I love Notre Dame de Paris and I love costumes so here some ideas for more costumes for the show.
Let me just preface by saying these ideas are adding, not subtracting or even really changing existing costumes in the show. Also I only have ideas for three characters.
So let’s start with the idea that is the least likely to happen, (also I do not think any of these ideas will get used in the show but if they do that would be great.)
1st idea: Quasimodo’s Grand Reveal
When Quasimodo is first seen in the show he on the cathedral rock wall structure and the audience sees his figure descending down. I think it could be cool if he had a cloak that really accentuates his form. Maybe with a wired structure or something. The cloak could be made in such a way it’s pulls a parts prior to his song for a dramatic true reveal. Might be hard to execute but could be done. It’s not like the his entry isn’t enough as is, this would just be extra spectacle . Or they do opposite and hide Quasimodo’s form with the cloak till his first song making him more of a reveal.
2nd idea: More Esmeralda Costumes
As I said I like costumes so more costume is always a plus and it’s more of a plus when they added thoughtful. Esmeralda doesn’t necessarily need more costume changes but there are places in the show that they could go and would work for the narrative. In theory she could be a different dress for the Fête much like in the Disney movie. This one is least necessary but I just wanted to mention it as possibility.
At the end of act 1 she meets Phoebus for their tryst. In a few movies versions Esmeralda gets a costume change for their meeting. Also the show did use a red rose fringe dress for promotion that depicted this scene. The dress was used for the London cast, 2001 French Cast also maybe the Russian cast too. So this would a very good place to add another pretty costume for Esmeralda.
Beginning of Act 2 Esmeralda as been arrested for killing/attacking Phoebus. She is recused by Quasimodo. In the book Quasimodo gives her some new clothing which is white and a nun’s habit. Not saying that for “Vivre” but it would be nice to have different costume from the prisoner one. Also in the original cast Esmeralda had her ruffle dress plus a lab coat looking item which she wears after “Vivre” though that could be for practical reasons. So she had two looks in the 2nd act, at least she did in the pro-shot. Maybe something white and a little ethereal and ephemeral to counter the previous costume which is now a heavy textured costume.
3rd idea: The Noblelady Fleur de Lys
This idea would be the easiest to add to the show. A lot of the costumes have multiple layers, like coats and vests. Though over the years the production have played around with it, Gringoire still have his coat as does Frollo. Clopin has lost his coat in favor of a vest. Esmeralda has long since lost her lab coat thing. Phoebus’ chainmail get taken off and on but Quasimodo and Fleur de Lys never got an extra layer. It makes sense for Quasimodo but for her….
I think Fleur de Lys should have detachable sleeves for the 1st act and for the curtain call and them have off for act 2. This would give her more prim elite noblewoman appearance in 1st act and then 2nd act when she use her sexuality to get Phoebus to make sure Esmeralda hangs her bare arms would further get the point across. She’s showing some skin to manipulate her man though showcase the power dynamics in their relationship. It would show how her character has changed throughout the show.
The type of sleeves I would like to see for her is not historically accurate but none of the costumes in this show are so it doesn’t matter. I would like to see her with long sleeves with a tippet. A tippet is hanging piece of fabric off a part of a garment. For Fleur de Lys it would a long streamer attract to the upper part of the sleeves. In this picture of Buttercup from The Princess Bride, the silver part of the sleeve is the tippet. So that and the sleeves would be detachable.
I could see the performer having fun this these especially during the curtain calls as the Fleur de Lys performers tends to spin and hold her arms out. Plus it would make her look even more noble and would be a subtle change from the first act to the second act.
So are my costume ideas for Notre Dame de Paris. If i could pick one it was be Fleur de Lys sleeves, even the designer went in a different direction it would be great for the character.