This week’s Web Crush comes to us from the Phandom (fans of The Phantom of the Opera) and is one of the most talented costume-makers I’ve ever seen. Anéa, who often goes by the username Operafantomet, has been making costumes for years. Her works include historical dress from periods such as the Renaissance, but the masterpieces with which I first fell in love were her The Phantom of the Opera recreations.
As you can see, Anéa’s costumes go above and beyond when recreating the official versions. She is not only knowledgeable of the costumes produced by the various workshops who make Phantom wardrobes, but she also truly understands and respects the vision of the original designer, Maria Björnson. As such, her costumes are not typically exact replicas of any one stage version (see here for an example of how widely costumes can vary over the course of Phantom‘s many years and many productions) but are instead her own creations based on what works best in the various stage versions and what the original costume sketches depicted.
I first came across Anéa’s costumes on a Phantomforum a few years ago and was absolutely floored by how incredibly well-made they were simply as garments,
in addition to how brilliantly they captured the spirit of the actual stage costumes. I remember first seeing her version of the Wishing Gown (so named because it is the dress Christine wears during her big Act II number, “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again“) and thinking that it was actually one of the official stage costumes. Through that forum I was led to her site, The Anéa Costumes, which documents her many costume-making endeavors with in-progress pictures and guidelines for other costumers looking to re-create similar projects.
Anéa is also very active on Facebook and Tumblr, where she joyfully shares her expert knowledge of Phantom costumes with the uneducated masses, such as myself. Through following her I have developed a much keener eye for detail and appreciation for costuming as an art form. Currently she is working on creating the gypsy costume that Meg Giry wears during the “Don Juan” scene of
Phantom, so if you follow her today you can get a look at her process as it unfolds. I know I look forward to seeing this next artwork take shape.