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Gregg Barnes Reveals the Magic Behind “Aladdin”‘s Eye-Popping Costumes


I’m Gregg Barnes and I’m the costume designer for Disney’s Aladdin on broadway, the story to Aladdin in takes place in the fictional city Agraba
and it’s a place where in our imagination. It is like on the spice route, so all cultures converge in this place and we get to meet people in the marketplace, we get to meet people in a fabulous palace. So that it has we have the high, we have the lower and everything in between we used orientalism which is a Victorian a genre, we used a modern imagery, we look at the Cotton Club it harlem. So it’s span literally ancient
sort of a research up until really today, we look at crazy modern wedding dresses that have said that belly dance live and Mixmaster dollars that into I hope is out cohesive visual package.

The images that we have penned up here on the wall are all things that we use to inspire the artist that made the close, and I think you can tell
as you reference them that some of them are from Northern Africa, Morocco’s, some of them are from the Middle East, some of them are from India.

So we really did try to honor the feeling of this village that is really fed by all these cultures coming together, this costume is worn by Jasmine’s Attendance and the palace. And it’s an it is a good example a lot of techniques coming together, this a the beating on the bodies all done by hand. You can see it looks like she’s naked his part is her skin tone out but it has all this a beautiful being on it, and developers have alleviated in a skirt is actually hand-painted if you see this motif that runs along the hip.

And what we try to do with the painting at the palace was we did not use anything organic, this nothing from the natural world because it was for bedding to pick annals plants that kind of thing, so anyway all of these a graphics come from that sorta geometric world architecture actually, in the film the genie as we all know is a blue character and is very simply drawn and we have it are actors not blue so we bid with a the costume blue and we try to reinforce that idea that you are in slave even though it is a very rich looking costumes so it has the sort of collar. We have beaded bracelets that go on top of his sleeve and these are meant to almost look like a kinda livery so that when he is released up into the play from his bondage he wears a Hawaiian Shirt he’s a simple as as he can be.

This customers also engineered to be able to can see the sleeves here are attached really to a t-shirt, that we purchase so this part can be washed everyday, and to show their behalf you know many many of these tshirt. So that’s when the practical ways we keep things fresh, this is a good example of how we up a character transition from being a street rat a poor character into a prince.

And basically a in the marketplace there’s a lot of which surface texture, and it is a very its got out it’s busy with like pattern and its meant almost overwhelm you. Maybe a bit the Aladdin character stubs actually the simplest Garnett in the marketplace so that we can help audience focus on the the person who is merely, propelling our story and so he has these very simple Rosser pants that be painted with patches and latch
yard into to give them sums surface texture and he has this very simple bass that’s made out at parts of Indian tapestry that we found.

So through that help of the Gennie a Latin is transformed into a prince he goes to go the princess once again you can see that actually the pants are quite simple there just a really beautiful piece of fabric that have an elaborately hand-beaded side panel, this is for the wedding at the end of the play and we even that is our Royal characters we use I can see this is some kind a about lilia crocus we actually started to use natural forms in the artwork for the finale so it’s sort of like that poor world and wealthy we’re coming together.

I think the job everybody behind the scenes as to tell the story to help the actors who are telling the story lift them up and support them in that in that job, so the costumes are meant to be lavish and they’re meant to be a to conjure a lot of different exotic places and a time but really at the end of the day the job this for us to help a Gennie be a genie and a princess be a princess and at the very heart of the story
to help the actor playing a lot and Adam Jacobs go from being a street rat a banker with nothing to being a prince.

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