Wednesday, July 20, 2011

CHOIR HOW-TO -- Costume -- Part ONE: Dressing the Choir -- what NOT to wear?

The Stairwell Carollers first photo - 1977 - Ottawa U student newspaper
I've always been stubborn and a know-it-all. I know it -- ask anyone who knows me. My Mom used to call me Doctor Holly -- but that's another story -- one you won't read here because it has nothing to do with the Stairwell Carollers.
That's me, Holly
So, early on I decided what the choir would NOT wear -- rather dictatorial in retrospect, but I was too vain for my own good and refused to be seen in anything decided by someone else. I did have an awareness of the importance of the whole group's appearance and the impression costume could make. I wanted us to have a "Look" -- but what kind of look was not clear to any of us yet. Looking back at some of my own personal clothing choices, perhaps I should have given up some control. LOL.

Holly choosing to wear pink stretch pants and a yellow sweater
But no one resisted, thus -- I became Costumier for the Stairwell Carollers.

It didn't hurt that I loved doing costume for my Ottawa U. Theatre courses. I guess the choir deferred to my expertise, such as it was.

Early on we had had a few discussions about what to wear that resulted in random Christmas colour sweaters with scarves. More from a lack of funds, since we were all starving students.
At the Rideau Centre -- still random with scarves-- and still jeans -- weirdly I'm in a dress -- well, it WAS red:)
We went all out a year or two later and added little bells as accents.
I liked this look -- the opposite scarves and sweaters clicked.
Then the fun began when I wanted us all to wear the SAME sweaters -- what a nightmare! Sizes, the right style -- no store had ENOUGH of one or the other.

We made a group decision that the choir members would buy them, but we would keep the sweater if they left the choir. This worked for a while -- till the sweaters got old and the group got bigger.  We couldn't find the same sweaters, so, START AGAIN!

For a while we had these green sweaters I'd like to forget. Two years ago I finally cleaned out my basement and donated them to the Salvation army.

Next Part 2

The Choir Costume series links :)

Choir Costume Part 1 - what NOT to wear?
Choir Costume Part 2 - Gowns or Gownless Evening Straps?
Choir Costume Part 3 - Girls in Tails
Choir Costume Part 4 - Period Wear -- Medieval/Renaissance to Victorian Era
Choir Costume Part 5 - Cloaks are all the Vogue
Choir Costume Part 6 - Spring Pastels to Basic Black

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You can also email your questions to me - info (at) stairwellcarollers (dot) com.
Holly :)

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