When I first started this blog, I was an unemployed costumer attempting to create period gowns and costumes with very limited means. Although now employed, I still try to be as thrifty as possible. I am still "The Broke Costumer"!

In addition to posts about the outfits I make on a budget, this blog includes short research articles on fashion, history, accessories, styles, or whatever interests me at the moment.

I hope you enjoy my journey into the land of inexpensive costuming and short articles.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

A Throwback Post - Repo! The Genetic Opera

While I am finishing up my current holiday outfit, I thought I would post some photos of costumes I made for a production of Repo! The Genetic Opera back in 2010.  While this movie is not for everyone, the costuming was fun to do!  Costuming was done on a near non-existent budget, so it fit right in with the Broke Costumer's ideals.  The actors perform on stage with the movie playing on the screen behind it, similar to midnight showings of Rocky Horror Picture Show.

The first costumes I made were "GENtern" costumes (kind of a sexy nurse).  I made 6 white and 1 black.  All were made from  doubleknit and only took about two yards each, as they were very short, as you can see.  Easy slip on over the head with a velcro neck for a closure.  We made the red masks from red acetate and elastic bands.  Here is a shot from the movie, a few of the girls, and the pattern I used and modified.

The next costumes I made were for the character Amber Sweet, played by Paris Hilton.  Amber is in many of the movie's scenes. There were a few actresses of different sizes who played the role, so I had to make Amber's costumes to fit any size girl, and that were easy to get in and out of. 

 For this costume, I ended up getting a $12 white corset on ebay and added a large modesty panel in the back, so it could expand or cinch down.   Black and White yarn was attached to the bottom of the corset all around to just below the knee.  I used cheesecloth on the corset and stretched it out like cobwebs and hand sewed it on.  No pattern used here.  Here is a shot from the movie, and two different sized actresses.


I also made for Amber a black strap skirt with D rings for another scene.  Again, no pattern was used, just fitted to the actress' body.   Here is Paris Hilton on the left and the actress on the right. Uncanny resemblance!

In another scene, Amber is wearing a pink print dress with yarn flowers around the bottom, and a short purple wig.  I found a cheap polyester print that was as close as I could find.  For the bottom, I simple sewed those fuzzy pompoms all around the hem.   Easy on and off, pulls down over her head.  The hardest part was finding a short purple wig.   I ended up getting a long one and giving it a haircut!  Here is the movie shot, the actresses and the pattern I modified.

 The last one was a challenge.  Amber appears on stage in an extremely short and very wide 18th Century gown.  I found a Halloween pattern similar to what we needed, but the problem was the under structure. With a zero budget, I had to come up with something for huge panniers that were lightweight, and could be taken off and on quickly.  I went to Big Lots looking for something.   I found some plastic lawn edging for $5.  I was able to bend it into a very strange structure that fit around the actress' hips, and  to keep its shape, tied cords around and around it.  This was covered in scrap fabric and then attached to a thin belt so the actress  basically stepped into it and  fastened the belt.  I don't have a photo of it, as it was tossed a few years ago. Here is the movie shot, the actress and the pattern I modified.  Yes that IS a Paris Hilton mask.  In this scene her face falls off from too much plastic surgery, which is why she is bloody is some photos.


So there you have it!  A fun, one of a kind costuming project :)


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  2. These are fantastic! You did such a good job recreating the outfits from the show!

  3. Thank you! It was fun to do something opposite from what I usually do and on a nonexistent budget. They came out as close as I could get with what was available locally.