Magenta's Boots

Magenta wears her stiletto boots up until the Takeover scene. The scalloped button edge is very Victorian-esque, though the stiletto heel definitely is not. They appear to be brushed satin, and there are 7 working buttons (notice her left boot is unbuttoned in Touch-a). Some years back Betsey Johnson released a very similar homage; though it's suede, has 6 faux buttons, and a zipper for easy wearing. They still turn up on sites like eBay and Poshmark regularly - search for "Betsey Johnson Wing It" boots.

From Mick Rock's book
My Betsey Johnson "Wing It" boots

Space Suit Wings by Ruth

Years ago Ruth sent me a draft of her space suit wings. I finally got around to getting them uploaded and digitized on my computer. I recommend making a test pair out of paper or something so you can adjust the size accordingly. 

As for materials and maintaining the stiff wing shape, I leave that up to you to explore. Some people have used 1/2" sheets of upholstery foam with wire on the edges to shape. I've tried stiff interfacings and milliner's buckram with mixed results (once they get dented or bent they don't recover). I've even made 'disposable' wings with black garbage bags and cardboard and 1/8" craft foam, and just replaced them after several uses. 

A 5/8" seam allowance has already been added to both sides of the pattern. All you need to do is place the top end on the fold of your materials. Basically, your wings will look like a boomerang when laying flat. 


Click to download full size (22" x 35")

Frank's Robe/Kimono (Research)

This style of robe (kimono) was fairly common in the '70s and you can still find a lot of similar designs even if they aren't identical. Frank's robe was probably silk (most were), and it has a red lining (which is also common). The dragon is red and gold, and there are some embroidered clouds on the front chest. 

I realize not every cast performs this scene, but I think it's hilarious when they do. Our cast used to have a mask with spackle to look like cold cream, and a wig with rollers tied up. Always got a nice reaction from the audience - although it helps if the other Floorshow performers are already on stage.




Frank's Floorshow Gauntlet (Research)

I was messaging with my friend Scott V. today about Frank's floorshow gauntlet and realized I never made a post about it. Definitely seems like the sequins were applied (in a continuous, meandering pattern) to the fabric before it was closed up. He also loses most of the feathers in the pool (but y'all know that). Not certain, but it looks like the split may be on the side of the wrist - or it could just be twisted. Never found a better view of that to confirm.

Click for full size image


Guest Post: A Seasonal Guide to Rocky Horror Costume and Prop Shopping by RM

When you’ve been involved in Rocky for decades, you notice it’s easier to find certain items during certain times of year and impossible to find them during other times. Seasons have a big influence on what colors of clothes, shoes, and accessories are sold in stores. For example, don’t go Janet costume shopping in the dead of winter! The same usually goes for yardage fabric and trims, although some colors and types are sold year-round. Here’s a simple calendar-based costume and prop shopping guide. It’s mainly based on the US/North American calendar—if you live somewhere else, your results may vary. Check out the post-holiday or post-season clearance sales to save money and stock up. If you’re looking for something out of season, your best bets are usually thrift stores or online shopping sites like eBay, etsy, or poshmark. Now you can get almost anything online, but remember: we’re cosplaying a movie from the 1970s! Styles go in and out of fashion, and some things will only look right if they’re custom-made or vintage. Also, be aware that metallic ribbons (for your Columbia shorts) that are meant for gift wrapping may not be very durable or washable—use at your own risk.

New Year’s Day (January 1):

  • Transylvanians (party hats, noisemakers, plastic champagne glasses)
  • Frank (party hats, plastic champagne glasses)
Lunar (Chinese) New Year (January or February)

  • Columbia (red and gold items like metallic ribbons)
Valentine’s Day (February 14)
  • All floorshow characters (lingerie like corsets, bustiers, sexy black underpants, garter belts; hosiery like fishnet pantyhose, fishnet thigh-highs, sheer thigh-highs)
  • Rocky (gold underpants)

Columbia's Ring

No idea what the blue is - some kind of enamel? But this is one of the easiest parts of the film to see it.

Visiting Embassy Park in Hamilton, New Zealand

 At the end of February 2020, before the world shut down, I traveled to New Zealand (and Australia) and got to visit the Riff Raff statue (erected in 2004) in Embassy Park. It's in the historic part of downtown Hamilton, and features a winding path down to the river. The public restrooms look like Frank's lab wall, and there are numerous film quotes throughout the parks (on walls, park benches, etc.)

As of October 2021 the statue is "temporarily on the move" until early 2024 while the city plans to redesign the Waikato Regional Theatre and Riff Raff's park.








Guest Post: Frank's Patches by Brandon Sutrina

 

I find Frank's jacket to be one of the most iconic jackets in film. Others and myself have obsessed on every little detail. There's lots of confusion about what are the accurate patches for Frank's jacket. Let's do our best to clear it up. 
If you are looking for patches, some of these pull up on eBay every now and then. Some have current productions available. You can also find fan made replicas at the following people. Tyler Garrett, Dave Spelling & others, and myself - Brandon Sutrina.
If you want to discuss the jacket, see reference/verification photos, etc feel free to DM me HERE




Patch: Tiger Head
Dimensions: 4" X 4"
Notes: The Tiger Head patch was made by Lewis Leathers with the first run made in the 60's. There is a later production of the patch in which the orange has more of a red tint. Lewis Leather's also started reproducing the patch in 2021. This is a motorcycle patch for Triumph Tiger motorcycles.
Photo: Dave Spelling






Guest Post: Quick & Dirty Rocky Wraps by RM

I came up with this solution for Rocky wraps that look good, are fairly easy and quick to put on and take off, and don’t immediately start unraveling as soon as they’re on. Believe it or not, I used 3-4 yards of white polyester interlock fabric left over from my Princess Leia costume. It’s a lightweight, drapey, slightly stretchy knit that stretches in both directions (not super-stretchy Lycra or the stiff double-knit polyester they used to make leisure suits from in the 1970s). I had no trouble sewing it on a normal sewing machine with a standard needle. The raw edge can run a bit, but it doesn’t fray like a woven fabric. I bought this in Asia, but I think the US equivalent would be “Jetset” from Jo-ann Fabrics or “polyester interlock” from the now-closed Hancock Fabrics.

For the leg wraps, you’ll also need about 2 yards of snap tape and about 2 yards of thin white cord.

Floorshow Boas

 Ruth's Anal Retentive Rocky Horror Costume site has some amazing, detailed photos (taken by Sarah K. of Chicago) of Columbia's floorshow boa (from Larry V.'s amazing collection).

Boa detail (photo by Sarah Kucera)

Costume Research: Primary Sources

The best source is the original source. This is called a primary source. In this case: the film. Subsequent DVD (2000) and Blu-Ray (2010) versions have revealed details that were previously difficult to discern on 35mm or VHS.

Photographs can be the next best thing and can reveal details not clearly visible on screen (re: the subtle paisley pattern on Frank's dinner corset). If the photographs were taken on the set while filming they may still be considered a Primary source, however promotional photo shoots and anything taken during pre-production (before final decisions were made) may need to be examined more carefully; for instance the photos of Little Nell in the church. Obviously taken on set, but notice the hat band is not black, she is not wearing socks, and it doesn't look like the shoes have any glitz. It's also possible other (less obvious) modifications could have occurred at this stage (for instance; does the bustier look longer on the sides?) You just can't be certain. Of course, depending on what you are researching, it may not matter.

In some cases extant pieces have survived and been collected by fans. When deciding whether an extant piece can be considered a Primary source you need to consider:
  1. What is the provenance of the piece?  How was it acquired? Whose hands did it pass through? Is there documentation?  I have always been of the opinion that the onus is on the owner to provide proof, not on me to believe their word.
  2. Were there duplicates of the same piece made? How many? Are they identical?
  3. Has it been altered?  Repaired?  Used in subsequent productions that may have modified it?

Columbia Top Hat Pin

I've wanted to have these made for so long and I'm excited to finally have them for sale in my Etsy store. (sold out)

I've always been a pin junkie and these remind me of the classic cloisonne pins we wore in high school. The top hat is 1" wide with a metal pinch-back. The glitter is inside the enamel so it's not going to rub off.  I had 100 made, and I'll only be reordering more if they sell well enough.  It's a bit of a large cost upfront.

Janet's Purse (Research)


A sort of boxy envelope purse with a silver chain strap.  The lining is black and there is an oval shaped emblem on the front of the purse.  The white patent leather is top-stitched, and the flap - which comes all the way to the bottom of the purse - most likely closes with a magnetic clasp under that emblem.

The best times to see the purse on screen are during Dammit Janet and the beginning of the Time Warp.

If you're feeling crafty there are some purse patterns that will probably be more accurate than what you will likely find on eBay. You will need a special teflon foot to sew patent leather on your sewing machine.


Museum Lichtspiele in Munich

In March of 2019 I got to visit the Museum Lichtspiele in Munich - one of their houses has been decorated to look like the Throne room in Rocky Horror. There's a few other details sprinkled throughout the theater worth catching, too. 




Guest Post: Columbia Shorts by Russ

Super excited to feature a guest post by fellow costumer Russ.  Be sure to click on the photos to enlarge - they have an amazing amount of detail! This method will definitely bring your shorts to the next level whether you are making them from scratch or simply trying to modify something off the rack.

It is my belief that in looking closely at the Mick Rock photos, the method used for edging Columbia’s ribbons reveals itself: overlocking/serging. This conclusion was drawn by several factors: First, the edging cannot be a 100% solid in color, since in practically all reference photos, even the far edges of the ribbon shimmer at times. This lends the idea that the edges are stitched in some way; with windows between the stitches allowing the base of the lamé to shine through. A rolled hem doesn’t create the right shape or thickness. Folded edges using a ribbon folder or overlaying a satin-edged organza ribbon creates too solid of a line for my preference and again this method does not let the lamé shine through on the edges. Upon further examination, the Mick Rock photos indicate an edging that in my view can only be achieved through overlocking. Note how the edging looks sort of rough and slightly uneven (Fig.1).
The material used appears to be a woven/satin lamé/sometimes called ͞lurex͟. The same type of lamé was used on several costumes for the Transylvanians as well (in particular, some of their lapels), which lends to the idea that there was plenty of this material to use during the construction of the costumes for the film. To test this theory, I cut a 5/8͟ wide strip of satin lamé, backed with a black fusible interfacing for durability, and fed it twice through my overlocker (knife setting should be off). It was a perfect match to the Mick Rock pics: creating a two-toned look with little flecks of the lamé peeking through the edging. Here is an image of some sample gold ribbon compared to a photo in the Mick Rock book. The golds are an exact match. My ribbon looks out of proportion, since it is closer to the camera but it is 5/8͟ wide, which I believe to be an accurate width (Fig.2). Furthermore, with the interfacing fused and stitched in, no amount of tugging in any direction was budging the ribbon’s shape or integrity; which means these are going to
last for many years.

Quick 'n Dirty Janet Dress

Sometimes you don't have time, skills, or funds to attempt a Screen Accurate costume. So you break it down to it's simplest elements. What's crucial and what isn't?

Well for Janet's pink dress, I'd say the color is crucial. It's what stands out the most. Something that has a high neckline and zips up the back is also important, but I'd say less crucial. Sleeves are not important because she wears a sweater.



So here's a dress I found on eBay ($12.88). I picked it because of the color and because it was fitted on top and loose below the waist.  The fabric is completely wrong, but that's not crucial. It's also too long, but it's easy to shorten.  You don't even need to sew the hem, look for fusible hem tape.  Glue it if you have to!

With some pink gingham fabric you can cut out a "Peter Pan" style collar and cover an existing belt. Hers is 1/2" gingham, but it's not a critical detail. Wal-Mart usually has 1/4" gingham in pink.

You could stop at that point, but a couple more details will finish it nicely. The easiest is the flower-shaped buttons that go down the center of her dress from her neck to waist (Wal-Mart also sells these).  Just glue those suckers on. You can also add some white rick-rack down side fronts, and a big round slide-buckle to the belt.  The easiest thing is to just have the belt close with velcro in the back - easier for the quick change after the proposal, and for clumsy Riff Raffs.

The sweater completes the look and you have a half-decent Janet costume in a pinch!

59 Club Patches and Pins

59 Club patches and pins are supposed to only be worn by 59 Club members.  You don't have to own a motorcycle to become a member and membership is for life. Clive C. asks that the community please "get your 59 patches from the club only and help keep ones of the club's main sources of income flowing. The patches will be authentic as they have never changed the design."
Click here to visit their website.
Individual membership is  £18.00
The 8 cm patch is the one you want (about 3-5/32") for £5.00 (a little over $6.00).
The pins are £5.50


Brad's Underwear (Research)

Brad's Jockey underwear is referred to as a "Y-front" and features a "full rise", which was most popular in the 50's and 60's and already waning out of style in the early 70's.  While the Y-front is still manufactured it's hard to find anything beyond a mid-rise today.

As with all knit-wear there is a bit of distortion in the garments dimensions while being worn; places where it's intended to stretch more than others.  With that consideration, the leg of the inverted Y is nearly equal, but perhaps slightly shorter than the side seam.

Barry Bostwick is nearly 6'4", so the waistband would probably come all the way up to the naval on most men of average height.

The length of the center front (when worn) from the center of the waist down to the bottom of his *ahem*, is roughly the same span as the width of his waist.... creating a very "square" effect.

Quick 'n Dirty Denton Patch

Click to enlarge
Need a Denton High patch ASAP?  You can make an iron-on!  You'll need a package of Dark Fabric Transfers (I recommend Avery brand, #3279).  Follow the directions in the package to print this image on your transfer.  The patch image should be 3.65" across.  It will look great on stage and in photos.  If you decide you want to add the real thing later you can stitch it right on top of your iron-on.


Frank's Badges (Placement)


This list was made by Steve M. and has been in my Flickr folder for years...  just needed to migrate it over to my blog. I have a separate blog entry detailing each badge with individual pictures.

Frank's Right Side  Frank's Left Side 
1. Panther
2. Norton
3. BSA
4. BMW
5. "Here For The Beer"
6. Checkered Flag
7. Triumph
8. Outdoor Holiday Show 1971 Colex
9. Dresda Racing
10. 6-5 Rock n Roll Club Special
11. England Rose
12. Checkered Flag
13.  Matchless
14. 1971 59 Club Motorcycle Shows
15.  Unknown.  (see blog entry)
16. CZ (medium blue)
17. Dresda Racing
18. Royal Enfield
19. 1969 BMFBrighton Show
20. Dresda Racing
21. Jawa
22. BMF
23. Silverstone
24. Isle of Man
25. Nurburgring (white middle)
26. Blue and white checkered Triumph
27. Master of Mallory
28. TriBSA
29. Norton (red)
30. 1971 BMF Olympia
31. 59 Club membership
32. Norton  (black)
33. Think!
34. Checkered Flag
35. Blue & White Checkered Triumph








1. Wimbledon 1972
2. Sunbeam
3. Checkered Flag
4. Petty Officer 2nd Class (under collar)
5. Butlin Clacton 1967
6. CZ (medium blue)
7. England Rose
8. Husquvarna
9. Jawa
10. Norton (black)
11. Concorde
12. 1966 Earl’s Court 59 Club Ally Pally
13. 1971 BMF Olympia
14. Scott (royal blue)
15. 6-5 Rock n Roll Club Special
16. Jawa
17. Triumph badge (blue)
18. Dresda Racing
19. Triumph Checkered Blue & White
20. Jawa
21. Jolly Roger
22. Red Café Biker (light blue)
23. 1968 Stanford Hall Rally
24. UK Hells Angels
25. Boy scout badge (fleur de lis)
26. Colex 1971
27. Ton Up Kid
28. Triumph
29. Oval Union Jack Checkered Flag
30. Matchless
31. The Vincent
32. Black Jaguar
33. Matchless
34. Fulham Anglers Club
35. Husqvarna
36. 1971 59 Club Motorcycle Shows
37. CZ badge
38. Triumph Checkered Blue & White
39. Checkered Flag
40. Norton (red)
41. England Rose
42. Dresda Racing