Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Sound of Music: Costumes

Continuing our look at the film, The Sound of Music, which is celebrating it's 50th Anniversary this year.

As with any iconic movie, costumes play an integral part. This is the case with The Sound of Music. The costumes in the film convey the time, the place, and character of the person wearing them.

The costumes were designed by Dorothy Jeakins. It was her favorite project and garnered her an academy award nomination (she was the very first costume designer to win an academy award, beating Edith Head. The film of Joan of Arc in 1948). "I loved working on it. Bob Wise [the director] told me he didn't want saccharine costumes. He gave me a sense of the story's essence, and then he let me do my job."

"The children literally grew before my eyes," remembered Dorothy. "Especially Nicholas [Friedrich]." He grew from 5'3" to 5'9" during the course of filming (quotes taken from "Forever Leisl: A Memoir of The Sound of Music" by Charmian Carr, p. 35,  © 2000).

"Dorothy conducted painstaking research on Austrian garb, even down to the designs used on men's buttons of the day. Julie Andrews, the film's “Maria”, related that Miss Jeakins' focus was on making garments as authentic as possible, using lacing and buttons in place of zippers. Julie also revealed that of all the costumes she's worn during her many years on stage and screen, she never felt more beautiful than in the silk wedding dress Dorothy designed for The Sound of Music." - source

Many of the costumes were auctioned off in 2013, bringing in sums anywhere between $23,000 (the wedding dress) and $1.56 million (the outfits for the "Do-re-mi" number). You can look at the original auction site here. Below are photos of the costumes. Can you identify who wore each outfit and in what scene?

List of costumes that were auctioned.

Liesl's famous gazebo dress

"Julie Andrews, who played Maria, had the elfin proportions of her time. ‘You’re talking about a 16in or 18in waist,’ says Lou Bustamante, the creative director of Profiles In History. ‘She’s a pretty thin, tall woman and waist measurements back then compared to today were just out of this world.’
Despite its itty-bitty proportions, the Do-Re-Mi dress is rather unprepossessing, made of a thick brown raw silk and paired with a wheat-coloured blouse, ‘it was designed with the idea that she was poor,’ says Joe Maddalena, though ironically it’s now the most valuable dress of the collection" - source

"What child watching the film didn’t beg their parents for a curtain dress? But one child who wasn’t entranced was Kym Karath, who played Gretl, the youngest von Trapp. ‘I hated that costume,’ she laughs.
‘Loathed it! I was five at the time but I loved clothes and was acutely aware of what looked pretty. The curtain dress just didn’t look pretty to me. It was my least favourite costume.’
And what of Nicholas Hammond, who played the eldest son, Friedrich? He not only had to suffer the ignominy of wearing lederhosen, but floral-patterned lederhosen at that.
‘Poor Nicky had endless amounts of trauma,’ says Kym. ‘It wasn’t just the lederhosen – he had to bleach his hair blonde too.’
The costume designer Dorothy Jeakins, who had worked on The Ten Commandments and The Night Of The Iguana, was Oscar-nominated for her work on The Sound Of Music. She was a stickler for authenticity, right down to making sure the curtain outfits were made from... well, curtains. ‘It’s real canvas, curtain material for sure,’ says Joe.

They do look fairly drab in the flesh, ‘but the colours of the clothes change dramatically when you light them and Technicolor changes everything.’
Several versions of each costume were made, which came in handy for scenes such as the one where the canoe capsizes on the lake and the children fall into the water (‘I couldn’t swim,’ says Kym, ‘so that was a horrible experience – you can see how scared I look in the movie’), and also for when they started to grow, which during an almost six-month shoot was inevitable." - source

Carriage ride dress and apron

Brigitta's costume

Liesl's carriage ride dress

Liesl's Edelweiss dress

Marta's Edelweiss dress

Louisa's Edelweiss dress

Liesl's party dress, worn with a yellow sash and flowers


Maria's gazebo dress

A behind-the-scenes photo of the wedding dress

The children in their wedding outfits

Maria's final costumes

Liesl's "16 Going on 17 Reprise" dress

These costumes were auctioned off for $150,000

Check out this board on Pinterest for more pictures of the costumes!


With apron...


Want to make your own Sound of Music dress? Buy patterns of some of the iconic costumes here!

All images found via Pinterest

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