Elphaba > Elphaba's Act II Dress Breakdown and Analysis
Elphaba's Act II Dress Breakdown and Analysis
Below is a detailed breakdown and
analysis of the Act II dress. I break the outfit down from head to
toe, starting from the top! See the Act
II Dress Page for full pictures of the outfit.
The hat is a pointy
witches hat that is a little lop-sided with the brim on the left side
turned up slightly. The point of the hat is not a symmetrical
cone, it is a little crooked
and squiggly. The hat is not plain black. The fabric
used is black with a dark blue or grey, I am going to "small
splatters" or almost scale looking spots, covering the hat.
The brim of the hat also has, I guess you could call, binding, on it.
it isn't a symmetrical cone shape?
the upturned brim
up of spots
Elphaba has her same long dark brown wig
in Act II as well. She wears it down for some scenes and others it
is twisted into a bun at the base of her neck (so she can still wear the
hat). I can't figure out why she wears her hair up sometimes
because some Elphaba's have their hair down in the same scenes where
some have their hair up. So, maybe preference of the actress?
The bodice of this dress is very very
complicated. But I am going to start with the original bodice
which is much simpler. The original bodice has a collar, long
sleeves with small puffs at the top and a large "V" shaped
patch in the front covered in netting and with ruffles along the edges
of the "V". The original idea was that Elphaba had
patched up her Defying gravity dress along her journey so the top was
kind of a similar shape as that dress. That top did not last very
long and was only worn by some early Elphabas.
Now, the second incarnation of the bodice
is very detailed. It has the same sort of shape to it
though. A high collar, long sleeves etc but it has a corset type
piece starting halfway down the bodice that has multiple panels.
The panels in turn have multiple fabrics patch worked together to make
very unique textiles that have some glittery fabric, velvet and various
other fabrics. Some of the panels also have what looks like black
velvet ribbon sewn the the seams. The bottom of the corset is not
straight across, it is jaggity and zigzaggy. Above the corset
piece, the bust of the dress again has some fabrics patch worked
together with what looks like lace over it. On the back, the
corset sections also start about halfway down the top and you can see
the back has a zipper. On the left underbust and the right collar
there is also some flower shaped beading accents. The collar is ruffled
and scrappy looking, if that makes sense, like someone cut the fabric
and just left the edges rough with out finishing them.
The sleeves are the same types of
material the bust part of the top is made of. some type of black
overlain on top of other materials. the sleeves have a lot of
loose threads hanging off of them as well. The cuffs of the
sleeves have the same rough shape as the collar with rough edges and
loose fabrics. Some sleeves have different trims around the cuffs
as well. On the shoulders of the sleeves, there ruffles, if you
want to call them that. They are rough and jaggity like everything
else. It looks like the right side is purple and black ruffles,
the left looks more like it is just black or a really dark purple.
cuff, note the cute trim around the wrist
of sleeves and the ruffles on the left side
on the right
the dangly strings hanging off the sleeve
Elphaba does not appear to wear the cape
in all of the scenes because she doesn't appear to have it during some
production in the scene at the corn field where she fights with
Glinda. The cape is a dark wine color and looks like a slightly
shiny fabric. It goes almost all the way to the floor, maybe a foot off
of the floor or so. One thing to note is that it isn't all the
same length, it gets shorter going all the say up to about the hips and
cascades down the a longer length.
The skirt is very detailed like the
top. The shape is more fitted at the hips and flares out near the
bottom. It has dozens and dozens of strips of fabric sewn to the
skirt and varies colors and patterns of fabric. The edges look
like they have been surged. The strips do not start out going
horizontal, until about half way down the dress and slant upwards to the
middle front of the skirt (almost in and "A" shape if that
makes sense). As the strips go down the skirt, the eventually
become horizontal in orientation. There are some loose strings
hanging on the skirt like there are on the top. Some skirts appear
to be a little fuller at the bottom than others.
it goes up in the top middle and the stripes eventually become
skirt isn't quite as full at the bottom
see the strips going upwards near the top here