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

By Adam Hetrick
09 May 2013

Porter's first costume in the show
Photo by Matthew Murphy

The very first thing Lola wears in the club is a one-shoulder beaded mini dress. We had actually designed a different costume for the show when we were in Chicago, and for a myriad of reasons, it wasn't working. So we said, "Let's put ourselves in Lola's head and get ourselves out of our Broadway head." So we went shopping and looked at things the character would realistically find out in the world. That dress is a Herve Leger dress and we actually bought the dress for Chicago, but we re-made it for New York to make it really fit Billy's body. We covered it with these jewels that we bought. Leger would probably look at it and say, "I don't know what he's talking about that's not my dress." This look also came from the thought, "How would the character have sourced a dress and then decorated it?," which is what we did. Of course, for Broadway, it's hand-beaded and its custom-made.  Continued...