Costume Design for Lockport High School's 2020 production of Hello Dolly!
This production of Hello Dolly! was nominated for a 2020 Kenny Award.
Due to Covid-19, the production scheduled for April 3rd, 4th and 5th was cancelled as well as the 2020 Kenny Awards scheduled for May 16th, 2020. Since there are no photos or videos from this production, I have put together a video and a mini photoshoot to showcase my work. These outfits were all built for the lead, Dolly Levi, played by Julia Monteferrante.
The first outfit was built to be worn while Dolly was at the Yonkers train station at the top of the show. This outfit would have later reappeared with the added plaid overskirt during the courtroom scene and then once more with the added bow during the final scene of the show. I intended to maximize the perceived quantity of costumes while getting the most versatility I could out of the initial costume and budget. My inspiration was drawn from women's traveling suits from the 1890's. I selected a neutral color palette to eventually pair with the color scheme of Vandergelder's Hay and Feed Store in the final scene.
The second outfit would be a high-necked navy day dress with lace accents. This outfit would be worn by Dolly while meeting with Irene and Minnie at Irene's hat shop and confiding in a friend later in the day. Navy was selected to match the maturity of the character, nothing too bold or too juvenile. The floral fabric was selected to pair with the femininity of the scenery and Irene and Minnie.
To the audiences' surprise and with the little dash of theater magic, the navy dress would transform into the bold and patriotic striped day dress. This dress will would make its bedazzling entrance during "Before the Parade Passes By" at the end of Act 1. This dress was created to help bridge an awkward transition into a more upbeat song and capture the bursting patriotism from parade itself. I drew inspiration from suffragettes and their fashion, especially in Dolly's hat. This outfit and transformation was a way to challenge myself and deliver an unexpected solution to the production team.
Finally, the costume we have all been waiting for...the iconic Harmonia Gardens evening gown! Everyone knows that Dolly wears red. That red evening gown is always something you can count on. It may vary in design, but you know you can always bet on that color. Well.. not with this show. The director, Pete D'Angelo, wanted to do the scenery of Harmonia Gardens in red, but did not want Dolly to blend into the background. I suggested a color that was bold, new and would not stand a chance of blending in... gold! And the rest was history. I wanted this outfit to be impossible to take your eyes off from the moment Dolly Levi walks through the doors at the top of our white marble staircase. I constructed the gown to be a dramatic mermaid shape with a high neck and illusion netting on the yoke and sleeves. I paired my gold crushed satin with sequined gold corded lace for an intense shine and elegance. The dress has many layers of crinoline to help hold its shape as well as horsehair braid at the hem for added structure while Dolly danced. Lastly, I couldn't resist extending the legacy of the Dolly's feather hairpiece, only I chose 8" gold ostrich feathers to match my gown perfectly.
While I am very disappointed everyone couldn't see these amazing costumes under the lights of the stage, I hope you enjoy the next best version of them above in my video and below in a gallery of photos. This is only an intermission after all.