If you're currently peering at your fall calendar wondering what cultural phenomenon to indulge in next, there should be no question of one particular Broadway show topping the list. Not only is Hedwig and The Angry Inch likely to be the most entertaining two hours of your Sunday afternoon or Saturday evening, the John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask musical extravaganza also offers the type of discerning insight into life's perplexing twists that are rarely found outside of in-depth discussions with one's parents or siblings. The tale of a transgender German rock singer is poignant for anyone who dares to step inside the topsy turvy world of the show, and audience members might be surprised to find how moving a glittering rock musical can be.
In addition to its profound and beautiful portrayal of a singer attempting to find her place in an ever-changing world, this is one Broadway show whose costumes and makeup are nonpareil. Glitz is strewn every which way, over nails, eyes, and denim jackets; the heels are sky high; and wigs take center stage, often towering over the show's lower set pieces. For those fashion-forward theatre buffs who may be curious about the gritty, glamorous world of Hedwig, here are seven lessons to learn from the show to beat all shows.
1. GLITTER IS GOLDEN
Though this lesson can't be any clearer given this season's obsession with glittery cosmetics, thick, chunky, flamboyant, in-your-face glitter is always a good choice for a night of cosmetic self-expression. Hedwig's character appears bathed in the shimmery substance for each scene, and the effect is sheer, unadulterated radiance.
2. A LITTLE EXTRA MAKEUP GOES A LONG WAY
Hedwig expresses the wondrous power of makeup better than any mere mortal could in the song "Wig In A Box", claiming that cosmetics have the ultimate transformative power, especially on those days when, as she states, "the world's a bit amiss". A swipe of mascara, a generous helping of blue eye shadow, and a wig have the ability to give one a glamorous movie star persona for the night, even if you feel anything but fabulous while getting ready.
3. SOMETIMES, FASHION IS INDEED PAIN
Though comfort is key this season, there will always be a towering pair of pumps or corseted dress that simply couldn't be described as comfortable. But for the sake of appearing utterly, devastatingly glamorous? Occasionally, the pain is worth it. Take it from Hedwig: The character is dressed in heels from beginning to end of the show, yet she exhibits a certain, prideful gait that wouldn't exist were she wearing flats or trainers.
4. WHEN IT COMES TO NAIL POLISH, GO STATEMENT OR GO HOME
Remember when glitter nail polish was not only an accepted form of self-expression, but also took a prominent place amongst your favorite cosmetics? That time may have been when you were in middle school, but with the advent of nail art and creative manicures, now is the time for bold, uninhibited manicures. Case in point? The heavily glittered dark polish Hedwig sports throughout the show.
5. FRINGE MAY BE IN FOR FALL, BUT WAS IT EVER OUT?
If ever there were a spokesperson for the proper use of fringe, it's Hedwig. Not only does the character's clothing drip with fringe, one of her costumes is in fact made entirely of fringe. While you may not wish to cover yourself in synthetic hair for a night out, the message remains the same: fringe thyself.
6. DENIM IS A GIRL'S BEST FRIEND
Forget diamonds; denim is the true cornerstone of any fashionista's wardrobe. There is a reason why denim factors so prominently into Hedwig's wardrobe, and it is because of the material's versatility and timeless style
7. CONFIDENCE IS EVERYTHING IN FASHION
When it comes to sartorial prowess, no ensemble will gain respect from your audience unless you exhibit confidence while wearing it. Not only does Hedwig wear her costumes with panache, she brushes aside any hint of derision or critique. It's a lesson we could all learn from.