"The Most Beautiful Thing": Tony Award Winner Gregg Barnes Designs Kinky Boots' Signature Looks

By Adam Hetrick
09 May 2013

Barnes' sketch for this costume

We have to tip our hat to Mariah Carey for this look. Jerry Mitchell had a clip, and she jumps up from the table on "American Idol" and she's wearing a beaded silver mini dress. He said, "I want it to have this kind of impact." And ironically the hair is a nod to that too, but we make everything our own.

There's a Thierry Mugler fashion show he did back in the 1980s, and he had a piece like this in one of his runway shows. It was the kind of thing I thought the character of Lola would have seen and maybe emulated in her own creation. We tried to bead the dress in almost a crocodile pattern, because the boots are crocodile. We used a lot of big shapes, because Lola says with a hot glue gun she could make the world a pretty place. So, I thought, for a person in that circumstance, I wanted to give the sense that someone who is very crafty and clever could make a dress like that.  Continued...