enough credit. She made the costumes, she made the set, the props, the hair, the makeup. She was the designer for all of this, which is very rare in musical theatre. Usually you have one person who does each of those things and to have one lady take on all those and it was just her vision…I think a lot of people - when they leave Phantom of the Opera - they feel like they have been transcended into an area and into history. And it’s Maria who did that and I think she doesn’t get enough credit for the success of the show.
—  Brad Little, in praise of Maria Björnson from the Morning Brew radio interview in Hong Kong last December 16, 2014 (audio at the source)

Just some of the things you can get made-to-order in my Etsy shop now!

  • Premium B'way Dressing Gowns
  • Deluxe B'way Dressing Gowns
  • Basic B'way Dressing Gowns
  • Wishing-inspired Appliques
  • Don Juan Cloaks
  • Star Princess-inspired Beaded Appliques
  • Star Princess Tiaras

Check out each one individually in the shop for full descriptions :)

As always, I offer payment plans if you can’t pay everything up front; we just have to deal with it individually through PayPal :) 


So one of the biggest kick I got out of seeing Maria’s costume sketches at the V&A exhibit was reading some of the notes she made on them, including the pencil sketch of the original flowier Elissa skirt that got cut in favor of something more similar to Carlotta’s skirt and the one about asking Gillian whether they’d be doing shoes or bare feet, before settling on point[e]s 


F. de l'Opéra’s Birthday Giveaway!!!

So I am turning (mumble mumble) years old on 16 November, and I’ve been wanting to do a giveaway for some time now, so I thought, why not just do both at the same time!

The winner of this giveaway will receive a Phantom of the Opera popup book from 1988, featuring scenes from the musical based on Maria Björnson’s original design. (Note: the sound/lights don’t work, but may be fixable – they may just need a new battery. One of the pull tabs is broken, but can be replaced.)

I will ship worldwide!

Rules to Enter:

1) You must be following me.

2) Reblog this post to enter (likes don’t count). But please be nice and don’t spam your followers’ dashes! :)

3) This is a giveaway for the Phantom of the Opera fandom, and all those who consider themselves phans (in whatever way they define that for themselves). *** Please do not reblog this if you aren’t interested in Phantom!!!*** I really want this book going to a good home, and to a person that will appreciate it.

4) You must have your Ask Box open so that I can contact you.

5) You must be willing to give me your physical address so that I can ship you the book.

6) You must not delete or alter this text in any way when you reblog it.

7) No giveaway only blogs.

This giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on 16 November 2014.

The winner will be drawn at random on 17 November, and will be contacted on 17 November. The winner will have 24 hours to respond. If the winner doesn’t respond within 24 hours, I will pick another winner at random. I will announce the winner once they have responded.

Good luck! :D


Dressing Gown #10

Modeled after Sierra’s version in the RAH 25th anniversary gala, it features a bodice, belt, and skirt made of jacquard silk.  The ruffles (and engageantes) are double-layered: a soft netting layer with scalloped trim underneath, and a cotton eyelet with a wider scalloped venice lace trim on top.  The front and back of the belt are decorated with lush appliques filled with sequins and pearls.  It also features custom bias tape around the bodice opening and an extended train on the skirt.

I want to thank Emily from the bottom of my heart for commissioning me and helping support what I love to do!

Want your own dressing gown or other custom replica, costume, clothing or accessory? Visit and see what I can do, and contact me there! :)

A few in-progress photos coming soon ;)


bluecoolkind sent me one of the little costume pamphlets from the tour, and first off, it is THE coolest thing and I love her. 

And I of course really excitedly noticed that the Don Juan costume design they included features another of Maria’s sketches (that I personally have never seen before) of the undergarments and… I’m just completely blown by the fact that my Aminta petticoat/corset illustration isn’t actually that far fetched after all.


Throwback to some old Broadway cosplays I made between 5-6 years ago. How time flies!

Costumes in order are:

Christine’s Wishing Gown (Phantom)

Hannibal Slavegirl corset/mini Elissa skirt (for sale on etsy here!)

Dressing gown

Galinda’s Popular party dress (Wicked)

Elphaba’s Act II gown

Cosette (Les Mis 25th anniversary tour)


PotO 25th Anniversary Celebration Performance
behind the mask scenes

“This mask is Ramin’s new mask specially for the 25th anniversary which we’ve altered slightly from his existing mask. Because it’s always kind of good to play with details, really. And also the make-up’s changed a little bit and the mask has to fit exactly over the make-up. From a performance point of view it has to do that. Also from a technical, sound point of view - his microphones and things. It has to look good. It also very much has to enhance Ramin’s face. The idea is that the Phantom has tried to make himself look attractive and masculine and handsome. His way of doing it is the mask. The original concept of this, which came from Maria Bjornson, was that because of the period he’d actually made this in fine porcelain. Although technically of course we don’t use porcelain. That’s the overall image of the thing. He’s made this mask particularly to hide this gruesome distortion in the rest of his face. We also spend a lot of time making sure that the shape of the mask works really well as a sculptural item in itself. Because at the point where Christine pulls the mask off, it becomes an object in itself. It’s no longer a mask, it’s also a sculptural object.” - Bob Saunders, mask maker

“I’ve played the role in town for two years but because this is for theater and DVD, it’s never been this intricate, this much time spent on the amount of make-up. Actually, you can see it starting to crack. But it’s a cool process. It helps with everything, to get your head around it. Great to have Chris Tucker do it, too, the original guy. It’s so detailed. And to do this occasion. I’m just so grateful and really excited to put my take on it.” - Ramin Karimloo

“I designed it right at the outset for Michael Crawford. Because I’ve done the Elephant Man, they were thinking in terms of something very distorted and human. Something like an injury. You know, when people have strokes and things like that, one side of their face may be paralyzed. And when they’re talking to you, they’re trying not to look paralyzed. They are trying to work against the deformity. So I thought that if I can pull his lip up by some ligaments that have contracted like it would do in, say, a major burn, this will give him something to work against. There’s a bald cap, a plastic hat that keeps his hair down and enables us to stick everything else. He’s in the chair for, well, it’s probably just under an hour as far as the make-up is concerned. Up here (=the side of his head) I wanted something that was gonna register right at the back, so we made a very big crater with the bone showing. Ramin’s version is an improved version.” - Christopher Tucker, Phantom prosthetic make-up