Costume Design Helps Elsa Let It Go

Costume Design Helps Elsa Let It Go

The secret to Elsa's magical transformation during "Let It Go" in Frozen—Live At The Hyperion lies within Clint Ramos' costume design. While the animated movie portrays a smooth, seamless transition between dresses and hair styles, Ramos understood that the live version would need to use some old-fashioned tricks to pull off the transformation, according to Fashonista.

In the style of Japanese Kabuki theatre, the actress needs to only pull one thread and the whole costume unfurls and reveals the costume beneath. The "ice-blue silk georgette gown with head-to-toe snowflake-patterned hand-beading," writes Fashionista, is neatly packed underneath the embroidered coronation dress, complete with hidden panels of fabric and small weights on the hem to unfurl the top layer at a faster rate. In order to prevent snagging Elsa's hair on the Swarovski paillettes, Ramos included a layer of invisible netting so her hair can glide over the dress easily. 

Elsa isn't the only princess with a few tricks up her sleeve. During a sibling quarrel, Elsa puts Anna in a temporary deep freeze. Ramos embedded tracking beacons into Anna's costume. The beacons help home in on the actress so that video images can project over and around her from 360° angles to simulate the magical effect.

The production features 1,200 costumes for the rotating casts for the six showings each day. All costumes were custom-made and hand-dyed in Europe and Asia. Learn more about Ramos' costume design in Fashionista, and watch this behind the scenes video with the designer.

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