Costume designer Gregg Barnes may have done Broadway shows but he says nothing compares to working on a Disney show. His latest collaboration is called “Three Classic Fairy Tales" and it features performances by Snow White, Cinderella and Belle from “Beauty and the Beast.”
“There’s nothing like sitting in a show where the audience is made up of kids,” he explains. “They are just in and it’s magical, their reaction, they believe, they come dressed up. Honestly I’m an emotional wreck by the time the show starts, just seeing them.”
And yes there are numerous sequins decorating the costumes.
“I try to use as many sequins as I can,” Barnes says laughingly. “Things that glitter are magical and it’s a powerful storytelling tool in a say but I try to be careful with it because obviously you can go overboard."
“When I was a kid and I grew up in San Diego and there was this thing called Disney on Parade,” he continued. “I just have these very vivid memories of a 5 or 6 year old just being filled with wonder at just the experience of being there so I always try to think if I was 5 years old or how can I help that emotional impulse in a kid or anybody really. So I try to approach it that way.”
The 58-year old who worked on Broadway shows like “Kinky Boots” and “Aladdin” reveals that he employed a special little trick for Cinderella’s famous blue ball gown.
“In the cartoon “Cinderella” she has that ball gown, probably maybe the best princess dress and it’s a hoop skirt,” he explained. She goes into a waltz almost immediately when she meets the prince but you can’t get close to anyone in a hoop skirt. So I said to the costume maker, ‘What I want to do is make more of an 18th century dress which is wide in the bottom and very long in the back but its flat in the front so you can get close to your prince.’ It’s not that it’s an epic idea but everyone was like, ‘Gosh this is the best Cinderella dress!’”