Cut! – Phantom of the Opera – Carlotta

Costume poster

The Phantom of the Opera from 2004 is set in Paris in 1870. The costume shown here is from the character Carlotta, played by Minnie Driver. The costume is described in the poster to the left. (Click for a larger version.)

“There was an obvious desire to create a larger than life look in the costumes for this film and this is seen especially in the costumes made for Minnie Driver. The eye is drawn to this striking day ensemble by the bright green grosgrain overdress with striped shot silk lining and cuffs. The mock waistcoat with enamelled buttons is edged in dark red velvet that matches a large bow at the back. The skirt is of warp printed silk, maroon with orange, pink, and yellow flowers.”

Carlotta's gown

I didn’t really like this costume in person, though looking at the photos of it, it’s growing on me a little bit. The part I don’t really like is the colour combination for starters, and the colour green in general. I also don’t really like the floral silk – the colours or the print either. However what I do like about this costume is the overall shape, and the incredible detail put into the dress.

Carlotta's gown

I really love the way that this bodice is cut – there is so much shape and so much detail in this bodice. I like the false ‘tabs’ which hold back the lapel for starters, and all of the shaping at the waist, bringing in all the fullness of the bust, narrowing the waist, and then flaring back out all of that fabric for the hips/skirt.

Carlotta's gown

Above is another shot of the bodice, showing off the wonderful cut at the waist. There are also horizontal lines of fullness at the waist as well, drawing back to the bustle – I’m not sure if this was a fit issue or if this is part of the design itself.

Carlotta's gown

The false waistcoat has dramatic points at the hem. I really love the lush velvet for this part of the garment. The warp-painted silk has a similar ‘soft’ appearance because of the warp-painting, which produces soft figures, rather than precise or detailed patterns.

Carlotta's gown

On the topic of the details of the gown, I love the striped lining of the cuff, the way the sleeve is lined with the same red velvet as the waistcoat, and then the fluffy white lace sleeve. So feminine! Again though, still hating the green!

Carlotta's gown

Here’s an alternate view of the cuff showing the tab, which appears to hold the cuff back, and still lets the edges of the cuff fall forward to show off the beautiful lining.

Carlotta's gown

The incredible back of the dress rivals the beautifully cut front. Again, I hate the green and the colour combination, but isn’t this lovely otherwise? Look at the way the bodice is cut to make the waist appear so narrow with the angled lines from the shoulders down into the waist center back.

I love the billowy bustle too, and the way the back drapes, showing off the striped lining. I don’t love how in this photo the striped lining really just looks purple – in the photo of the cuff you can see that it’s really more of a burgundy and silver-ish stripe – but from the distance it turns into something more light purple…

I also really love how the dark red velvet emerges in the bustle as well, bringing that colour to the back rather than just having it in the front. Mind you, I also just really love red velvet!

Carlotta's gown

Again more detail!  There’s a trim inside the skirt of box-pleated burgundy.  Based on the way that this hangs, I think it’s actually on an underskirt, rather than attached to the warp-painted silk.

Carlotta's gown

Side shot of the gown, showing off how HUGE that bustle is compared to the bodice of the dress.

Carlotta's gown

Close up of the side-back, showing the seams in the bodice back, and the red velvet bow sitting above the billowy bustle.

Carlotta's gown

Close up of the red velvet bow above the bustle.

Carlotta's gown

Another side shot of the fabulous bustle!

The big poofy pink confection worn by the Christine character was also in the Cut! show, but I didn’t like it at all, so didn’t get any photos.

So, what do you think?  Let me know in the comments below!  I think this would be amazing to recreate in a Steampunk fancy dress costume – just with better colours!

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3 comments on “Cut! – Phantom of the Opera – Carlotta

  1. Alisa Kester says:

    Thank you THANK YOU for posting these pictures! I have been in love with the design of this dress for ages and have been unable to find any decent closeup shots. I absolutely want to make this as steampunk outfit – that was the first thought I had when I saw it.

    Question: do you mind if I re-post a few of these pictures on my costuming website? I would link back and give credit to you.

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