To bustle or not to bustle? That is the question by Axel Sherwood
Hi, I’m Axel and I am one of two costumes designers for Hello, Dolly!
I love this show, and getting to create costumes for it is amazing. However, Hello Dolly! takes place in the MOST annoying time period, 1890. Right in between the Victorian time period and the Edwardian. Meaning that as I was doing research on past costumes of the show, I came to an uncomfortable conclusion. Hello, Dolly! does not have cohesive references, Half the shows I looked at used costumes that were very Victorian. Frills, bustles, and petticoats galore, while others were giving Edwardian, sleek skirts, very little poof, hats leaning on the simpler side. Meaning that Sivan (my co-designer) and I had a choice, would we go with Victorian? Where the costumes would be more fun but about 100% harder to make, or would we go with Edwardian, easier to
make but lacking in flair?
We chose both. Deciding that we would try to lean on the side of Edwardian but keep some Victorian elements. After all, Hello, Dolly! takes place just after Victorian fashion died down (even though Victoria was still queen) and it’s unlikely that everyone would be aware of the latest trends.
So, as we near the end of this blog post I wrote late at night, I hope that if you take away one thing from this post it's that costuming a show is hard. Especially when that show is a period piece.