Quasimodo (Anthony Quinn) with a cat, 1956 The Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo (Anthony Quinn) with a cat, 1956 The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Quasimodo – One of the Hallmarks of any good Hunchback of Notre Dame version is how Quasimodo’s look. It’s important to his character. The 1956 version tried to humanize his looks and it didn’t work, at all.

He hardly has any deformity and he’s not a hunchback, Quinn just slouches, so he’s a slouch-back.  Did they forget his hunch? Anyway.  His over-all costume is tan and green. It fits in with scope of the other designs of the movie but it’s too neat and clean for a recluse bell-ringer.

Frollo (Alain Cuny), 1956 The Hunchback of Notre Dame picture iamge

Frollo (Alain Cuny), 1956 The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Frollo – Frollo’s costume from a design stand point is simple, he wears black, the end. Mess that up and you have an very incompetent costume designer.Of course ideally he wears a back hooded robe.

And this version got all those elements. There is some more design inserted into the costume but it doesn’t distract. He has wide sleeves typically called “poet sleeves.”  He also has seams that give his robe a padded look. He also sports a cape which gives a dramatic flair.

Robert Hirsch as Gringoire & Gina Lollobrigida as Esmeralda, 1956 Hunchback of Notre dame picture image

Robert Hirsch as Gringoire & Gina Lollobrigida as Esmeralda, 1956 Hunchback of Notre dame

Gringoire – Gringoire, like Quasimodo wears green and tan. His doublet has puffed sleeves that  extend into a false sleeve which gives of top-heaviness which was fashionable at the time. He also has the same padding like seams that Frollo has on his costume.

jean Danet as Phoebus,1956 Hunchback of Notre dame picture imge

Jean Danet as Phoebus,1956 Hunchback of Notre dame

Phoebus– Since Phoebus is rich and a soldier he get a few costume changes. He gets soldier suit and two civilian looks. However these looks are quite similar. All of his looks have sparkles which I’m sure is an anachronism. His costume also use richer fabrics than the other characters but the cut is identical to Gringoire’s costume.

Danielle Dumont as Fleur de Lys, 1956 Hunchback of Notre dame picture image

Danielle Dumont as Fleur de Lys, 1956 Hunchback of Notre dame

Fleur de Lys–  Fleur wears a light blue gown with a veiled hennin (the princess  pointy hat), which was the fashion in the 15th century.  Her style of dress is very on point with what women wore then, it has a high waistline and a v-neckline. Her gown is detailed with fur and appliques. Though appliques are yet an anachronism.

Philippe Clay as Clopin, 1956 Hunchback of Notre dame picture image

Philippe Clay as Clopin, 1956 Hunchback of Notre dame

Clopin –  Being as he poses a beggar, Clopin wears tan and rougher fabrics. Unlike Quasimodo and Gringoire, his clothing are ragged. He also is typically seen wearing a cloth cap that matches his tan tunic.

Quasimodo (Anthony Quinn) giving flowers to Esmeralda (Gina Lollobrigida) 1956 The Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo (Anthony Quinn) giving flowers to Esmeralda (Gina Lollobrigida) 1956 The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Overall, while the costumes in this movie are not to exciting they more or less work within the scope of a medieval movie. However they don’t stand out as being amazing. The worse thing about the costumes in this movie is the lack of effort on Quasimodo’s make-up. Even if you are going to humanize Quasimodo’s looks, he still NEEDS A HUNCH!

Next 1956 Article – The Sets

Set of Notre Dame from the 1956 version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Set of Notre Dame from the 1956 version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

For this post, I’m just going to look at Esmeralda’s costumes from the 1956 version of the Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Gina Lollobrigida as Esmeralda, 1956 Hunchback of Notre Dame , picture image

Gina Lollobrigida as Esmeralda, 1956 Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda’s red costume is the most remembered costume from this movie. Now this was the first colorized movie version so prior to this, Esmeralda’s costume didn’t have “official” colors. Now I have said before that I hate Esmeralda in red and this movie could have started that trend in movies. However I’m not going to let my dislike of a color choice get in the way of this review.

Gina Lollobrigida 1956 as Esmeralda picture image

Gina Lollobrigida as Esmeralda (1956)

This costume is much different from the previous Esmeralda costumes. Instead of a chemise with a corset over it and long skirt , we have a corset under the blouse and long skirt. Now one can argue that since Romani women were not much of a subject of medieval paintings it’s hard to know what exactly what they wore. However I highly doubt any Romani women would have wore what Esmeralda is depicted as wearing in this film. This costume really reads as a 1950’s rendering of a Gypsy. Is that a bad thing? No, not really.

How a common fashion styles impacts costumes in movies keeps things interesting, at least for me. However the cinch waist and defined bust line was a big hallmark of 50’s fashion.

So let me say what is wrong with costume from a more or less history/story context and then I will state what I think the positives are.

Gina Lollobrigida as Esmeralda Hunchback of Notre Dame 1956 picture image

Gina Lollobrigida as Esmeralda Hunchback of Notre Dame 1956

First off, the corset. The corset didn’t become and undergarment till the 16th century, and the definition wouldn’t have been so defined as this. I personally find the waist line on this costume to be too much.

Second I find the monochromatic color a little odd. The only other character in this movie too wear one color is Frollo (and in one scene Jehan). It just seems out of place and character to make her wear a single color.

I get what they were trying to do in putting her in one color, it was to make her stand out from all the extras, but if just makes it look like she is from a different movie. I think that is main compliant I have with this costume, it has no synergy with it and the other costumes making it look out of place.

Gina Lollobrigida as Esmeralda Hunchback of Notre Dame 1956 image picture

Gina Lollobrigida as Esmeralda Hunchback of Notre Dame 1956

There also the little matter of her dagger being used as as accessory. In the Book Esmeralda concealed her little dagger as it was against the law to carry one. Here it’s on full display which makes it seem more like a part of her costume rather than a plot point or a weapon. And then there are the darts.

A dart is a sewing technique where fabric is folded and sewn to give it a three dimensional shape. The dart was pioneered in the early 1950’s. Esmeralda’s costume has a total of two sets of darts. One sets on the bust and the other runs vertical on the front. It’s a utilitarian anachronism but it makes the costume look way more modern than the other costumes in the movie.

Gina Lollobrigida as Esmeralda, 1956 Hunchback of Notre Dame , poicture image

Gina Lollobrigida as Esmeralda, 1956 Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda second costume is a little bit more refined. She wears a yellow costume that has the same basic components as her red one but with a gold trim along the bust. This costume has different tones of gold which break it up nicely. Again it looks a bit modern for the style of the movie.

 

Gina Lollobrigida as Esmeralda, 1956 Hunchback of Notre Dame, picture image

Gina Lollobrigida as Esmeralda, 1956 Hunchback of Notre Dame

Then there is her third costume which is nothing more than a white shift. Which is exactly what it should be.

It probably her least interesting costume but it fits in the most with movie and the book. Also when she wears the shawl with it, I think it’s a nice touch.

Esmeralda (Gina Lollobrigida) dances, 1956 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda (Gina Lollobrigida) dances, 1956 Hunchback of Notre Dame

All in all her costumes defiantly have a sense a style and the departure from the normal Gypsy look is refreshing. Do I personally love these costumes? No but I don’t hate them despite my nitpicking. I just wish that red costume as it is the iconic costume blended better in the film better.

Next 1956 Article – Costumes of the other Characters

Frollo (Alain Cuny), 1956 The Hunchback of Notre Dame picture iamge

Frollo (Alain Cuny), 1956 The Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

Esmeralda's White Costume, Notre Dame de Paris, picture iamge

Esmeralda’s White Costume, Notre Dame de Paris

It’s been a while since I have made a new Notre Dame de Paris Lens. This time it’s on Esmeralda white costume. I’m not sure if this costume is as polarizing as her green one. But I like it. I found it odd that with how over-the-top the Italian performance is that the white costume is so simple.

Weirder still, I find the World Tour cast choice odd. There is is like two versions of this costume but the dancers where a version that look the costume you seem in practically in every other version.

anyway enjoy

http://www.squidoo.com/esmeralda-white-dress

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.

 

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Disney Esmeralda Hunchback of Notre Dame dancing

So you want to Dress up as Esmeralda?

Esmeralda is a great choice for a Halloween costume. It’s fun and being a Disney character’s costume it’s identifiable (which means more candy ). Plus you can wear the piece in your day-to-day life. Or you can buy a Pre-made Esmeralda Costume that are morelike generic Gypsies costumes.

The great thing about the costume is that you can buy all components that you need.  So it’s an easy DIY costume.

Here what you need; A white peasant blouse, purple skirt, darker purple hip scarf, blue waist cincher or corset, a pink headband or scarf, and her jewelry.

so here are some items you can buy to make her costume or a costume inspired by here’s. (I’ll list three or so for each remember you can also check my Esmeralda Lens for more )

White Blouse

This is a popular choice

 

Skirt

Hip scarf

Corset

Comes in Blue

Comes in Blue

Head piece

Jewelery

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

 

Julie Zenatti as Fleur de Lys Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Julie Zenatti as Fleur de Lys Notre Dame de Paris

Fleur de Lys; Costumes of Notre Dame de Paris

It’s still kind of a work in progress but it for the most part functionally done. the Lens is broken down for components instead of by casts.

Anne Menson as Fleur de Lys  picture image

Anne Menson as Fleur de Lys

Compared to Esmeralda’s costumes, I find Fleur de Lys’ costume a little plain. It’s a nice enough dress but a little lacklaster for the stage. I actully like it when she has a more intricate hairstyle and I like the romantic versions of the costume but with more vibrate saturated pink tone. In a  way I prefer the concept design of Fleur de Lys better. I wonder how the different  versions would have altered it. But then you have to wonder “what does the front look like?”

Fleur de Lys design for Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Fleur de Lys design for Notre Dame de Paris

Tell me what you think What do you think of Fleur de Lys’s costume from Notre Dame de Paris or the Notre Dame de Paris Costumes in general?

Hopefully I can do at least two more of these Notre Dame de Paris Costume lenses; one for the prison dress and one on Esmeralda’s bonus costumes. We’ll see about the male costumes.

 

As Esmeralda been adapted for different versions of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, she has wore red a lot.

Esmeralda & Phoebus Illustartion picture image

Esmeralda & Phoebus Illustartion

The first couple adaptations La Esmeralda (the opera and the Ballet)  her costumes has red details.

Costume design for La Esmeralda Opera 1831 picture image

Costume design for La Esmeralda Opera 1831

 

In 1839, Belgium Painter, Antoine Wiertz depicted her in all red.

Painting of Esmeralda and Djali by Wiertz

Painting of Esmeralda and Djali by Wiertz

In 1870 ballerina, Adelina Patti, is depicted in a costume with a red skirt. The Ballets runs the gambit of colors from blue to green to pink though red seems to be the popular color choice.

Adelina Patti as Esmeralda 1870 picture image

Adelina Patti as Esmeralda 1870

 

Paloma Herrera as La Esmeralda Ballet picture image

Paloma Herrera as La Esmeralda Ballet

La Esmeralda Ballet picture image

La Esmeralda Ballet

La Esmeralda Ballet with Phoebus picture image

La Esmeralda Ballet with Phoebus

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s not till we get to the movies that we see red surfacing as the dominate color for her. The 1923 movie has at least two instances of a colorized posters one is yellow and purple and the other has red details.

Hunchback of Notre Dame 1923 Lon Chaney picture image

Hunchback of Notre Dame 1923 Lon Chaney

Hunchback of Notre Dame 1923 Poster picture image

Hunchback of Notre Dame 1923 Poster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 1939 despite Walter Plunkett’s design being mostly blue with red details and a red vest the coloration of her dress on a poster is all red.

Walter Plunkett design Costume for Esmeralda 1939 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Plunkett’s costume design for Esmeralda 1939 Hunchback of Notre Dame

Movie poster for 1939 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Movie poster for 1939 Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Though to be fair there are a few posters  where she wears green and blue, but there is more red.

Hunchback of Notre Dame 1939 Poster picture image

Hunchback of Notre Dame 1939 Poster

Movie poster for 1939 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Movie poster for 1939 Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the 1956 version Esmeralda wears all red for most of the movie.

Gina Lollobrigida as Esmeralda Hunchback of Notre Dame 1956 picture image

Gina Lollobrigida as Esmeralda Hunchback of Notre Dame 1956

But I find it curious that she wears yellow at her ill-fated meeting with Phoebus over red.

Gina Lollobrigida as Esmeralda Hunchback of Notre Dame 1956 picture

Gina Lollobrigida as Esmeralda Hunchback of Notre Dame 1956

Gina Lollobrigida as Esmeralda Hunchback of Notre Dame 1956 picture image

Gina Lollobrigida as Esmeralda Hunchback of Notre Dame 1956

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 1996 Disney version Esmeralda wears red during her dance performance but for most part she wears purple.  I do have to wonder if Anne-Marie Bardwell had something to do with Esmeralda wearing purple throughout the movie as she was  credited in Character Design/ Visual Development and one of the animators on Esmeralda.

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image red dress

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame Dancing

Though she wears red/dark pink in Der Glockner von Notre Dame the German musical.

 

Esmeralda dancing Der Glöckner von Notre Dame Picture Image

Esmeralda Dancing Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

 

 

In Notre Dame de Paris Esmeralda wears green but there is one red dress that was wore  for advertising for the London cast and the 2001 French cast. This dress is only wore once on stage in the Russian version during her meeting with Phoebus. And even in the 2010/2011 concerts Helene Segara wore red to sing the musical.

Tina Arena As Esmeralda in the Promotional Red Dress Notre Dame de Paris 2000 London Castpicture image

Tina Arena As Esmeralda in the Promotional Red Dress Notre Dame de Paris 2000 London Cast

Helene Segara performing Bohemienne at Bercy Concert picture image

Helene Segara performing Bohemienne at Bercy Concert

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recently in the new illustration novel by Benjamin Lacombe and the  Graphic Novel by Robin Recht and Jean Bastide, Esmeralda wears red.

Esmeralda by Benjamin Lacombe Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Esmeralda by Benjamin Lacombe Notre Dame de Paris

Esmeralda Notre Dame de Paris Graphic Novel by Robin Recht and Jean Bastide picture image

Esmeralda Notre Dame de Paris Graphic Novel by Robin Recht and Jean Bastide

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you look at all these instances, why is red her default color? Is it because green is too obvious for her given that her name means Emerald and red is opposite color to green making it the non-obvious choice? Seems a rather simplistic design notion for a costume, especially when one thinks that the color red is in total opposition to her as character.

Esmeralda Statuette by Armani picture image

Esmeralda Statuette by Armani

 

The color red typically is associated in Western cultural with  passion, desire, love and sexuality. Esmeralda’s personality is lighthearted, innocent, naive and modest. She doesn’t seem the type character to outwardly express her sexuality because even though she inspires desire in others, she herself is unaware of it.

Red is also in opposition of Esmeralda’s allegorical role as the Virgin Mary who traditionally wears either wears blue or turquoise.

Red also seems to age Esmeralda, her main point of interest in the novel is her youth, blue and green are more youthful colors but red comes off as mature.

Finally in the Romani culture, red is a color of ill omen as it’s associated with Blood (The Lure of the Gypsy Culture ) Though maybe the costume is meant her to  be ironic like she is subconsciously giving her in to tragic fate, though she lives more often than she dies and I don’t think the costume designers are that clever or that cerebral.

Shirel as Esmeralda in the Red with Laurent Ban as Phoesbus Notre Dame de Paris 2001 French Cast picture image

Shirel as Esmeralda in the Red with Laurent Ban as Phoesbus Notre Dame de Paris 2001 French Cast

 

However, maybe this whole matter is quite simple, does Esmeralda wear red in the book?
In the book there are  only a few instances where her clothing is described. When Gringoire first sees her, she is wearing a golden bodice (Book 2 chapter 3 Kisses for Blows) Frollo mentions that she wears blue when he first saw her dance (Book 8 chapter 4 Lasciate Ogni Speranza) and of course she wears white in the later part of the story when she condemn to die and brought into Notre Dame.

I think there maybe an instance of her wearing a multicolored skirt but I can’t find the instance in the book and her necklace that contains her baby shoe is stung with red seed beads,  other that she does not wear red. So why is she in red since red is in total opposition to her as character and there is no precedence for it in the novel.

Auguste Couder's Painting of Frollo stabbing Phoebus picture image

Auguste Couder’s Painting of Frollo stabbing Phoebus

If Esmeralda doesn’t wear in the book and it’s a color that is against every aspect of her character why does red seem to be the color of choice for her.

One reason I think is red is an easy color choice to make for when a character is suppose to stand out and be thought as desirable. There might be another level, Esmeralda is a Gypsy, this gives her an sense of exoticism and one popular style of art in the 19th century was Orientalism. Orientalism in art meant depicted exotic sense from place that were exotic to Europeans. The paintings use a lot of rich colors and a lot of red especially for women.

Une Beaute Prientale by Paul de la Boulaye picture image

Une Beaute Prientale by Paul de la Boulaye

 

So her being in red could mean that the costume designers are saying Esmeralda is an exotic beauty who is sexual desirable even though Victor Hugo meant for Esmeralda to work against the stereotype, why else would he have Gringoire said this to Frollo about her;

I certainly  consider it a great rarity to find such nun-like prudery fiercely maintained in the midst of those gipsy girls, who are so easily tamed” (Book 7, chapter 2). Esmeralda’s purity is part of her allure and to have her wearing red more less bastardizes the point of  her character

Painting of Esmeralda and Djali by Wilhelm Marstrand

Painting of Esmeralda and Djali by Wilhelm Marstrand

Red is just the wrong color for Esmeralda as a character and is it far too over done to be her dominant color anymore, details are fine but it’s too much red  but in over 170 years worth of adaptations it has become a boring cliche. I think this  is a cliche that need to at very least ebb. Costume designers of newer Hunchback adaptions if you read this please consider using different colors and if you must use red make it details or at the very least  try a different tone it doesn’t always have to fire engine red.

Esmeralda and Frollo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda mocks Frollo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Helene Segara as Esmeralda Notre Dame de Paris

Helene Segara as Esmeralda from Notre Dame de Paris

I was reading on http://notredamedeparisfans.tumblr.com/ that tumbler user express a dislike  for Esmeralda’s green dress from Notre Dame de Paris. You can read the post here (post doesn’t seem to be of NDdp Fan anymore).  She finds the dress to be like a sack with no movement and thinks the show should have opted for more traditional gypsy costume designs. Overall she doesn’t care for the design. Now since I don’t have a tumblr account and I made a squidoo lens on this topic, I’m going to offer up a defense with a blog post. However this is not the first person to express a dislike for the costume. So it’s nothing new.

Helene Segara as Esmeralda Notre Dame de Paris design by Fred Sathal

Helene Segara as Esmeralda design by Fred Sathal

 

I really do like the design I think it’s pretty and has a fashion edge to it. Of course I do not like all the versions of the dress. I tend toward the ones where you can see the texture more and I prefer one that are not floral patterns. I think the reason why the show didn’t opt for the cliche “gypsy” look was the show was trying to go for a “modern” and less of the musical vibe: more like music video as musical in France were not popular in 1998 (they mentioned this in either the featurette or on the frequent star special). This is probably why they got Fred Sathal  do the designs. Sathal is a fashion design with costume-like POV but not a costume designer, so all the costumes are not typical musical costumes.

Helene Segara as Esmeralda Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Helene Segara as Esmeralda Notre Dame de Paris

 

As for the movement, the dress does have some movement (watch Bohemienne) and while Esmeralda is dancer as part of her character, the actresses are not cast for their dancing, so the movement of the dance factor is mute point. I mean when an Esmeralda does dance she moves her hips, spins, runs around and/or does hand movements, not exactly movements that need a flowy skirt to showoff the quality of  movement and lines (well maybe the spin do). Plus she only dances once in two hours, so the play isn’t that interested her dancing.

 

Lola Ponce as Esmeralda Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Lola Ponce as Esmeralda Notre Dame de Paris

 

Later in the tumble post it’s mentions that red promotional dress that was used for London cast, French cast and was used in Russian version is prettier. Problem with that dress is the color is red which is Quasimodo’s color so it does really work for the show. Unless the colors are switch ( but I prefer Esmeralda in green, red is too cliche) or the dress was made green the dress.  I wonder what that would be like…..

The Red Promotional Notre Dame de Paris in Green, Tina Arena(Esmeralda) and Garou (Quasimodo)   picture image

The Red Promotional Notre Dame de Paris in Green, Tina Arena(Esmeralda) and Garou (Quasimodo)

I like the red promotional dress, I just don’t care for the fringe, especially on the sleeves. I kind of like it in green though it’s pretty in red. Also for the record I like the second act dress too (I’m planning a lens on that too ^_~). I like flutter sleeves, cowl necklines and ruffles. Consider that the dress is a prison doesn’t make a ton of sense but when did musical have to be logical.

 

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

 

Maybe another cast versions should change up the costumes a bit variety being the spice of life. But let’s hear from you what are your thoughts, people? Do like the Notre Dame de Paris Costume Style or should it opt for a more traditional musical style (whatever that means)?

Bada as Esmeralda Korean version Notre Dame de Paris  picture image

Bada as Esmeralda Korean version Notre Dame de Paris

Here’s a picture of TinkerBell in Esmeralda’s costume. Consider it, TinkerBell cosplaying as Esmeralda for Halloween.  It’s more Fan Coloring done by me. You want to post it, give the Hunchblog credit please ^^ Enjoy

TinkerBell as Esmeralda costume Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

TinkerBell as Esmeralda