It’s that classic time of year when red, green, and white decorate the streets of downtown Denver and the Clocktower isn’t the only building lit up as Christmas lights cover trees nearby. It’s not only the holiday season, but a time for my annual work backstage on A Christmas Carol at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company which usually involves re-attaching miscellaneous pieces to Phantoms, carrying laundry baskets full of costumes up and down stairs from Stage Right to Stage Left, and systematically applying make-up and taping microphones to child actors eagerly lined up outside of the Wardrobe Room. Add to my work the stress of finals week, trips to purchase Christmas gifts, and continuing to update my blog and Social Media, and you can see how it is easy for me to slip into moments of “Bah Humbug!” a la Scrooge. Although my days are jam-packed, after seeing atrocities during protests throughout America for Eric Garner and Michael Brown, hostages held in Australia, and attacks at a school in Peshawar, Pakistan, I can’t stop feeling the need for the Christmas Spirit and a reminder that all of humanity matters, it makes no difference your place in the world. Rather than be a Scrooge, I still reach out to others to spread hope and cheer. Do the holidays find you overwhelmed or sad? If you’re still not quite convinced to make a special visit to see A Christmas Carol, read on to see Kevin Copenhaver’s beautiful costume designs that have inspired my modern ethical fashion style sets and Christmas Spirit.
Just when Scrooge thinks he’s safely tucked away at home in bed, the tortured ghost of his former partner, Jacob Marley, arrives in an attempt to turn everything around. Marley may not initially seem like a source of fashion inspiration, but his mix of green, grey and black can turn into modern outfit. With help, once again, from Apolis, the black and dark grey provide a quality scarf and jacket, while light grey pants from Nau Clothing, a company who donates 2% of its sales to organizations committed to the protection of the environment, provide a base for this look. Speaking of green, this shirt is made by Braintree Clothing, a U.K. based company who uses sustainable fibers in their products. Sturdy boots from Fortress of Inca, a company who makes products in Peru and utilizes fair-labor practices, help carry the weight of Marley’s consequences. To add a hint of color, cufflinks from U.K. ethical jewelry company, Cred Jewellery, provide hints of green, grey, and brown.
Ghost of Christmas Past
Scrooge’s first visitor, the ethereal and mysterious, Ghost of Christmas Past, is cloaked in white and silver, which is where this style set begins. A white lace dress and shrug with silver accents from Faire Jour, a company who sources locally in the U.S. and Canada, creates the vintage feel from days of long ago. A grey coat from Maiya, a U.K. clothing company who uses organic and upcycled materials, encompasses the fullness of this omniscient character. A lovely and delicate hat from U.K. ethical fashion company, Deploy Workshop, and vegan shoes from Beyond Skin maintain the otherworldly feel of this ghost. However, the Ghost of Christmas Past would be nowhere without an abundance of glitter, found on this purse from Fashion Compassion.
Mr. and Mrs. Fezziwig
Ready for some color in this palette? The wait is over when Mr. and Mrs. Fezziwig arrive, full of color, prints, and patterns. For Mrs. Fezziwig, I began with a pink-printed dress from Passion Lillie, and added more fuchsia with a handmade necklace from Mata Traders and a brightly embroidered purse from Mar Y Sol that adds birds of a feather to the overall picture, like the wig of this enthusiastic and humorous woman. I have even more enthusiasm for these three companies, since all assist and empower artisans worldwide. With shoes from eco-friendly organization Po-Zu, a cardigan from Braintree Clothing, and colorful earrings from Hearts.com, this Mrs. Fezziwig is helping more than she realizes.
Once again, Brave GentleMen, Apolis, and Arthur & Henry celebrate the spirit of social good and give the bright colors from Mr. Fezziwig. Although he may seem to have a smorgasboard of colors from purple to teal to grey to brown, you won’t think that with the colors twirling around as he dances. How can you not love his purple vest from Cock and Bull Menswear, a U.K. company committed to sustainability? His polka-dot bowtie from Faire Jour will be as entertaining as his dancing. Do you have two left feet? No worries, this Mr. Fezziwig will show you how it’s done!
Looking for a little love this Christmas? You’ll find it right here with Belle, a woman who seems like a small role but plays a major part in Scrooge’s past. In another great dress from Faire Jour and blue capelet from Deploy Workshop, it’s easy to see why this beautiful woman captured Scrooge’s heart. Vegan heels from Beyond Skin and ethically made jewelry from Cred Jewellery add some glimmer but nothing to outshine Belle’s natural beauty. A gold and cream necklace from Noonday Collection, a sustainable jewelry company started by Jessica Honegger, adds a nice touch to the woman who got away.
Ghost of Christmas Present
Scrooge’s second visitor, the Ghost of Christmas Present, will be sure to enliven your spirits with his brightly colored robes and crown like he does as he takes Scrooge through the joyful scenes of Christmas Day. Products from Zady repeat their abilities to provide a colorful top and plain base to this animated character. The brilliant spirit of this ghost will radiate with Seawall‘s green shirt, handcrafted locally in Maine. Accessories from Apolis and Fortress of Inca tie together these bright colors, but won’t mute the Christmas Spirit. This red plaid pocket square from In God We Trust, is not only manufactured in the U.S.A., but it is a great compliment to the green and yellow of traditional Christmas colors.
Ghost of Christmas Future
As Scrooge’s final visitor, the Ghost of Christmas Future may not say much, but his costume speaks volumes. This ghost will stay dark and edgy with a dark navy blazer from In God We Trust, a grey vest from Cock and Bull Menswear, and black pants from Flint and Tinder, a company who produces their clothing in the U.S.A. and follows the mentality of “Buy Less, Get More.” Just because he’s tall and scary, doesn’t mean that underneath it all he can’t have a touch of playfulness, which is embodied by this polka dot button-up shirt from Arthur & Henry. With demi boots from Brave GentleMan the Ghost of Christmas Future can deliberately lead Scrooge to his possible fate as he lurks in a tall dark raincoat from Sword-Smith, a company who manufactures responsibly in N.Y.C.
Don’t think you’ll change your feelings towards Christmas? Scrooge didn’t plan on it, but that was until he saw the unfortunate fate of the Cratchits. Finding sympathy for his dedicated employee, Bob Cratchit, and the Cratchit Family, Scrooge begins to see how he can change his ways and his lonely future. Although the Cratchits may not seem like what Heidi Klum refers to as “Fashion Forward,” their colors and patterns can bring more into play than you might originally assume. In order to be a Cratchit, the color brown is a must. I incorporated this element with an Alpaca sweater from Zady, brown slacks from Apolis, and a trench jacket from Nau Clothing. The second requirement of a Cratchit? Plaid. I managed the task at hand with a light tan plaid shirt from Arthur & Henry and brown and tan plaid shoes from Bourgeois Boheme. And to finalize the look, a brown hat from Brave GentleMan and a scarf with a hint of red from Apolis creates the look of a modernized Cratchit.
Ready to visit the Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company and watch A Christmas Carol? Then head downtown to see Kevin Copenhaver’s elaborate and colorful designs and have your Christmas Spirit renewed.
A Christmas Carol (2014)
Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company
Director: Bruce K. Sevy
Costume Designer: Kevin Copenhaver
Actors: Colin Alexander, Leslie Alexander, Leonard E. Barrett Jr., Benjamin Bonenfant, Michael Bouchard, Courtney Capek, Stephanie Cozart, Allen Dorsey, Michael Fitzpatrick, Ella Galaty, Elias Harger, Edwin Harris, Ben W. Heil, Nathaniel Kissingford, Charlie Korman, Daniel Langhoff, Kyra Lindsay, Brody Lineaweaver, Mark Lively, Rodney Lizcano, Emma C. Martin, Kathleen McCall, Timothy McCracken, M. Scott McLean, Anabelle Lane Meyers, Leslie O’Carroll, Kellan Oliver, Philip Pleasants, Max Raabe, Augie Reichert, James Michael Reilly, Jeffrey Roark, Shannan Steele, Olivia Sullivent, David Tomczak, Jackie Vanderbeck, and Erin Willis.