{Costume Design: Frozen, Part One – The Main Characters}

It always takes me a while to decompress from a show enough to sit down, go through the pictures and write a post on the costumes, but I always get to it eventually. This year was an emotional doozy, and I am not entirely sure why. Perhaps it has to do with the group of children we are saying goodbye to, or maybe its the sheer amount of time and energy we all put into making this show the best it could possibly be, but all I know it, when it comes to Frozen, it has been hard to let it go.

See what I did there? Yeah, of course you did. And you’re probably cringing cause it was terrible. That pun has been used so many times by the cast and crew over the last couple of weeks, its just become second nature.

Anna

So lets begin the breakdown. Let’s start with Anna, who ended up with my favorite costume from the show: the coronation dress! Oh, this dress… so beautiful, and so completely frustrating to produce. I handpainted all the panels, as the other option was to applique them, and that just wasn’t going to happen. As is the case with these popular shows, I wanted to make familiar costumes with a new twist. And so Anna’s coronation dress was done solely in black, green and gold. It definitely did not have as much embellishment as the movie version but our three Annas told me how much they loved wearing it and that it was the most beautiful thing they’ve ever worn so… I’d call that a win!

We also had a pretty cool Anna quick change during “For the First Time in Forever.” She starts the scene in a nightgown and about halfway through the song changes into her coronation dress! This is done in about twenty seconds by my absolutely stellar crew. Our Annas are already wearing the bodice of the costume under the nightgown, so they get into the skirt with the help of the costume crew and run right back out onstage. It’s frantic and crazy for the crew but looks absolutely flawless to the audience!

Anna’s second costume was a much closer interpretation to her costume from the movie. Again, I went with a much simpler embellishment: a ribbon trim and gimp braid. Her cape was where I really went for it with the embellishments. I found a beautiful black trim and pompoms to adorn it with.

Young Anna, Young Elsa, King Agnarr & Queen Iduna

Our main characters’ child counterparts were also some of my favorite characters to dress for the show. They are featured quite prominently in the first few numbers of the show, and I wanted to do them justice with their costumes.

I ended up taking a lot of inspiration from the movie, using the same color palette. Anna ended up in greens with Elsa in a dark blue. The blouses they wore were store-bought; I found perfect ones on Amazon.

Queen Iduna was the bane of my existence for a long time. I just wasn’t seeing her costume. I started at least two other versions of it before landing on what eventually became her costume.

King Agnarr was simple: it’s a Prince costume from Amazon! Sometimes, despite the importance of the character, it doesn’t warrant the time and energy it would take to make the costume, and this was one of those times!

Kristoff, Hans, Oaken & Weselton

Kristoff, Hans, Olaf and Sven were two costumes that I did very little for. They were mainly reused items from the costume room, and some store-bought Amazon costumes. What people don’t tend to understand is that costume design is also about sourcing, and it was just as much fun to find the costumes for these characters as it was to make the costumes for the others. I scouted Amazon until I found nicer looking “prince” costumes and bought those.

Kristoff was one of the first costumes I decided on for the show. Every year, my first step is thinking about what we have in the costume room, and this old fur jacket immediately came to mind. We originally used it in Fiddler on the Roof, but it was perfect for this as well. I modified it by cutting off the sleeves and then replacing the fur in the shoulders. A long-sleeved shirt, sweatpants and Nordic-looking slippers competed it. The belt was purchased for the costume, and cut I half and also used for Sven.

Hans got a white suit, complete with pants. This was one of our Amazon purchases, and it was one of the more decent looking prince costumes they had. His cape actually came from one of the other kids (the boy playing Weselton). The original intention had been for Weselton to wear it, but it worked better for Hans.

Weselton’s was just a simple black jacket, with a sash and epaulets that were removable, which was great because there were two Weseltons. On the off nights, the other Weselton played his guard, and it was easy to make them match by just removing the details from the costume.

Oaken’s sweater was a fantastic find, one that I looked for FOREVER before settling on the right one. This was completed with a hat and suspenders, ad our actor provided his own pants which worked perfectly. As for his family, those were Target pajamas (I’ll focus on those a bit more in my ensemble post)! They were a highly talked about costume, ironically.

Olaf

You would think creating a snowman costume would be simple and easy, right? Well, when it comes to Olaf, not so much. First of all, I did not want to do anything that looked “cartoony” and we realized early on that doing a puppet would be terrible.

So I found a basic snowman costume pattern and worked from there. Olaf took shape slowly but wasn’t all that difficult to make. The look was completed with a carrot nose (which the blue unfortunately blocks – trust me, he’s adorable!) and a body suit to ensure that his limbs and most of his head were also all white.

Sven

My sister was kind enough to make the Sven head for us. I watched the process from beginning to end, and she definitely accomplished something that I never would’ve been able to do. She worked for hours on this for me while I entertained my niece and nephews.

Sven was pretty terrifying when he was in progress. I mean, it really looked INSANE before it looked like the amazing reindeer we all know and love.

And I know I am completely biased but I think it came out amazing!

I’m going to save the money costume – Elsa’s transformation dress (and the rest of Elsa’s costumes, for that matter) – for part three (part two will cover the ensemble characters), as I plan to outline everything about how the transformation was done.

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