Aladdin is one of the best loved fairy tales, and Disney has brought it to life in books, film, and now with a musical performance that began in Broadway, then moved across the pond to the UK. Their performance of Aladdin has involved some intricately designed costumes that are brightly coloured, beautiful, and encrusted with over two million Swarovski crystals at last count.
Apparently this has been the first musical production that has ever utilized over 2 million individual crystals. A great number of hours has gone into designing these costumes and creating them for the stage.This stage production’s costumes for Aladdin has fallen under the responsibility of costume designer Gregg Barnes. He has been the one responsible for dreaming up “A Whole New World” of intricate and magical costumes. (A Whole New World is one of the hit songs of the stage production.) Gregg Barnes had to start at the beginning for his costume design. While he had books and films to reference, he wanted to create special costumes for the musical theatre production of Aladdin that stood apart from the others. You may have noticed how his costumes are brighter, shinier, and sparklier than anything you’ve seen before. When people purchase their theatre tickets, they’re expecting more than an entertaining show, they’re going for the wonder of it all. This means that not only must the stage settings wow the audience, but the costumes as well. Barnes also wanted a cohesive theme to carry throughout the show. What better way to do that then through sparkling crystals. He felt that the theatre show was a lot different than anything that has come before. You can’t have simply one or two costumes with crystals—the entire production must sparkle and dazzle and audience.
Barnes decided to take a look at shows such as Dancing With the Stars, belly dancer costumes, musicals, and Middle Eastern garments for costume inspiration. He has certainly succeeded in creating his unique vision of the show, yet still holding to the traditional imaginings of the Aladdin theme too. It took over 32 workshops to create the beautiful clothes seen in Aladdin. The Swarovski jewels have been sewn among beading, making the costume production tasks take doubly longer. These crystals were sewn into fabric that was sourced from many different countries, including China, France, India, Morocco, and Japan.
Many of the costumes also utilize modern construction techniques, such as laser cut leather, silicone moulding, and subliminal dye work. And even though the clothes look shimmery and light, they must withstand the hours of time on stage. On average the team had eight shows a week to do. That’s a lot of wardrobe changes that the Swarovski-encrusted clothing must withstand. The construction must be well-made, with each article of clothing requiring an inner layer too.
The costumes began by being cut into pattern pieces, painted, and then the Swarovski crystals applied. Then the pieces were returned to the dressmaker for final construction. The costumes still look as bright and sparkling during their first show in the UK as they did during their first opening show on Broadway.
Let your costume made by Costume Design Plans Team, and for sure it will be fabulous and sparkling with Swarovski crystals like a fairy tale!