Hamilton is one of the most popular plays for the vibrant cast of characters is presented along with the hip-hop score. And what could be one of the most iconic remarks of the Hamilton play is the actor’s costume. If you wanted to incorporate the same style of clothing in your theatrical play, here is how the clothing was made for the Hamilton play.
1. Getting started with the historical figures of the 18th century
According to the costume designer of the Hamilton play, Tazewell, he started with searching up on the internet the most popular historical figures of 18th century. Now, most people are familiar with these looks because they have been exposed in grade school from Miranda’s contemporary presentation. Hence, the costume, from the shoulder down to the shoewear should be inspired by the said period. But from the neck to the hairstyle of the character would be inspired by the modern period.
2. Stick with long frilly coats and corsets
As what you may have noticed, women tend to wear corsets and men are dressed in lengthy and frilly clothes. But that doesn’t mean that the make-up and hairstyles of actors and actresses should also reflect the period. Just stick with the normal hairstyle and make-up. There’s no need to add lace and ribbons and complex braids anymore.
3. Always add a touch of modern
Tazewell said that he wanted to add a touch of modern in the costumes so that would be suitable and comfortable for the actors and performers while they are dancing and singing on the state. For instance, in female performers, Tazewell designed modern-cut leggings with stretch panels for maximum comfort. Instead of wearing running shoes, a sported riding boot is replaced that is just as comfortable with running shoes.
4. Using bold colors
The designer also said that the Hamilton should be in green as a representation of money. Hence, you can notice that even though there are neutral and plain tones, Tazewell make sure that bold colors are incorporated.
For example, the grounded man in Hamilton plays Thomas Jefferson is dressed in earthy brown but to emphasize his rockstar status, the Jimi Hendrix drab threads of the purple coat is introduced. It’s like bringing the sexy back to the 18th century.
5. Maximized mobility of the apparel
In order to make sure that the performers can stretch out their legs and arms fully while they are dancing or performing on stage, Tazewell makes sure that the dress is made out of silk taffeta. Silk taffeta was one of the most used materials for wedding dresses in the 18th century. It hugs the waist tightly, but from then on, it flows lightly down to the feet. In that way, shifting from one place to another wouldn’t be a problem to female dancers wearing gowns.
The specific period where Hamilton is focused is just like a combination of contemporary fashion and street style. Hence, Tazewell makes sure that the clothing is appropriate for the characters and can help the audience distinguish what era they came from without compromising their comfort and mobility.
If you are to make your Hamilton-inspired theatrical costume, you should consider using heat press machine for making shirts. Always remember that this type of theatrical costume is all about customization. The radiance of the 18th century with the contemporary feel and silhouette should be balanced. Hence, mixing the two is the best choice to achieve the Hamilton-styled theatrical clothing because eventually, that’s how Tazewell and his team created the costume for Hamilton play.