Belfast Telegraph

Candelabra 'kitsch' costumes explained

Behind the Candelabra's costume designer Ellen Mirojnick has revealed how she remained "loyal" to Liberace's flamboyant style.

Ellen Mirojnick was responsible for creating the elaborate costumes for the movie based on flamboyant entertainer Liberace. She admits it was a real "challenge" to replicate such ornate outfits.

"It was probably the hardest film I've done," she told British magazine Grazia. "We tried to be loyal to the truth of who Liberace and Scott were. It was a challenge to create their palatial kitsch style with limited time and money."

In the movie, Michael Douglas plays Liberace, while Matt Damon is his glamorous younger lover Scott Thorson.

Ellen has described the process behind putting together some of Liberace's most iconic looks.

"The blue sequin suit outfit was based on a stage outfit from 1977. From photos we initially thought it was blue rhinestones, but then realised it was actually sequins in a neutral colour," she explained. "Because of the lights it appeared to be blue. It was a trick of the eye."

In one scene, Michael appears on stage suspended from the ceiling in a pink 'shell' suit inspired by Neptune.

"This was Liberace's famous Neptune costume," Ellen said. "It was trimmed with shells, pearls and rhinestones that glittered, so it went through different stages as the performance went on."

In many of the scenes set in Liberace's home, Michael and Matt appear in kaftans. Ellen says this more comfortable look was crucial to the movie.

"There are archive photos of Liberace and Scott at home that inspired us. Liberace was a showman on and off stage, but when he took off his costumes he was free and unencumbered," she added. "He'd do eight shows a week and his costumier Michael Travis designed these gorgeous outfits, but they were heavy as hell. So it made sense that at home he'd wear these light, liberating yet ornate kaftans."

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