Costume Designer

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Sam’s Jacket

One of my favorite pieces I’ve designed is Sam’s jacket in the Emperor’s New Clothes. I’m just in love with it and want one made for me. As with all of the costumes in ENC, I started thinking about Sam’s pieces in terms of our “modern fairytale” vocabulary. Sam says she wears jeans and hoodies all the time but regular hoodies as we know them are just too ordinary for the show. The ideas of comfort and wear-with-anything-ness of a hoodie were still important, but I also looked to some period research to inspire the design of a hoodie in the world of this play. Sam is a tomboy, so my research led me to men’s jacket styles of the Rococo period (in keeping with the 18th century motifs in her father the Emperor’s costumes). Here are some of the images I looked at:

After playing around with the style lines for a while, and considering that my actor is very petite, I settled on a jacket that riffs on the lapels and cufs of the period jackets and incorporates the shape and fit of the bodice of women’s dresses of the period. The lapels at once read period-esque yet tough, almost like a motorcycle jacket.


The slim fit feels very contemporary and by chosing a sweatshirt weight jersey I maintained the ease, comfort, and versatility of a hoodie. Of course, with this fabric choice I worked with my draper, Beth, to make sure the jacket was tailored enough to maintain the refined shape I wanted. Using flat felt seaming at the major style lines helped to reinforce the seams and help the garment keep its shape.

Here’s the color rendering, production photos to follow.


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