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8 Catwalk-Worthy Costumes for London Fashion Week

18 September 2018 by TodayTix
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The hottest designers from the fashion industry descended on the capital this week to display their latest collections at London Fashion Week. Whilst Victoria Beckham celebrated the 10-year anniversary of her brand by showcasing it for the first time on a London catwalk, Alexa Chung had her debut show as a designer, with a collection inspired by an airport departure lounge.

But as influencers from the fashion industry jet off after seeing what the latest trends will be next season, we think they could learn a thing or two from the backstage wardrobe rails in the West End.

Here’s our pick of catwalk-worthy costumes from the biggest shows across London!

1. “Dreamgirls”

With a glamorous look into the American music industry of the 1960s, “Dreamgirls” was nominated for five Olivier Awards in 2017, including Best Costume Design. In partnership with Swarovski, Tim Hatley and Gregg Barnes have created the fabulous costumes for the show, which transport audiences to a revolutionary time in American history.

Over one million Swarovski crystals have been incorporated into the production, adorning an impressive 275 costumes and 3 crystal curtains!

2. “Kinky Boots”

Nominated for the 2013 Tony Award for Best Costume Design of a Musical and winner of the 2017 Olivier Award for Best Costume Design, “Kinky Boots” is now celebrating three fabulous years in London’s West End!

From Lola’s innovative shoe designs to the glamorous catwalks of Milan, this uplifting musical is filled with stunning costumes and even more spectacular shoes. Look out for the staggering 216 pairs featured in the show. After all, they are “the most beautiful thing in the world”!

3. “Strictly Ballroom”

Award-winning designer Catherine Martin (who created the original costumes for the film), has designed the beautifully sequin-laiden costumes featured in “Strictly Ballroom The Musical”.

With over 300 costumes in the show, 153 costume changes, 745 million feathers, and 100 metres of fabric per ballgown, this hilarious musical adaptation brings the world of competitive ballroom dance to life.

4. “42nd Street”

Tony Award-winning set and costume designer Roger Kirk is responsible for creating the look worn by the West End’s biggest cast. Nominated for the 2018 Olivier Award for Best Costume Design, Roger also received the Best Costume Design Award at this year’s WhatsOnStage Awards.

Inspired by Busby Berkeley musical films of the 1930s, the show features vibrant ball gowns, hundreds of coloured tap shoes, lots of backless waistcoats (for easy quick changes), as well as the iconic gold glittery costumes for the finale! With each cast member wearing 12 outfits, the show boasts a massive 650 costumes in total.

5. “Aladdin”

Taking inspiration from belly dancers, Dancing With The Stars, Hollywood MGM musicals, and ancient Middle Eastern garments, Tony Award-winning designer Gregg Barnes led the team of talented creatives who helped construct the array of jaw-dropping costumes seen in Disney’s “Aladdin”.

Over 350 incredible costumes are worn every night, sparkling with over 2 million Swarovski crystals — the most ever used on one production. One pair of men’s trousers worn in the finale of ‘Friend Like Me’ uses 1428 sparkling crystals alone! Even more impressively, the 19 actors in the “Prince Ali” Parade collectively change 78 times during the three-and-a-half minute routine.

6. “Wicked”

The original costume designer for “Wicked”, Susan Hilferty, has designed over 300 productions worldwide for theatre, opera, film, and dance. Her intricate costumes were inspired by fashion from the early 20th century, when the Wizard of Oz books were written. These ‘twisted Edwardian,’ asymmetrical designs beautifully complement the fantasy world of flying monkeys and fire-breathing dragons.

Glinda’s shoe collection may be to die for, but if there’s one fashion tip we can take away… it’s that pink goes good with green!


7. “Motown”

You might think that “Motown The Musical” is all about the music. But a sped-up journey through five decades of Motown history involves style as well as songs!

With 2000 pieces of costumes, 300 wigs, 500 pairs of shoes, 40,000 Swarovski crystals, and 20 quick changes per performer per show, Tony Award-nominated designer Emilio Soso has created a sparkling and glamorous showcase of the Motown cultural movement.

8. “The Lion King”

Winning the 1998 Tony Award for Best Costume Design for a Musical and the 1999 Olivier Award for Best Costume Design, Julie Taymor’s incredible designs bring the world of the animals of the savannah to life. In 2008, the musical won three Molière Awards including Best Musical and Best Costume. It has also received Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Drama League awards for Taymor’s direction, and multiple other awards for her original costume, mask and puppet designs.

Inspired by African and Asian art and culture, the 232 puppets used throughout the productions are cleverly animated using what Taylor describes as a “double event” that mixes puppetry with the human emotions of the actors. From hand-beaded corsets to a giant elephant making its way through the stalls, the ingenious designs still remain at the top of the costume game, even after 19 years in the West End!