Ciara Renée as Esmeralda and Andrew Samonsky as Phoebus Hunchback of Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Ciara Renée as Esmeralda and Andrew Samonsky as Phoebus

On the whole, I like the costumes. There is a lot of good textures and colors that match the spirit of the Disney movie but elevates them to the stage. In particular, I really like  Esmeralda’s main costume and Phoebus’ costume. While I don’t they are accurate to the actual historical times they don’t really have to be. Though I did look up Burgundian fashion/armor and Phoebus might not be too far off, but really it does matter. Esmeralda has a very good re-imaginaing of her Disney look. I find it a bit curious that her hip scarf is devore, which is a velvet that have treated so that fibers are burned away resulting in a pretty pattern. Kind of like this. I find it curious because I have longed suspected that Esmeralda’s original Notre Dame de Paris costume was done with a similar technique so is it an homage or coincidence? I think it’s a coincidence but I like to think it’s an homage.

Ciara Renee as Esmeralda, Papermill production of Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Ciara Renee as Esmeralda, Papermill production of Hunchback of Notre Dame

Her other costumes  are fine too, though I get shade of Ariel’s seashell bra with her red dress in the bodice. Not a criticism, it just something I noticed.

Patrick Page as Frollo singing Hellfire, Papermills Hunchback of Notre Dame, Picture image

Patrick Page as Frollo singing Hellfire, Papermills

However there are aspects of the costume and make-up are I find to be lacking.

Let’s start with Frollo. Poor Frollo, I have not been kind to this version of him. First off Frollo gets like two costume changes.  The black outfit he wears at the start before he takes his vows and during the curtain call. His other costume is his vestments which is his principle costume. He does also wear a black cloak when he goes to the bar. There isn’t so much as issue with his costume as  does fit with his character and profession but they could have done more. His vestment is white with a black stole with a red lining and that is fine but they should made different stoles that cover more of the pure white robe as he  falls deeper into lust because his lust was hardly ever communicated in his acting. Frollo is so cool in this version with minor bits of it here and there because the songs had the lines in the lyrics. Making his costume get a blacker as the show went on would have been a great little visual clue to his psyche as his lust consumes him.

 

Michael Arden as Quasimodo performing Made of Stone Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Michael Arden as Quasimodo performing Made of Stone

 

Kind of a similar issue I had with costumes functioning oddly  was the congregation removing their cowls during Made of Stone. The idea was that that they were aspects of Quasimodo’s mind as well as personified in stone but because they actors  are both the statues and people as other points in the show, taking off the cowl reads more of a costume change and they are going for the stones that are Quasmodo imaginary friends to regular towns people. I would have had them pull up the hoods of the cowls to hid their face i.e. losing the humanity Quasimodo gave them and fading into the darkness as soulless statues of stone. Not throwing off the cowl entirely.     (sorry for the bad picture)

Michael Arden as Quasimodo with Saint Aphrodisius, Musical Production of Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Michael Arden as Quasimodo with Saint Aphrodisius, Musical Production of Hunchback of Notre Dame

Hey speaking of Quasimodo, his make-up. I have so many issues with his make-up. I get what they were doing, they wanted to drive the point of what makes a monster and what makes a man by having the actor literally transform into Quasimodo on stage. This is a gimmick and it serves to make it seem like the audience wouldn’t get the point and ultimetly making the Disney movie more mature and taking it audience more seriously.

Also this is not a great transformation, the actor applies like two lines of face paint to his face and that is his facial deformity. Honesty, I don’t have a issue with making the make-up minimal and having the actor do more of the work to convey Quasimodo’s deformity, that is what Notre Dame de Paris did and they had a much more minimal of a  style and they still be more lines on Quasimodo’s face, making that make-up more elaborate. Also it’s not super impressive from a stagecraft perceptive to have a grand set and lines for make-up for a character that is supposed to have facial deformity. Maybe had they added a little bit more to that real time transformation, like an eye protusion prothetic it would have been a little more impressive.  Der Glockner’s make-up wasn’t anything amazing and yet it looks like the Phantom of the Opera comparatively but that wasn’t the point they wanted to be minimal, (or save on the make-up budget.)

The issue of “minimalism” is something that will get discussed in the  next post but it seems like there is a solid disconnect of the make-up, the costumes and the sets. For the most part the sets and the costume go together fine. They are not what would considered overly grand and elaborate  but they  richly colored and textured but the make-up is minimal? It’s just weird especially for a character who is known for a facial deformity? That is like making the Phantom of the Opera’s deformirt look like a sunburn, oh wait they did that.

It was a decent thought for Quasimodo’s make-up but it was misguided and lacking in execution. It’s like they needed to pick a style and commit, not have aspects of the production to be one style and other aspects be another.

 

And remember you can still vote in the poll, so tell your friends.

What should be the next version?

  • Quasimodo d'el Paris (53%, 9 Votes)
  • The Dingo Version (35%, 6 Votes)
  • Other (PLEASE say what it is in the comments) (12%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 17

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I love the dog as Djali.

Painting of Esmeralda and Djali by Wilhelm Marstrand

Painting of Esmeralda and Djali by Wilhelm Marstrand

Get ready to be confuse because I know I am. Skin has three tones; Cool, Warm or  Neutral. No matter your skin color you’re one of these these tones. Cool means you have a blue tint to your skin, you burn easily and your veins look more blue. Warm means you have green tint and your veins look green. Neutral skin tone means you have the bluer veins but you don’t burn as easily, I think . However it’s very hard to REALLY judge the whole green vs blue veins and also I’m far from being an expert on skin tone, I can’t figure out my own skin tone. But we’re  not here to take about me, no we’re here to figure out Esmeralda’s skin tone using the book.

Victor Hugo surprising did give a few clues about Esmeralda’s skin tone though I’m sure that was not his intention at all and I’m reading way too much into the words he wrote back in 1831. So let’s begin.

Frollo at one point comments on Esmeralda’s blue veins. Blue Veins means she would have a cool tone. But there is more. There is some evidence that Esmeralda’s golden skin that resembles Roman and/or Spanish women is the result of tanning or being outside a lot. Which means she more than likely tans easily and doesn’t burn as much which points to a warm tone. But more than that, Hugo says Esmeralda has a Golden Skin tint.

So either Esmeralda has warm tone and Frollo misidentified the color of her veins OR she has a fairly medium neutral skin tone. Of course with all her depictions in media she runs the gambit of skin tones.

 

 

Helene Segara as Esmeralda in the Prison dress Notre Dame de Paris design Fred Sathal picture image

Helene Segara as Esmeralda in the Prison dress design Fred Sathal Notre Dame de Paris

Here an idea for the lady who loves Notre Dame de Paris and wants to combine it into a ghoulish Halloween Costume.

Make the white dress she wears in the second act. I would suggest Butterick 5710 or Simplicity 1909 for the dress. Just add some flutter sleeve by cutting the sleeve bigger and gathering it along the shoulder and add ruffle to the bottom. Ruffle are easy to make. Click here for a tutorial. Of course you model after the Italian production which the dress was plain and white. I would suggest Simplicity 2247.

Then buy a fake nooseto either wear or carry add some undead make-up and voila a Ghoul Notre Dame de Paris Esmeralda.

Varations – You could get a plain white chemise and be book Esmeralda or make a shredded version of the Notre Dame dress and apply some Zombie Makeup and be Zombie Esmeralda. A Zombie Esmeralda could also be a applied to the Disney version as well.

The Undead Notre Dame de Paris Esmeralda is a costume I would make for Halloween.

 

If you’re making an Esmerlada here is a great make-up tutorial inspired by Disney’s  Esmeralda.  Video is by

The eye shadow palette that is used is NYX Nude On Nude Palette and the Lips Wet ‘n Wild Mega Shield Lip Make Me Blush and NYX Diamond Sparkle Lip Gloss Paprika Sparkle

Patsy Ruth Miller as Esmeralda with Eulalie Jenson as Marie 1923 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Patsy Ruth Miller as Esmeralda with Eulalie Jenson as Marie 1923 Hunchback of Notre Dame

The Costumes in the 1923 version of Hunchback are for the most part good. They look appropriate to fashions of the late middle ages. However with the exceptions of Chaney’s make-up for Quaimodo the costumes are not spectacular . There is no one costume that stands out and is memorable. They are just nice and appropriate to both the characters and the times. However there are two costumes I would like to discuss in addition to Chaney’s make-up since Chaney is the main selling point of the film.

 

Lon Chaney as Quasimodo 1923 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Lon Chaney as Quasimodo 1923 Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

Lon Chaney was a genius with make-up. It’s not wonder that he has been dubbed the “Man of a Thousand Faces.” His most memorable transformations of his own face in his film career were the Phantom and Quasimodo.

For Quasimodo, Chaney looked at illustrations of by Hugo to get an accurate look. For his cheeks Chaney used cotton and colodium. Colodium is a skin sealer. What he would do it paint spirit gum, which is an adhesive, apply a wad of cotton to it and then cover it with colodium. The process was repeated to build up the cheeks to the desire look. This also allowed Chaney to reuse the cheeks for a few day with minimal effort. For the hunch he wore a 15-20 pound plaster hump. The hump was held in place by a leather harness that attract at the waist. It also had straps at the shoulders that attached to the belt to keep Chaney in a hunch position.

He also wore a rubber suit over the harness in the pillory scene. He covered it with hair to give Quasimodo an animal-like look. Early in the film he had hair on his knuckles but he did away with that as the filming went one. Chaney also employed false teeth and a wig.

Lon Chaney as Quasimodo 1923 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Lon Chaney as Quasimodo 1923 Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

I don’t think the Quasimodo’s look has aged as well as  the Phantom’s make-up but Chaney did help solidify movie make-up and set a precedent for the look of future Quasimodos so I do give kudos to the make-up in this version.

Patsy Ruth Miller as Esmeralda 1923 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Patsy Ruth Miller as Esmeralda 1923 Hunchback of Notre Dame

So there are a few  costumes I want to discuss, three of Esmeralda’s and  Marie’s costumes. Esmeralda has four costume changes but I want to look at three, her normal outfit, prison dress and her robe. The Costumes were  supervised by Gordon Magee, that they only costume credit I found.

Patsy Ruth Miller as Esmeralda 1923 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Patsy Ruth Miller as Esmeralda 1923 Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda’s normal gypsy costume is based on a 1891 illustration. You can see it in the vest, short sleeves, the shoes and the mid calf hem line. While I like this costume as a whole it is inaccurate to the Romani convention that ankles should not be expose but their is another force at work in Esmeralda’s costume; the 1920’s.

Esmeralda’s costume has a more shapeless silhouette, long beaded necklaces and the sleeves look straighter and look more like modern t-shirt.

Patsy Ruth Miller as Esmeralda 1923 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Patsy Ruth Miller as Esmeralda 1923 Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

However Esmeralda’s prison dress and her robe look more like a product of the 20’s. Her prison dress has a shapeless silhouette and the way it cinches in at the waist and puffs over is very 20s. Plus the short hemline. Hemlines that hit mid-calf was the style in 1923 for hem.

Patsy Ruth Miller as Esmeralda 1923 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Patsy Ruth Miller as Esmeralda 1923 Hunchback of Notre Dame

However the robe is the worse offender of Esmeralda’s costumes. In a deleted scene from the movie, Quasimodo trades candles for clothing for Esmeralda to wear. He gets a robe or a “dressing gown” that has a fur trim and looks to be made of velvet with a satin belt.

Number 1; robes didn’t not exist at this time in Europe.. Robe/dressing gown came in to fashion in the 18th century  because orientism was fashionable. Number 2; given the materials, fur, satin and velvet, it’s doubtful that a mere chest of candles could be traded for a garment made from these materials. Beside those  issues, the robe features  the signature 1923 hemline and the shoes. The shoes that Esmeralda wears with the robe are flats with a flower detail. Clearly not shoes wore in the middle ages.

 

Eulalie Jenson as Marie 1923 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Eulalie Jenson as Marie 1923 Hunchback of Notre Dame

However the worse offender of the 1920 style in a costume is Marie’s. Marie is Clopin’s wife. Marie actually has two costumes but they’re very similar.  Both are very shapeless dresses that flattened out her chest which is  the classic 1920 silhouette.

Eulalie Jenson as Marie 1923 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Eulalie Jenson as Marie 1923 Hunchback of Notre Dame

One  has almost kimono-esque sleeves that have a scallops detail at the edge. Both hemlines hit at the ankles but one it’s a handkerchief hem, so the longest point hit the ankle.

Handkerchief hems were popular in the 1910-1920’s and it was seen in Ancient Greece.  While it was used in Antiquity it was not at all popular in 1482. The other one is pointed with a scallop edge which makes it appear shorter. While Esmeralda’s costumes harken to the 20’s, Marie’s flaunts it to the point that it looks really out of place.

Eulalie Jenson as Marie 1923 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Eulalie Jenson as Marie 1923 Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

The costumes are appropriately medieval for the men and the women’s costumes are mixed with the style of the 1920 to make they look more stylish regardless of period appropriateness.

Patsy Ruth Miller as Esmeralda 1923 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Patsy Ruth Miller as Esmeralda 1923 Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

Pictures came from the Philip J Riley Book

Next Time – The Sets

Notre Dame de Paris set from the 1923 version of Hunchback picture image

Notre Dame de Paris Set from the 1923 version of Hunchback

 

Notre Dame Eye Shadow picture image

Notre Dame Eye Shadow

Sigma had youtube makeup gurus develop a make-up palette based on Paris called Sigma Paris Palette.  One of the shades was inspired by Notre Dame Cathedral and it’s a really pretty purple taupe with lots of glimmer. The Notre Dame was developed by  . I can’t help but to think how  cool would it be wear a shadow based on Notre Dame.

xteener has a great little Smoky Eye Turrial using the Notre Dame shadow along with others colors from the palette.

xteener complete Notre Dame de Paris look picture image

xteener's complete Notre Dame de Paris look

I think this look by xteener is a good one for the Notre Dame de Paris Esmeralda, albet a bit more theatrical for the stage   Wouldn’t it be cool if one of the Notre Dame de Paris Esmeraldas were to wear the Notre Dame shade, it would be such an inside joke for the Make-up department and the cast. But in all seriousness,  Esmeralda should get some more dramatic eye make-up, I mean Quaismodo, Frollo, Gringoire and Clopin all get drmatic make-up looks whearas Esmeralda gets a very basic smokey eye. It’s time for Esmeralda to get more dramatic eye make-up.

Federica Callori 2011-2012 Italian Esmeralda Notre Dame de Paris  picture image

Federica Callori 2011-2012 Italian Esmeralda Notre Dame de Paris

 

Let me first say that I love costumes, I’m a sucker for period films with their pretty costumes. With that being said, with one major exception, the costumes in the 1939 version of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” are middle of the road. They help define the setting of the story and characters. But most of the costumes are not recognizable within film nostalgia (save for one).

Walter Plunkett's design for Esmeralda 1939 Hunchback of Notre dame picture image

Plunkett's design for Esmeralda

The costumes were designed by Walter Plunkett. Don’t know who Walter Plunkett is? Well even if you don’t know his name you may know his costumes, Walter Plunkett was the costume designer for “Gone with the Wind”. Perhaps designing grandiose Southern Belle/Victorian bustles is a tad more fun than designing costumes for medieval Parisian and Gypsies.  To the film’s credit it did have a ton of extras to cloth and they all look their parts.

 

Esmeralda's Maureen O'hara first costume 1939 Hunchback of Notre dame picture image

Esmeralda's first costume

Esmeralda's second costume Maureen O'hara 1939 Hunchback of Notre dame picture image

Esmeralda's second costume

Movie Poster Esmeralda Quasimodo 1939 Hunchback of Notre dame  picture image

Movie Poster featuring Esmeralda's costume in color

Esmeralda– The Gypsy Girl, obviously a gypsy dresses differently than a non-gypsy medieval person, how else can she be so easily identified? Esmeralda gets about three costumes though one is a plain white linen chemise she wears before she’s almost hanged. Her costumes are stylized and by no means accurate, like most costumes in movies, it’s time’s interpretation of whatever period the film is depicting. Esmeralda’s main dress is a long skirt with some patch work detail, a blouse (I suppose it’s moonlighting as a chemise) it looks like it has a slight sheen and also has fringe detail and a corset with some spangle detail. As for accessories she has a necklace and bracelet and of course being a gypsy dancer a tambourine. Her second outfit is a blouse with an embroidery detail at the neck and on the sleeves. She sports a long skirt with more embroidery. She also has a belt with a rather large buckle and a head scarf. Both of these design are derived from Plunkett’s design. As for the color of these costumes my guess would be her main one is red (though one movie has it’s a as purple and another movie poster has it as red) and I would guess her performance outfit is a blue skirt and a white blouse (though who can tell through shades of grey but the two costume are different shades of grey. Her costumes do read gypsy but they’re not overly gimmicky.

 

Quasimodo make-up Charles Laughton 1939 Hunchback of Notre dame picture image

Close up of Quasimodo's make-up

Quasimodo on the Pillory Chalres laughton 1939 Hunchback of Notre dame picture image

Quasimodo's Hunch

King of Fools Quasimodo 1939 Hunchback of Notre dame picture image

The Crown for the King of Fools

Quasimodo – As I mention there was a major exception to the run of the milliness of the costumes and while technically this applies to make up it still counts. The make-up for Laughton’s Quasimodo was masterful. A collaboration between Laughton and Make-up artist Perc Westmore and costed $10,000. Laughton & Westmore went through numerous versions and they were rejected by Laughton. He wanted his face loop-sided, so a mask had to pull the right side of face up and the left side down. A false eye was placed on his cheek and Laughton wore a colored contact in his right eye to make it look cloudy. The hump weighted 4 pounds and made of aluminum scaffold filled with a foam rubber and covered with a thin layer of elastic. Laughton wanted it to be heavy so that he could feel physical pain of walking. He also had an inch added to the sole of his left show so one leg would be shorter that other creating a natural limb. (this information is from Maureen O’Hara’s book “‘Tis Herself”). For Quasimodo the only requirement is the physical look and Notre Dame, Quasimodo can be in Tux and you would know who it is. One more thing on Quasimodo’s get-up, the King of Fool crown is a nice blend of a crown and jester’s hat.

 

Jehan Frollo  Sir Cedric Hardwicke 1939 Hunchback of Notre dame picture image

Frollo's costume

Frollo – The villain, he wears all black and has a severe look, straight almost square cut to the hair  (he’s a squareロ ). It looks to me that he wears velvet which is the blackest fabric and there is very little details to break up the costume so it looks like stab of black. He has a hat that has a built in cowl and has a fur trim a round his neck. All black, all severe, all rich fabric, his character is very clear  he’s rich, powerful and EVIL (or just an antagonist).

 

King Louis XI  Harry Davenport 1939 Hunchback of Notre dame picture image

King Louis's Costume

Louis– I’m going to mention Louis because he’s a counterpoint for Frollo because Louis also wears all black but he has many details to break it so the black reads as a power color and not evil. He looks like a medieval kings, some regalia but more casual. He also sports a hat with jewelry, more jewelry, and a fur vest. Black but approachable  yet kingly.


Gringoire Performing Edmond O'brein 1939 Hunchback of Notre dame picture image

Gringoire as a Harlequin

Clopin with hat Thomas Mitchell 1939 Hunchback of Notre dame picture image

Clopin's Feather Hat

Phoebus in armor Alan Marshal 1939 Hunchback of Notre dame picture image

Phoebus in armor (on left)

Archdeacon Claude Frollo Walter Hampden 1939 Hunchback of Notre dame picture image

Archdeacon Claude in less than period vestments

The Rest – Gringoire and Clopin wear pretty standard tunics nothing too special except Clopin has a big old feather in his hat. Gringoire also get a harlequin outfit for his performance at the party and it’s pretty standard.  Phoebus a suit of armor and it looks very silly. Phoebus also has some party garb it a cape and tunic basically none special not like his armor.  Claude the Archdeacon’s costumes looks more current(even by modern standards) than what a priest of 1400’s would have wore.

 

 

The buckle 1939 Maureen O'hara Hunchback of Notre dame picture image

The Buckle on Esmeralda's costume

Female Extras 1939 Hunchback of Notre dame picture image

Extras with 30's hairstyles

Fleur de Lys Helene Whiteney 1939 Hunchback of Notre dame picture image

Fleur in Chiffon

Finally being a film from the late 30’s there are costumes and accessories peppered throughout the movie that look more 30’s than medieval. Claude’s vestment (seen above), Esmeralda’s belt buckle (belts were more for swords not fashion), the extra’s hairstyle (note the length and curls) and Fleur, a glorified extra that gets a name, her dress screams late 30 design so much so that it stands out in my mind despite the fact that you only see it for a moment. The dress is made from what I can guess is a chiffon. Chiffon is not even remotely a fabric that would have been used in the 1400s. Chiffion was invented in the 18th. (Fun fact – Chiffon is french for “rag”).

More on another aspect of Mise-en-secene next time – Acting