What's It's Like to Dress Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II in The Audience

What's It's Like to Dress Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II in The Audience
Joan Marcus

 

 

In honor of the 69th Annual Tony Awards nominations announcement this Tuesday, we're taking a look at some of the productions that feature spectacular costumes this season. The Tony Awards air Sunday, June 7th on CBS.

True story: Queen Elizabeth II has met weekly with each prime minister at Buckingham Palace—a tradition she continues to this day. What happens behind closed doors? No one really knows, but the play The Audience on Broadway imagines the off-the-record convos starting at the beginning of the Queen's epic reign, during Winston Churchill’s tenure, with the fabulous Helen Mirren playing the monarch.

Six-time Tony Award-winning designer Bob Crowley created the royal look for Mirren's transformation, and he told us it took a study of history to perfect the Queen's notorious monochromatic palette. "I based all of her costumes in The Audience on real clothes, therefore it is Queen Elizabeth who expresses her character through her appearance, not me," he told InStyle. "The Queen's fashion looks have changed dramatically over the years. She has evolved a high fashion look from English couture fashion houses like Norman Hartnell and Hardy Amies in the '50s and '60s to her preference for simple dresses and coats these days."

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That means you'll be sure to find the Queen's signature staples on stage, including color ("Strong color has always been a constant, and blue would appear to be her favorite," said Crowley) and accessories, like pearls and top-handle bags ("Pearls are timeless. Handbags are not. Her handbags are classic, that is different," he said).

Scroll down to see Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth in all her glory and visit theaudiencebroadway.com for ticket information.

Joan Marcus

Joan Marcus

Joan Marcus

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