RENT Angel’s “I’ll Cover You” ensemble

Oh yes, 80’s color-blocking! This was for a Chicago-area production of RENT. In the scene in which this ensemble is worn Angel also wears a red jacket. Somehow the actor playing this role managed to find a spot-on CAD rendering of the skirt and sweater that was very helpful in making this ensemble. The skirt is a A-line in the front with pleats in the back. It closes on the right side with a button above a seam-set “invisible” zipper. While other versions of this skirt for other RENT productions have used general flower prints or appliquéd random flowers on, I decided to hand-paint them to match the original as close as possible. Considering the character of Angel, this felt more appropriate and truer to the character.

Because this is for a stage production, and it is incredibly hot under the lights, I used a lighter twill than I would have for a non-stage skirt and left it unlined to lessen the amount of heat it will trap. The stage lights will reflect off the white so that a slip won’t be needed. The top is made from a light ribbed knit fabric, again light due to the stage lights. I bought it in white so I could dye it to the colors I wanted, especially the sleeve that is right at the point of being either orange or red. The sleeves will be shorter on, as is the nature of knit fabrics. It closes up the front with a darker zipper, as is shown in the CAD rendering.

I tucked the top in for these pics to show the skirt better. The ruff, which shows a little fluffier in stills, is separate, and has elastic to pull on over the head. In the film stills it’s a bit smaller, though in stage productions it tends to be fuller so it can be seen from the audience. Subtle details are lost once you’re several rows back. Since this is for stage, I went with a fuller ruff. The actor has secured tights for the role.

More photos are available in this Facebook album.

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