– Takarazuka Star Troupe
– 2001 performance of Rose of Versailles : Oscar and Andre
Appearances: Fanime 05, Anime Expo 05
Awards: Technical Achievement Award at Fanime 05 (H.C.C.).
Most Beautiful & Anime Pavillion Award, Comic-Con 05
A.J. introduced me to takarazuka, and the very first takarazuka show that I saw (thanks to her) was Star Troupe’s 2001 performance of Oscar and Andre. Despite knowing nothing about Rose of Versailles, and nothing about takarazuka, and knowing no Japanese (the performances are Japanese language only…) I absolutely adored the performance and really wanted to make a costume from it. After that I watched the Rose of Versailles anime as well as picked up the manga. I loved both of those as well and Rose of Versailles fast became one of my favorites.
Our RoV group was: A.J.as Fersen, Cheryll as Narrator, Judy as the Duchess Moncrief, Tristen Citrine as Monzette, and me as Marie Antionette. There are so many things to love about this group, not only are all the members close friends of mine, and all our costumes insanely sparkly but the anime and musical we based it on is so wonderfully romantic and dramatic. I’m so very happy to have been able to do this project.
These costumes, to me really were a group labor of love. Although we all did our own costumes, we were constantly sending each other photos and doing fittings together and that sort of thing, not to mention the advice and sewing-buddy help I had. Annie , Judy and A.J., especially, helped me a lot with this costume, Judy teaching me many of the techniques nessesary to complete it, and Annie sitting up late nights watching takarazuka with me and doing very tedious sewing. Annie also helped make our revue-style bouquets. A.J. did all of the embroidery on her machine for me as well.
The costume took about a year for me to make and is by far my most expensive costume, 45 yards of velvet, 45 yards of rhinestone chain, a gross or three of swarovski crystals, tons of silver lace, probably 50 yards of tulle and so much more… It is the most complicated costume I’ve ever done and is complete with “made from scratch” steel hoopskirt, insanely fluffy crinoline to match, bloomers, and corset. Nothing on this costume was easy, and I learned a lot by making it. There are definitely blood and tears on this costume.
The cage hoop itself was an odyssey. It was the first time I’d tried making a hoop. I ordered the steel and connectors from Farthingales. The trouble was that the steel that I ordered was the largest and strongest they had… which was good in theory considering the Weight of my skirt (velvet and yards of rhinestones) however it turned out to be a very bad idea. Not only could you not drill through the steel (believe me, many drill bits died on that attempt) but no casings fit it. So this meant that I had to make casings for it myself. Also, no hoop pattern was the right shape and large enough to do what I was trying to do. I had measured out the actress from Takarazuka and knew that she was as wide as she was tall. In my case that meant that my skirt had to be 6 feet wide since I was six feet tall (not including my feathers.) About 4 or 5 people can fit, sitting, somewhat comfortably inside my hoop. It took many attempts of placement by Judy and I took get the shape right on the hoop, we really didn’t have any guidelines to go with, and much of it was sitting around trying to figure out the circumference of an oval. (haha, not so easy!) A good part of the time spent was spent on the hoop and crinoline, that no one ever sees!
The crinoline was also done from scratch (no pattern, etc.) to match the hoop and probably has like 50 yards of tulle on it. (can’t have your hoops showing now, can you?)
The corset was made from a Laughing Moon Silverado pattern and was chosen to give the right shape for the RoV takarazuka dresses. Rose of Versailles, the anime and manga, originally was not historically accurate to the French Revolution time period… and then Takarazuka took that and ran with it, so the musicals are even less accurate! But we were trying really hard to be accurate to Takarazuka, so that explains many of our choices.
The bodice started as a Simplicity pattern, but everything else was drafted by using draping and trial and error.
The final dress’s embellishment took a very long time as well. The embroidery was done by painstakingly sketching out the designs from Marie’s dress by freezeframing parts of the dvd, taking screenshots, blowing them up, etc, to make sure that the designs are accurate to her dress. After I drew and cleaned up the designs, I sent them to A.J. and she did them on her machine. Then I cut them out and sewed them on the dress, and on top of that sewed lots of bugle beads on top of the embroidery. On top and around the embroidery there is also lots of rhinestone chain… and then around that there are 3 separate sizes of swarovski crystals, probably about 2 gross total, I’m not sure *_*. There are crystals all over the white collar too! All the crystals are set with bedazzler, but the rhinestone chain had to be alternately sewn by hand and sometimes by machine.
Dual lines of rhinestone trim run down the sleeves, around various areas of the skirt, etc. In total it was about 45 yards of rhinestone trim (sooooo expensive!!!) There are also rhinestone brooches in the middle of each of the silver bows. The white lace with silver threads woven through it for the bellsleeves is some really fancy stuff I found at a doll show of all places. It’s actually shinier than the lace the real Marie dress has, but considering the style of dress I was using I thought it was perfect, other than that, everything else on the dress was done with the utmost attempt at recreating the original.
The wig is made from a base wig (in that trademark Takarazuka brown) that I cut bangs into (with Tristen Citrine‘s help) and then added extensions into and styled. The extensions for some reason were a rare color/style, and took 3 months to come in! The feather headdress is made from special ordered extra fluffy specially dyed foxtail boas, which also took several months to arrive.
I’m really happy with the final dress, it was so amazingly fun to walk around in such a crazy sparkly huge dress. I felt like a pretty pretty princess! (but then I am the QUEEN!) Huge thanks again to all my friends who made this possible.