"H A i R"
The authentic counter-cultural look circa 1968 is the starting point for the look of the show.
The cast is a Tribe of street urchins in New York. The east coast locale is not crucial for our design, since the west coast hippie movement provides a more varied and colorful model for our inspiration.
These kids don't have money and are almost always seen outside, so the dressier fashions of the time wouldn't be appropriate.
"Anti-fashion" is a good concept to keep in mind. Colors, textures, and patterns are butted up against each other in ways that were considered bad taste before the hippie era. To purposely flaunt their eclectic ideas of dress is one of the keys to the look.
MEN: Bell-bottom jeans, vests, tennis shoes, sandals, jeans jackets, military jackets, band jackets ala "Sgt. Pepper." Turtle necks, Neru jackets are too dressy for the mood of the show. A more lived-in day-to-day, but still colorful look is needed.
WOMEN: Full length skirts, peasant blouses, bell-bottom jeans, vests, halter-tops,.
BOTH MEN AND WOMEN: Beads, medallions, head bands.
Between 20 and 25 of these basic "street clothes" costumes are needed. Approximately 11 men and 11 women. These are what the cast will be finding on the their own, with guidance on styles, colors, and price.
There are two pallettes to choose from, depending on the character. They will compliment each other, providing variety and not an overly "designed look."
Generally the women's colors are:
....Yellow to Orange (Lemon, Goldenrod, true Orange)
....Off whites and creams
Generally the men's colors are:
....Purple for trim
....Yellows (like the women)
So, though there can be exceptions, the women are generally in earthy colors, making them layered Victorian and country inspired flower children, and the guys, with less opportunity for layers will have more color with their vests over bare chests.
But some women are in jeans, and some men are more earth toned, notably Claude.
PATTERNS The Tribe has in common:
....Paisley (and other Art Nouveau)
....American Indian (ie: zig-zags)
....American Flag as shirts, pants, or in panels
DECORATIVE ideas The Tribe has in common:
....tie-dye for t-shirts
....hand painted jeans and shirts
....bleach patterns on jeans
....layers ala Gypsies
....folk art trim on pants cuffs and shirts
...."fake bell bottoms" for those without actual bell bottoms, made by inserting a colorful triangle of cloth in the outside seam.
....cloth strips, men's ties, ropes, used for layers of belts.
....patches with Peace Symbols, American flags etc. on knees and bottoms.
....flowers and feathers in hair, under head bands.
....fringe on vests, shirts, skirts, shawls.
HATS may be used sparingly on both sexes.
....eclectic varieties that would be randomly purchased at thrift stores.
Vests over bare chests is an option for some men, completely topless an option for others.
Visible tummies and shoulders an option for some women.
When loin-cloths are used, on both men and women, they are authentically patterned after Indian or African ones, with a leather thong around the waist and an immodest amount of upper thigh being visible.
Skin is an important surface and visual element to work with throughout the entire show.
Body-painting will be the "costume" for some Tribe members showing a lot of skin.
BERGER--the leader of The Tribe and the wildest looking male on stage. Furry vest over bare chest, ripped jeans with holes at knees etc.
WOOF--androgynous male with red, white, and blue fringed vest. Colorful, possibly with corduroy or velvet pants instead of jeans. More flashy than the other guys.
HUD--black, with colorful suggestions of his African-American heritage. "I Am A Man" is written in large psychedelic lettering on the back of his vest or jacket.
CLAUDE--something more spiritual about all of his costumes, not as "street dirty" as the others.
JEANIE--earthy girl with a pregnancy that grows, so wears dresses etc. Janis Joplin a good model, but not as well-off looking.
DIONNE--black, sexy, perhaps usually with halter tops, jeans.
CRISSY--waif-like street urchin
SHEILA--University student with the most clean and studied "weekend hippie" look to her compared with the other girls. Dressed more like the boys.
The Tribe becomes different characters in view of the audience at times, in which cases, hats and just a few pieces will indicate the character change. There are also instances when they go off stage and completely change, in which case full realizations of the costumes would be needed.
The following has the page number, costume description, and character. When the character is to be assigned to a cast member in the course of rehearsals, this list just says "Tribe."
p.6 Dark modern man's suit, white shirt and conservative tie--BERGER
p.7 British Flag loin-cloth, Indian style--CLAUDE
p.7 Colorful African robe--SOLOIST
p.9 loin-cloth, very primitive and possibly an animal skin, ala Johnny Weismuller's Tarzan. If needed, a chest piece crossing the chest and going over one shoulder. An African look rather than Indian--BERGER
p.16 2 police hats and 2 police jackets--TRIBE
p.16 Man In Black costume, like in the film- Black suit with narrow lapels, skinny black tie over white shirt--TRIBE
p.19 3 KKK robes, fully realized and made from sheets. A maltese cross is on the left upper breast--TRIBE
p.21 pregnant pad #1--This character needs to get increasingly larger, so 2 or 3 pads are needed--JEANIE
p.23 British Flag cape, clasped in front of the neck with a Peace Symbol brooch--CLAUDE
p.23 3 pink terry cloth bath robes and 3 pink plastic shower caps with curlers built in, for a parodied version of housewives--TRIBE
p.23 3 sequined straw hats and 3 sequined jackets for men--BERGER, WOOF, APACHE
p.24 3 "Dads" parodied like the Moms, with dingy A-line T-shirts, period trousers--TRIBE
p.30 scarf, to indicate middle-aged woman--TRIBE
p.31 heavy, colorful "satin" man's robe as a Boxer would wear--HUD
p.32 3 black graduation robes and 3 mortar-boards--TRIBE
p.37 "old lady drag" for a man. Frumpy and cartoony, high heels. UNDERNEATH--hose, garter belt, sexy underwear, pasties--MARGARET (male)
p.37 "tourist" cliche male, with bermuda shorts, Hawaiian shirt, flip-flops--HUBERT
p.48 large black miliary coat--BERGER
p.48 2 long Western coats and 2 cowboy hats--BERGER and WOOF
p.53 MAYBE--Saffron floor length tent-robes for entire Tribe, with tie-dyed patterns in oranges and yellows--TRIBE
p.53 parachute as cape, tie-dyed (purple)--CLAUDE
p.54 6 hats for indication of "adults", ratio of sexes to be determined--TRIBE
p.59 second version for all tribe members, involving the addition of more color over their basic costumes-ie: More tie-dye
p.59 3 "old lady" costumes that have to be break-aways with velcro. One may have a "Mamma Cass" look instead of the old lady motif--CRISSY and TRIBE
THE FOLLOWING COSTUMES ON P. 60 ARE FOR A FLASHY GLITTER ROCK GROUP
p.60 triangular halter tops and Indian loin-cloths (under the above old lady costumes)--CRISSY and TRIBE
p.60 fringed vest ala Roger Daltry, with fringe down to floor, and "elephant bells" very colorful--BERGER
p.60 2 wired science-fiction inspired "space suits"--WOOF and APACHE
....loops and curls of stiff electric wiring are coming out of the backs, arms, legs, crotches, of shiny tight-fitting black costumes that can involve plastic pieces, wide belts with metal studs etc. The band "KISS" can be of some inspiration.
p.61 posing pouch, flesh-colored--AQUARIUS (male)
p.62 floor length east Indian off-white robe with boat neck and slit, with gold African or East Indian trim--CLAUDE
p.65 3 "Supremes" dresses OR one stretch tube dress (with glitter or sequins) that all 3 fit in--DIONNE, CHARLENE, DARLENE
p.70 Sergeant uniform, full--HUD p.70 3 camoflauge uniforms, ala Vietnam--WOOF and TRIBE
p.71 2 Vietnamese field worker hats--TRIBE
p.71 tri-corner hat ala George Washington--BERGER
p.71 long dark blue "velvet" cape with a long train and large white stars as trim--BERGER
p.71 3 American Revolution jackets and bloody bandages (ala the famous painting)--TRIBE
p.72 long grey coat ala Confederate uniform in American Civil War--GRANT
p.72 long black coat with tails that drag the ground--LINCOLN (played by female)
p.72 impossibly tall black top hat--LINCOLN
p.72 3 "Indians" indicated by simple Halloween costume pieces--CRISSY and TRIBE
p.74 General Custer hat--JEANIE
p.74 black leather jacket with chains--HUD
p.74 2 African natives with fur, feathers, loin-cloths and bone decorations ala the natives in "King Kong"--TRIBE
p.76 3 saffron robes for Hindu monks--SHEILA and TRIBE
p.76 robes, flowers for Maharishi-style guru--TRIBE
p.77 3 huge nun's hats, ala "The Flying Nun"--TRIBE
p.78 Indian loin-cloth, completely authentic (possibly worn earlier)--APACHE
p.79 Halloween skeleton costume--TRIBE
p.90 Army uniform--CLAUDE
p.90 winter coats and blankets--TRIBE
p.90 all white version of Claude's Act One basic hippie costume