Emilio Sosa is a Tony and Drama Desk Award-nominated costume designer. He’s designed for major talent, projects and Broadway, such as Top Dog/Underdog, Motown: The Musical, Alvin Ailey and appeared on Project Runway All Stars, just to name a few. Sosa was born in the Dominican Republic, came to the US at age 3 and attended Pratt, and became successful because of his talent. So it’s no surprise that he’s been tasked with designing the just unveiled new finale costumes for the Radio City Rockettes.
His creative process for the new costumes come from his strong previous experience in knowing how to approach it, in living up to the now iconic Christmas Spectacular production. He says, “I get a feel from the choreographer and the director of what the look is, what’s the feeling, what do you want the audience to leave with?”
The pattern is a nod to what Emilio calls, “the Christmas tradition of tangled strings of old lights and plugging in the bulbs to see which work and which don’t; it’s a “color explosion.” The new designs are embroidered with a custom pattern in 11 shades of jewel-toned colors made up of 3,069 Swarovski crystals, as well as additional gold studs and sequins. Each headpiece is adorned with 1,296 colorful rhinestones that are worn with each look. In addition, the custom LaDuca shoes for each Rockette is painted to match their unique skin tones, with 572 hand-glued crystals to catch and reflect light on each pair.
Photos: The Radio City Rockettes