• Jane Gonin

The Man in the White Suit

Updated: Oct 7, 2019

The Man in the White Suit

#Themaninthewhitesuit, #Karatointon, #StephenMangan, #Wyndhamstheatrelondon , #MichealTaylor,

After having enthused about the Dior Exhibition, it was a great to be invited to be involved in the new production of 'The Man in the White Suit', designed by MIchael Taylor and which was to open in Bath before transferring to the Wyndhams Theatre in the West End.

The show is set in 1957 which meant a lot of the fashions were influenced by Dior.

The character I was making for was the daughter of the Textile Company chairman and is played by Kara Tointon. A very talent actor and beautiful with many high-profile credits to her name.

The skirt on the dress is straight with a slight kick outwards at the side and the centre back had a 'Dior pleat' at the hem to allow for movement. The shaping on the bodice is achieved by darts and the neckline is styled in a sweet-heart shape which was fashionable for the period and also flattering. The jacket is straight, with a small stand collar and two large buttons and ¾ length sleeves.

The second dress is just as stunning. The main part of the dress is made from a shocking pink silk dupion covered with black Chantilly lace. Absolutely beautiful.

Originally it was going to be made as close to the way the original Dior dresses were created with a corset built in and making a net crinoline petticoat of different coloured nets.

However after commencement of rehearsals, there was a change to how Kara was going to be using her outfit in the performance.

As she was such a wonderful dancer, the director had decided to show off her skills as part of her ‘seduction’ of the leading man, Stephen Mangan, and dance a Rumba.

She was to take off her dress on stage to reveal a sexy rumba dress underneath.

All the features that we had considered for making the dress previously were changed so that instead of making it with a zip back opening it became a coat dress with wrap over style front opening.

We also then stitched the petticoat into the dress and used strategically placed fastenings for Kara to be able to open the garment on stage. It worked wonderfully and drew a gasp from the audience, as it revealed her stunning rumba dress underneath.

The demands on this stunning gown were achieved with fantastic workmanship, so Kara was able to simply show the audience how amazing she was. And it was a success.

Pictures from left to right;

1.Two piece in silk brocade/paisley fabric.

2. Front view of coat dress of silk dupion with black chantilly lace over it.

3. Back view of coat dress

4. Multi coloured net crinoline Dior petticoat that was stitched into dress for fast change on stage.

5. Front view dress of the two piece suit.


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