Dorine is no ordinary maid and costuming Heather Ludwig for this part was no ordinary process.
Dorine is the maid for Orgon and Elmire’s home, but on appearances, she is the hippest of chics. Dorine’s costume was a struggle for me, but I think the actress and the way she interpreted her character was quite different than what the director and myself had originally planned.
I often already know what a specific character will look like before auditions and before measurements. The play is discussed for months prior to auditions, and the concepts, colors, and silhouettes are in my head, if not in my sketchbook.
Dorine’s character is a strong one. It was difficult to find, among our pictures, images of Dorine by herself. This character interacts with every other character in the play. Dorine is in everyone’s business and spends a good deal of her time trying to show the family what fools they are for believing that Tartuffe is a man of faith.
This design began as stylish but soft. I had gathered images of fresh and innocent Lilly Pulitzer type dress and colored the ideas in soft yellows, pinks and peaches. I wanted her to stand out as different from the rest of the family.
Heather, however, interpreted the character of Dorine quite differently. Dorine was far more brash, bold, and hot. And, the actor had special considerations. She needed long sleeves, a longer hemline, and a slimmer silhouette. Five days before production, I found myself making a new costume for Dorine.
The boots speak louder than words as to Dorine’s attitude and personality.