Like his dripping divas, sea urchin-esque strutters, or abaca-wielding glamazons, provocateur Kermit Tesoro's latest muses are of the uncommon extraterrestrial kind. Zsazsa Zaturnnah and Queen Femina, the comic heroine and villainess of Carlo Vergara's award-winning graphic novel, Ang Kagila-gilalas na Pakikipagsapalaran ni Zsazsa Zaturnnah, are the latest lucky ladies to don Kermit's one of a kind designs.
The Cultural Center of the Philippines' Tanghalang Pilipino is currently showcasing the stage adaptation of the graphic novel. Entitled Zsazsa Zaturnnah Ze Muzikal... Vack with a Vengeance!, the Chris Millado-directed musical stars Eula Valdes as the big-bosomed Zsazsa Zaturnnah, while Pinky Amador plays her nemesis, Queen Femina.
"Making costumes for a stage play is a completely different discipline from what I usually do as an artist and fashion designer," says Kermit. "My costume design for Zaturnnah is basically an outcome of specified concerns from the people behind the stage play: the creator, director, artistic and production staff, coordinators, the actors, and of course, the 'characters.'"
A foremost concern, according to Kermit, is "making the costumes innovative but faithful to Carlo Vergara’s vision." He also needed to keep in mind the musical's choreography—"It’s tricky because you have to comply with the actors' dynamics, and I had to learn the fundamentals of making them move, dance, [and] run." Of course, the costumes' stage impact was foremost in his mind, too, while designing Zaturnnah's sequined fuschia and gold two-piece and Queen Femina's silver armor-like costume.
"The costumes' materials are interesting. I learned [about] new materials that are stage play exclusives. I also infused my methods and usual materials—like my favorite molded compressed fiber—for their nylon bodysuits."
But considering how outré Kermit's designs can be, his costumes for the musical aren't that crazy. But they are a great deal of fun, very appropriate for the production, and have telling qualities that signify them as Kermit's. "The Zaturnnah costume," he shares, "will always be as iconic as it is."
Click on the photo gallery to see the costumes Kermit designed for Zsazsa Zaturnnah, and to find out what he thinks about working with the musical leads, Eula and Pinky.
Zsazsa Zaturnnah Ze Muzikal... Vack with a Vengeance! is showing at the CCP Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino on the following dates:
February 25, 26 | March 4, 5, 11, 12 at 8:00 PM
February 26, 27 | March 5, 6, 12, 13 at 3:00 PM
For tickets and more information, contact Tanghalang Pilipino at (02) 832-3661, TicketWorld at (02) 891-9999, or CCP Box Office at (02) 832-3704.