Esosa + Motown: The Musical


Project Runway season 7 finalist is the man behind the  wardrobe for the soulful and historical hit Broadway play Motown: The Musical.  Prior to this performance, Esosa won a Tony Award for Costumes in Porgy and Bess. Esosa earned his first big break working as a runner  for Grace costumes. The biggest costume shop in new York City at the time. He stayed and proved himself which lead to a promotion to Creative Director.

le kae gold gown

1960s history of Motown inspired him, ” I needed to honor their legacy yet create a theatrical experience for the audience,” he said in an interview with  The critics rant and rave about Valisia Le kae’s gowns. Le kae  is the women that played Diana Ross’s character  she wore twenty-five different costumes throughout the performance.  Three stood out: the gold gown, the white gown that she performed in towards the end and the red one with a festoon cape.  The gold gown drooped off the shoulders hosting slinky short sleeves. This dress was maxi length with a split up the middle that touched right below the thigh area. It was not too revealing yet, very classy and libidinous.  The red dress is the mother-goddess of performance wear. It’s floor length presence posed a threat with the encrusted crystals cascading in a parallel of triangular designs from the top to bottom. The cape appeared to be layers of chiffon sewn in a flow-rouched pattern with Crystal studs added throughout.  The white dress is the classic refined look.  This gown worn for her first solo performance was also encrusted in crystals. The split almost reached the crotch area. The dress was fitted with a mermaid bottom and low cut top with long dramatic bishop sleeves. Esosa had a partnership with Swavorski crystals, he used  247,000 crystals to illuminate Valisia Le kae’s looks.  Where Diana Ross wore diamonds in real life, Le kae wore Crystals.

Motown: The Musical Lunt-Fontanne Theatre

     Original red Dress: Diana Ross

Original red Dress: Diana Ross

The Jackson 5 wears 60s era attire. Bell bottom pants, hard bottom shoes, vests over billowed sleeved button-up shirts and some of them had on classic button-ups. Michael Jacksons character wore a fedora with a knee length fringed vest.  Throughout the play there are parts where Martha Reeves and the cast are singing  and dancing together.  The audience catches a whiff of 60s womens’ fashion with the visit of A-line looks and knee length layered dresses with closed waist and torso line. During this era there were many emphasis to figure and geometric features ( conservative looks) paired with winkle picker shoes.  In other scenes, some of the men wore matching suits, vice versa for the women with dresses.

martha reeves

jackson 5

Motown: The Musical was welcomed to Broadway in the Spring of 2013. Feedback so far, is that the performance was excellent and the wardrobe is jaw-dropping.  Esosa might not have won Project Runway season 7 however, he took  his drive to greater heights with wardrobe story telling for the stage.

If you have time this fall/winter. Check out the Motown: The Musical,  You won’t be disappointed!

Photos taken from

Posted by: JoBell


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