Designer Paul Tazewell Shares Sketches and Inspiration Behind Hamilton
“After seeing the staged and costumed workshop, it became evident that using the clothing of Alexander Hamilton and the story of the founding of our country, the late 1700s, was the most compelling way to present the look of our production. It was exciting and fresh to see how the contemporary language and music that Lin wrote smacked itself up against the period style and silhouette of the actual people.”
“I was working towards individualizing each of the sisters with color and then with detail.
“Clothing below the neck would be of the period, [but] the look of the actors in their character looks would be contemporary and more tied to who the actors are."
“The exception being King George, who is in full-on powdered wig and jeweled crown.”
“It became clear from our workshop that the prologue required a neutral look so that we would see the full ensemble, principles and all (except for Burr), as a seamless group. They present themselves as the creators of story that we are getting ready to see.”
“The color green was definitely one that was a given by request of Lin: Hamilton being dressed in green, the color of money.”
“The purple on Jefferson emphasized his rock star status. I was channeling Jimmi Hendrix and Prince, which seemed appropriate for Daveed’s own performance styel and dramatic hair.”
“We have Daveed wear his hair back in a ponytail, mimicking the que of the 18th century [as Lafayette], but more modern with his curly hair. For Jefferson, his hair is released and allowed to be as explosive and fabulous as [the way] he plays the role of Jefferson.”
“As the design evolved, it became clearest to have the principal men in boots for when they were officers and young men, and then, when the war is over and won and they mature into Statesmen, they leave off their riding boots and go to civilized shoes.”