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Radio City Music Hall

In the late 70's, I was fortunate enough to be hired by Joe Stephen, who was the head of the Millinery and Special Effects Dept; at Radio City Music Hall, to help facilitate the puppets for the live adaptation of the Walt Disney Classic: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Although most of the puppets and masks were already in development there, it was a wonderful place for me to hone my skills and learn some new ones.

As part of a crew of seven, I got to refine those skills on many of the elaborate specialty hats needed for each new production. All of the hats and masks including the Rockette headdresses were produced in-house at that time. Averaging six hats per person, production lines were set up to produce the new designs for each show and to refurbish the old ones.

Here is one of the two Rockette headdresses I designed for the Ziegfeld Follies number in Manhattan Showboat. The prototype  was first produced as a wire-frame armature. Once approved, the armature was sent to the welding shop and reproduced to specifications. When the frames were competed, they were mounted and secured to buckram caps. Each design was then wrapped in yards of sequin and decorated with Plexiglas mirror.

Another design I produced for RCMH was a prototype created for promotional purposes of a Rockette marionette. This marionette later became the basis for my celebrity doll collection.

Here the marionette is wearing a recreation of an original costume designed by Bob Mackie.