The Sparkle & Delight of the Greatest Showman Costumes

The Greatest Showman was released last year to great applause. This film is about circus superstar P.T. Barnum. It showcased many beautiful costumes created by costumer designer, Ellen Mirojnick. It’s not surprising that this production was performed as a musical, which is befitting the theme. Huge Jackman, Zendaya, Zac Elfron, and Michelle Williams headline the cast with their circus antics.

Sketch: Phillip Boutté/Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox; Photo: Niko Tavernise

One of the most beautiful aerialist costumes is worn by Zendaya for her performance. This aerialist costume featured a lush purple satin bodysuit with Swarovski crystals in a V-shape down the front. Ruffles surrounded the legs, with matching sleevelettes. The look was completed with gold leather boots. The fabric in her costume was actually stretch satin, making her look like a fairy, but actually giving her good movement for her aerialist act.

Apparently Ellen is quite a crystal freak, as her costume designing focused on covering them in thousands of crystals. She gained her inspiration from costumes dating back to the 19th century, just when P.T. Barnum created his circus shows.

About 85% of the circus costumes were made specifically for The Greatest Showman, so Ellen’s costume designing skills kept her busy for the show. But even of the remaining 15% of costumes that were purchased, most were torn apart and remade to suit the period.

The Greatest Showmen Costumes

Ellen also took inspiration from John Galliano at Dior. It was her goal to be true to the time period of 1845 to the end of that century. Apparently over 60,000 Swarovski crystals were sewn into the performers’ costumes.

The Greatest Showman

Ellen also gained some inspiration for her circus costumes from Las Vegas, and the romanticized jazz films of the 20th century. Her costume designing utilized different elements to create a magical and fantastic look in the film, including in the aerialist costume.

Apparently all-black is not suitable for such a flashy musical, so the goal was to use jewel tones and romantic colours for the circus costumes. Every colour of the rainbow was represented in the costumes, from blues, to greens, pinks, purples, and reds.
Ellen was aiming for a bespoke look by adding a lot of sparkle and elegance to her costume designing. She felt that it created light that lifts people’s moods, and makes every look better.

We can’t forget about the ring master costume in the film either. P.T. Barnum was played by HughJackman. Even though P.T. possessed no circus skills, he was still the greatest showman. His ring master costume featured a tailored suit with white shirt with cravat, a blue jacket and pants, and a red overcoat. He sported a tall black hat and a small black wand to complete his ring master costume.



Sketch: Phillip Boutté/Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox; Photo: Niko Tavernise Hugh Jackman as P.T. Barnum in The Greatest Showman.

If you’re hoping to be a part of the greatest show on earth, it starts with a great skill and a fantastic costume. CDP creates costumes for circus artists around the world. Please contact us now to discuss how we can add sparkle and delight to make you stand out on stage, because “The Show Must Go On”…