1.5.13

Frank's Floorshow Corset (Research)

Frank's flooshow corset is red satin, and presumably lined in white.  In fact, it's very similar to his corset from the Belasco (pictured on the Anal Retentive Costume site) that you can't go wrong using it as a reference.

It's satin and laces up the front about 2/3 the way through 8 holes on each side with black lacing.

There is a ruffle across the top front, but it diminishes to nothing on the sides.  There is boning on either side of the eyelets, then the boning channels become slanted.  Again, I would use Ruth's Belasco corset for reference - it's probably the same.  The bottom has ruffling all the way around, in addition to some black (tattered?) lace trim.

There are swags of red beads across the top front (be sure to secure each swag individually).    The sequins are clustered more heavily around the center top and bottom, but continue to be dispersed over the rest of the corset.

Like the other's floorshow corsets, it probably closes up the back with hook & eyes, though a zipper would be better for quick-changing.

He has 4 red crinkled garter straps, and the satin on them seems to be similar to the trim used in the ruffles along the top and bottom.

My personal conspiracy theory?   I think the Belasco corset could be the same corset from the film with minor modifications. It seems silly to me that after wearing it on set in December of 1974 Sue would make an identical one for the same actor to wear on Broadway 12 weeks later.  Pay special attention to the beaded swag and boning channels.  Identical.  Besides, we already know Sue has recycled pieces from other productions (re: The Maids).  Or is the film corset otherwise accounted for?



2 comments:

  1. I have compared the Belasco corset with frame caps and zooms from the BR and I am 100% convinced that it IS the movie corset. The sequin patterns match, old glue spots match to where sequins were attached in the film.

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    1. Here's my logic: There would have been a shop on site at Bray's Studio for the film and an entirely differently staffed shop at the Belasco. As the designer, Sue would have created the designs, adhered to a costume budget and done most of the shopping herself (including anything pulled from stock). But the construction would have been in the hands of the shop's technicians - and I cannot fathom how two different shops staffed with entirely different costume technicians would have created such identical pieces based on her costume sketches. Additionally, anything Sue brought in or recycled would have allowed her to stretch her budget elsewhere as needed (and it's always needed).

      In an equity theatre, the designer is typically only around for design meetings with the director and artistic staff, the initial meeting with the shop technicians, and then the fittings. The design goes first to the drafter/draper to create the pattern, then the cutter, then a seamstress. By first fitting, it has been worked on by several hands.

      Though she was much more involved in the costume construction at the Royal Court (its upstairs theatre capacity was only 63), the Belasco (a Broadway theatre) would have been held to equity standards and practices. So, unless she brought that corset in from another production, it's unlikely the Belasco shop would have created it so painstakingly similar.

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