Roxie rocks Chicago

Some costume notes! Like I said previously Chicago is something I've always wanted to make a costume from, but it took a while before I had the epiphany of what it should be. Afterwards it just seemed so clear I felt kinda doofus for not thinking about it earlier.

My initial thought was to start building the leotard with a proper inner structure, so I looked into corsetry especially from around 1930-1950 showgirl/burlesque costumes because that seems to be the closest match to Roxie's little number style wise. Watching the movie though, you can see from how it moves and wrinkles it's more of a glorified swimsuit rather than and actual structured piece. A friend helped me to find the original auction description which reads it's a 'skin colored leotard' suggesting that there really is nothing more to it. (Also Zellweger is in such a shape in the movie she wouldn't need any support from any direction anyway!)

I made a mockup so you know it's serious!

I found a delightful soft skin colored jersey from Tallinn that I used on the outer layer, and the lining is a bit darker sturdier skin colored fabric. The top layer is so stretchy and soft I actually had to make the pattern smaller than the lining pattern. Because I'm a lot bustier than the actress I figured I need a bit more support so I integrated a sports bra inside the top of the leotard. All of the leotard is sewn with the lining(mesh and zipper are both between the layers) except for the sportsbra, so it's the first thing next to my skin and I can gently wash it if necessary and the straps, because they might stretch with the weight and I might have to adjust them at some point. All fairly simple.

The only available close up of the costume.

Maybe this worked as an inspiration for the designer?? Who knows.

Hardest part was figuring out the beading pattern ugh. It's so nice that from any movie or series that comes out now you get an exhibition and people taking detail photos and you get high quality pics in general, but Chicago is so old already, there are no proper pictures readily available on the internet. So I spent a long time squinting and screenshots, auction pics and movieclips to try and chart the pattern to my best ability. I still feel like it's not exactly like it should be... But I did the best I could and I hope it's close enough. All the beading is on the top layer, and the only thing going through the lining is the fringe and that has a reason too.
This costume is definitely a maintenance costume because of the bugle beads. I asked around for tips how bellydancers make their fringes, since bugle beads are cut pieces of a glass rod they have a sharp edge and a tendency to cut through the threads with time. A bear thread was recommended so I used that for making the fringepart. For the beading I used nylonthread, but that doesn't really hold knots well so I had to treat all the beginnings and endings with superglue. Anyway, the fringe goes through the lining so that I can easily pull the threads out and replace them when/if they fall off at some point.

Fringe threads on their cardboard holders.
Lisää kuvateksti

I had a very pretty floor during sunny hours for a while

The other parts were the gloves, shoes and the wig. The shoes are black dance shoes, the closest I could find to the right shape, and I wet formed the new surface from a silver leather. I bought the leather a year or two ago already, not knowing what to use it for but it felt like such a rare find I snatched in from the fabric store right away. Well it was the perfect match for Roxie's danceshoes!

Would've loved to have a proper lest for the forming.

After being done I treated the shoes with shoe polish.

Before any wear/weathering.
The gloves were quite simple wristlets from skin colored mesh I also found from Tallinn, with a silicone band and hot fix rhinestones. I sewed the edges down, ironed, took of the stitches and trimmed them down to make them lay neater than just a raw cut.

The wig is a random lace front from ebay. It took about three tries to get it to look right, because there was soooo much to cut off omg. I had to curl it twice to because the first try was just a mess. But at least I got the technique down in the end. Note to self: invest in some hairclips and curlers. (already bought some clips from Japan heha) 
I still need to trim it a bit more for the ECC finals...

After the SECOND trimming down.
I don't really have photos of my stage rip-off jail dress but I found the fabric from UFF for 1€ and used the movie reference to pattern it. Of course it doesn't sit the correct way since the back is open up until the neck but it did it's job.

And for fun, have some more stage photos! The following are taken by Nyymix.

I'm actually kinda fond of my over-sized jail dress look ;;

Also a very nice photo of the top three! I was so happy to compete with these ladies!