Posted 1 year ago

These are authentic Cats costumes, made for the original West End and Broadway productions.

Carbucketty - I’m afraid these photos weren’t taken specifically for construction of the fluffies, but for the shoulder fastenings.  Still, you can see the way the fabric is a small strip, tied in a knot, with the ends frayed considerably.  Each knot is machine sewn onto the unitard in small, short lines of at most 1/2”.

Tantomile - This was a very old unitard, the texture of the fabric shows how the spandex threads had completely perished over time (or possibly a bleach wash) and the garment was completely shapeless.  However, the fluffies are clear and in a notably different style to the London costumes. 

The first stage is that the organza itself was painted much like the unitards, then cut into strips on the bias (diagonally), one edge is treated - I’m not sure if it’s been given a rolled hem, or just serged (overlocked).  The treated edge is then sewn onto the unitard with the machine on the same stretch stitch as visible on the hems of the neckline etc. 

This old costume also shows many repairs and additions - notably one fluffy is applied quite differently, a solid black fabric, sewn down the middle and ruffled on.  I had to pin this back to get a clear photo, the fabric naturally folded and covered the stitching.

So, if you’re making a Cats costume, which version is “better”?  The london version is simpler if you don’t have a sewing machine, as hand sewing the knots is as easy as machining, only more time consuming.  Tantomile’s long lines of fluffies accent her design, but on other characters solid stripes of fur can look unnatural.  The London knots can end up looking like tassels, or bows, if not given a brush through every now and then. 

As with so many things in Cats costuming, both methods are equally authentic, they have different results, choose whichever you prefer for your costume!

Posted 1 year ago
Hi Belle, I love both of your websites and I wanted to know how to make my own Dinah and Buffy costume from Starlight Express since I want to dress as one of them for next Halloween/cosplay convention but I have no idea how to.
Anonymous asked

Hey!  Well, not a simple question…  my first Dinah costume consisted of pale blue dance leotard and leggings bought from a dance shop, and a genuine blue and white tablecloth we found!  We used car spray to paint skates silver (that’s what they did in London to colour the skates), and sprayed kid’s knee and elbow pads silver too - but the paint comes off the kneepads as soon as you use them!

Really tho, Starlight costumes take quite a lot of sewing, but each costume is made of many different pieces.  Break it down, they take a while to make but once you’re done it’ll look amazing!

Posted 1 year ago

Starlight Express, Bochum, 1995

  • Poppa - Dennis LeGree
  • Electra - Andreas Wolfram
  • Greaseball - Drue Williams
  • Rusty - Ernest Marchain
  • Volta - Leesa Osborn
  • Ruhrgold - Jan Apel
Posted 2 years ago

Concept art for a Starlight Express themed resort.

Sadly this never came into being, but how amazing would it have been?

Posted 2 years ago

The vocal part for an early draft of Belle’s Song.

Posted 2 years ago
Posted 2 years ago
I dream of some day playing Pearl, she's the prettiest coach in Starlight! Can you share some more pictures of her for me please?
Anonymous asked

Pretty Pearl pictures?  sure!

Posted 2 years ago
Posted 2 years ago
Posted 2 years ago



A Pictorial History of Electras.

Loved watching this show in 2002. (Thanks for clarifying when my Uncle actually performed as Electra lol. I saw him in it when he was still an understudy :P)

Also, I thought John Partidge played Electra at one point.. he’s on my Starlight Soundtrack…

This photoset is specifically the German production, and incomplete as it’s missing the more recent Electras - sorry, I should have specified!

I wonder if I can get good photos of every London Electra - John Partridge was in the West End production in 1992/93.