x
Breaking News
More () »

Patsy Cine's iconic wardrobe comes to life in musical production at the Clarence Brown Theatre

The University of Tennessee campus is the place to be if you love fashion, costume design, and the style and songs of Patsy Cline.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — If you love Patsy Cline and fun costumes, then the place to be for the next few weeks is the Clarence Brown Theatre on UT's campus.

The musical 'Always... Patsy Cline' is currently running on their main stage, where the costumes shine just as much as the songs.

Those costumes come from the mind of the show's costume designer Lauren Roark, who is also an assistant professor of costume design at UT.

"We started several years ago actually on this design process, starting with a lot of research of who Patsy Cline is, what her iconic clothes were, what sort of the styles of the time were, what the styles of the Opry were," she said.

If you're not familiar with Patsy Cline, you may recognize some of her hit songs like 'Walkin' After Midnight' and 'I Fall to Pieces.'

Credit: WBIR
Costume renderings for the Clarence Brown Theatre's production of the musical 'Always... Patsy Cline.'

"She still holds a bunch of records," said Roark. "She was the first woman to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. She had such a bright career, and it was cut off tragically, quite short."

Patsy died in a plane crash when she was 30 years old, but her short stint of stardom in the late 50s and early 60s included a wide variety of outfits that Roark has to bring back to life on stage.

"Unfortunately you can't go to the Patsy Cline store and buy all of her iconic dresses," she said. "We have to build the clothes so that we can get all those details as historically accurate as possible."

While some of the pieces are vintage clothing purchased online, most are just made from scratch to look that way.

"The shop did an incredible job of taking this two-dimensional drawing on a piece of paper into a beautiful three-dimensional costume," said Roark.

From classic western dresses with leather fringe to more modest and mature peplum outfits to sparkly sequined numbers, Patsy's wardrobe has it all.

In this musical, Patsy Cline's character has 10 different outfits that have to be changed quickly, right down to the boots

"Patsy always wore western boots and her boots had 'Patsy' in rhinestones down the side," said Roark.

She said she had a lot of period pictures and album covers to work with to design costumes that fans would instantly recognize as the style of the time and the star.

"I think the costume rendering is the roadmap to get you to the art, which is the costume on stage," said Roark.

Costumes that are always... Patsy Cline.

This show runs at the Clarence Brown Theatre through May 15.

You can buy tickets here.