For more than four years, Michael Krass has been cutting pictures from his library, pinning them to a wall, and flipping through color palettes and fabrics to create his works in Hadestown. In the run-up to the Tony-nominated Broadway musical, he has climbed boards and helped design costumes for characters who lived with the ancient Greeks through his dress designs. Here’s what the designer of the costumes of Hadestown has to say!
It’s important to understand that this fantastic show could be about anything, anytime, anywhere, “he says. We started talking about periods of conservatism in America and looked at the Depression, the 1950s, and the 1980s. Part of this is still reflected in parts of the design, but also in the costumes.
Eurydice is an outsider, perhaps an outlier, but I don’t think director Rachel Chavkin will mind me saying that she has a lot to do with Hadesetown’s development, and her contribution to it is the clothes she wore or wanted to wear as a young woman. Krass built his wardrobe when she passed, noticing tiny peculiarities in the actors “performances. The fact is that I know Rachel as an 18-year-old student at NYU, so we have a shared past from which to draw.
Amy Arbus “photo of a young Madonna shows her during the trial, and she is stuck in the middle of the night, her head in her hands. So we should protect ourselves, hide undercoats and bags and scarves, give ourselves cover when the world gets warmer We enter, like Orpheus, or hide behind a coat, bag and scarf.
I try to tell the story of the world, the history, and the people of Hadestown in style and humor. The boots are bulky, practical, worn, strong but not too heavy or too light, with a little leather on them.
Ashe has a small, scuffed white feather in her hair, and Eurydice is the simplest, purest, and most prosaic. The pen is a thought that originated from the author Anais, but I hope you know that I am traveling with her.
Hades is a god of capitalists, industrialists, and powerful thugs, and it must be iconographically recognized. Huey Long, a Depression-era politician with pinstripes, looks like many others, but he’s a man of the people. His is one of the best of the costumes of Hadestown, specially designed to assert dominance!
Black has great power on stage, and his gaze has implicit power, but the fabric has silver threads in its stripes. The fabric was created at the end of the 19th century under King Henry IV, King of England. In Hadestown it is used to give the figure of the god a luster, a silver luster.
The boots become snakeskin because Patrick Page thought the braces on Anai’s sleeves could help her tell the story of a working-class man who goes around town in search of his wife. The tattooed stones were Patrick’s idea, too, but they became obvious when we started to get to know Hades. Then I thought of some of the other costumes, like the boots, the hat, and the red and white dress.
Hermes, the narrator, is a character who is very closely interwoven with the actors, and the repetition, even as the role develops, was a reaction to her. During the first few days of rehearsals, we realized that Hermes would be precise, sharp, and fast when Andre De Shields entered the London production.
I think the funniest and most obvious place might have come from Andrew’s jacket Sleeves: I had it sewn onto a soft rod, decorated with silver feathers, and then inserted into a curved fan shape. The role of Andre is inseparable from that of the suit, it’s a pure collaboration: we have the image in our heads, we have formulated the look, I have spoken to Rachel and we have danced with his hands.
Orpheus is also something of an outsider, an artist, and a dreamer who does not care about temporality, but he is also a man of the people, a man.
Reeve Carney was very personal and could see what Orpheus could wear. Reeva’s suspenders are the same as what he wears and he behaves and behaves in a similar way to his character. We tried so many ideas, but we were looking for something that had a history of charm and lightness, something with a certain sense of humor.
When we decided to buy one, we had 20 pairs of vintage trousers that we copied and one that was almost ruined, reflecting Orpheus “fiendishly difficult journey to Hadestown. We came up with the idea of Reeve, vintage, even Hermes, which we turned down – and we did.
The fantastic craftsman Hochi Asiatico, who is a painter and agent of the exhibition, and a fantastic artist and designer. We have all the tools and colors that make us work, but they are full of truth and we have them all.
Persephone, always amber and gray, is kept in shades of green, in a repetition of the costume, and Persephone is always amber or gray. Amongst the costumes of Hadestown, her’s is designed to show a more sensitive side.
Rachel came to the preview and said, “I think she’s Dolly Parton,” and she stepped in and entered with the funny, even trashy energy of Persephone. As the world of Hadestown unfolds, the dress changes, and there is a scene in which she tries to make a metallic corset out of a vine she is carrying outside. It is spring and summer when she begins to bring life, energy, and hope to a world she meets in the bar. The world collapses, letting her in, but she enters and re-enters again and again, with a different dress for every day of the week, until the end.
In her bar, she lets the thugs of Hades rise, and the idea of the bar gives way to a world of life, energy, and hope in the form of Persephone, the goddess of love.
Amber revels in these moments of change, and here she develops her performance: the insanely asymmetrical sleeves that shoot out of the pencil when you draw on them. The dress becomes a dress, not just any dress, but the dress of Persephone, the goddess of love.