Something Wicked | Susan Hilferty Costumes

September 8, 2022 -

March 26, 2023

Located in the Tobin Theatre Arts and Brown Galleries

Video by Greg Emetaz

Something Wicked | Susan Hilferty Costumes

September 8, 2022 

- March 26, 2023

Located in the Tobin Theatre Arts and Brown Galleries

Susan Hilferty wowed Broadway with Wicked costume designs in 2004, winning the Tony Award for Best Costume Design of a Musical. Something Wicked presents thirty of her exquisite and avant-garde costumes and designs—some from Wicked, some never seen before. Artworks from The Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts and paintings by Judith Godwin, Louise Nevelson, and Grace Hartigan share Hilferty’s spotlight. Explore the process of costume design in “Hilferty’s Studio”—but beware of flying monkeys!

Something Wicked | Susan Hilferty Costumes was fashioned for the McNay Art Museum by R. Scott Blackshire, Ph.D., Curator, The Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts, and Susan Hilferty, Costume Designer; and tailored by Kim Neptune, The Tobin Theatre Arts Fund Assistant Curator, The Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts, with Amanda Whidden, Costume Coordinator, Wicked Worldwide, and Camilla Dely.

This exhibition is a program of The Tobin Theatre Arts Fund.

Susan Hilferty

World-renowned costume and set designer Susan Hilferty has designed more than 300 productions across the globe. Hilferty’s designs include Broadway (Wicked, Funny Girl, Present Laughter, Spring Awakening, Lestat, Into the Woods, and August Wilson’s Radio Golf), over 100 off-Broadway shows, innumerable regional-theatre productions, opera, circus, live-music events and dance. Something Wicked: Susan Hilferty Costumes pays tribute to Hilferty’s process, and gives an in-depth behind-the-scenes look at everything it takes to bring designs from page to stage, across this broad diversity of forms.

Hilferty’s many honors include the US Institute for Theatre Technology’s (USITT) Lifetime Achievement Award, the Irene Sharaff Award for Lifetime Achievement, an OBIE for Sustained Excellence in Design, the Lilly Award, the Ruth Morley Design Award from the League of Professional Theatre Women, and Tony, Outer Critics Circle, and Drama Desk awards for the Broadway Musical Wicked. Hilferty is on faculty in the Department of Design for Stage and Film at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, having served as chair for 25 years, and continues to design prolifically from her studio based in New York City.  

Something Wicked: Susan Hilferty Costumes is a celebration of Hilferty’s collaborations with the makers and artisans who bring her designs to life, including dress makers, drapers, tailors, shoe makers, milliners, wig makers, embroiderers, painters, and mask makers. When Hilferty received the Tony Award for Best Costume Design for Wicked, she wore an evening coat embroidered with the names of all her creative collaborators to honor them.  

Click on the names below to learn more about the artisans and makers Susan Hilferty has worked with throughout her career and who are represented in the exhibition.

Eric Winterling creates beautiful costumes for the motion picture, theater, and dance industries —continuing today what he began over 30 years ago. Winterling is highly regarded among costume designers, producers, directors, and actors for exquisite quality and craftsmanship.
Instagram: @ericwinterlinginc

In 2002 Katherine Marshall started a full-service costume workroom, supporting a designer’s creative process and delivering stage clothes with a couture level of fit and finish. Tricorne is a valued resource for the greater entertainment industry because of its talented, dedicated staff.

Instagram: @tricorneinc

Academy Award winner Matthew Mungle is a premier make-up special effects artists with over 200 film, television and stage projects to his credit. Aging make-up techniques—his strongest calling card—were used to mold, sculpt, and cast prosthetics for Wicked’s Broadway premier.

Hochi Asiatico Studio treats, paints, and embellishes contemporary clothes and vintage fabrics to make costumes that hold up–and hold color–under the most demanding performance circumstances. Asiatico’s work has been seen on Broadway and on stages around the world.

Since 1985 MF Knitwear has made the finest quality knit garments for theatre, opera, film and TV, using machine and hand knit techniques. With over 200 projects to her credit, Maria Ficalora’s current projects include Funny Girl on Broadway and TV’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

Known for his creative vision and master craftsmanship, Rodney Gordon creates non-traditional pieces from unusual materials through innovative, made-up techniques. His work is featured on Broadway, as well as on opera, dance, television, and film stages throughout the world.

Tom Watson has designed wigs for more than 80 Broadway shows including Wicked, Rock of Ages, and Fiddler on the Roof. He led the Wig and Makeup Department at the Metropolitan Opera for 17 years and is the creative force and technical genius behind Watson Associates.

das gewand was founded in 1994 by Angelika Nowotny—a former dressmaker, design assistant, and costume shop manager for Düsseldorf Opera and Stuttgart Staatstheater. Today, Nowotny and her staff produce elaborate, sophisticated costumes for opera, theatre, ballet and more.

Since 1986 the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC has produced works with profound themes and complex characters. Under the direction of Barbara Hicks, STC Costume Director, and with the incredible work of draper Tonja Peterson and shop manager Wendy Stark, the company has realized Susan Hilferty’s dark and dazzling designs for Clytemnestra in the Greek tragedy Oresteia, as well as the intricate leather and metal work she imagined for characters in Salome’.

It takes 110 Met Costume Shop artisans to “dress” the stage night after night. Before singers stepped into the spotlight in La Traviata and Rigoletto, Costume Shop Head Elissa Iberti worked with the incredible staff, including production supervisors, head drapers, pattern makers and others to realize original opera costume designs. In one season alone, the Met Opera costume shop works on over 2600 individual garments.

Phil LaDuca used his expertise in dance to create LaDuca Shoes. His designs have been featured in film, TV, and many Broadway shows like Wicked and Frozen. He was bestowed a special 2017 Drama Desk Award for his contribution to creating characters on stage from “the ground up.”

Instagram: @laducashoes

Larry Vrba has made jewelry for over 40 years for Broadway—often drawing inspiration from his personal collection of old beads and rhinestones. Sought-after by stage designers, his jewels can be seen in the musicals Wicked and Hairspray, and on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera.

Gene Mignola combines digital and traditional screen printing to create innovative, custom fabrics. Through designer collaborations, Gene Mignola, Inc. generates a broad array of textiles that meet specific needs of theatrical costume designers and interior decorators/designers.

Jeff Fender paints custom fabric for entertainment industries, and also offers costume distressing, rhinestone, foiling and special embellishment services. His Broadway credits include Hedwig and the Angry Inch and The Color Purple; and designs for Nicki Minaj and Lady Gaga.

Since 1903 Müller Embroidery has used hand-operated machines and modern technology to create embroidery that speaks to precision yet feels homemade. Müller collaborates with designers, blending different embroidery techniques to realize imaginative and fantastic results.

Fred Longtin Handmade Shoes creates fine theatrical footwear, realizing designers’ visions while balancing the needs of performers. Longtin’s footwear has been worn on Broadway in Wicked and Into the Woods, at the Metropolitan Opera, and in the Seattle Opera’s Ring Cycle.

Since 1885 Maison Henry Bertrand has been the premier supplier of high-end, luxury fabrics. Bertrand infuses collaboration, creativity and flexibility in work with designers across the globe. Maison Henry Bertrand’s bespoke weaving created the textile used for Wicked’s Dr. Dillamond.

Michael Stanton and Jon Rager opened a tiny NYC costume shop in 1975. Actress Carol Lawrence, their first client, christened it Michael-Jon Costumes. Until 2014, with partner Thomas Slack, they created costumes for Broadway, opera, ballet, film, ice shows and circuses.

Nearly 20 years Ilya Fatakov began to build custom-made, high-end theatrical costumes. Arel Studio is now a top NYC costume house built on the foundation of Fatokov’s attention to detail, stellar craftsmanship, and accommodating attitude for collaborations with costume designers.

Lynne Mackey Studio builds beautiful hats and headpieces for theatre, opera, dance, TV, and film. Twenty-eight years ago she launched her millinery studio out of her uptown apartment. Now located in the Garment District, the industry seeks out her couture millinery techniques.

Instagram: @lynnemackeystudio

Founders Sally Ann Parsons and James Meares have made costumes for the entertainment industry—including circuses and spectacles—since 1980. The designer’s vision and performer’s needs guide their staffs’ collective artistry and skill to achieve the final creative product.

Parsons-Meares notably creates the Flying Monkey costumes for Wicked. The costumes are painted by Virginia Clow, Mary Macy and Margaret Peot.

Since 1983, Polly Kinney has specialized in costume beading, and teaches the art at NYU/Tisch. Her work has been on Broadway in Wicked and Hello, Dolly! and regional stages, and at the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Ballet, Victoria’s Secret Fashion Shows and the Met Gala.

Vogue Too is a pleating, stitching and embroidery business based in New York City. A nimble team of skilled craftsmen and technicians focus on the design and development of special techniques for independent designers, established design houses, and other creative industries.

Bethany Joy Costumes, Inc. is a woman owned Costume Shop located in the heart of the New York City Garment District. They construct high quality garments for Theatre, Opera, Dance TV, Film and Live Entertainment. Bethany has helped realize several of Hiflerty’s designs, including the current Broadway revival of Funny Girl.

The renowned TONY Award winning Goodman Theatre is one of the major resident theaters in the United States with a range of work that includes classic plays, new plays, and musicals. Hilferty began working with the Goodman Theatre in Chicago in 1983 with Comedy of Errors with the Flying Karamazov Brothers, and has gone on to design over ten productions including The Three Moscowteers and Kander and Ebb’s The Visit, starring Chita Rivera. Heidi McMath, Costume Director, has been part of all the productions that Hilferty has designed there. The incredibly talented draper Birgit Rattenborg-Wise has realized many of Hilferty’s designs.

Mio Design Studio opened in November 2015 by Miodrag Guberinic, offering design expertise, collaborative creative services, and the finest handcrafted work.

Mio’s team provides full development of an idea, from detailed concept design illustrations through prototyping process and finished piece. Most recent projects include artisan work for the Broadway production of Funny Girl. Mio’s studio is also currently working with designer Paul Tazwell on the film adaptation of Wicked.


Amanda Whidden

Amy Sutton

Avery Reed

Antonio Consuegra

Anna Lacivita

Amy Clark

Amela Baksic

Andrea Lauer

Arnulfo Maldonado

Beth Niemczyk

Brooke Cohen

Brynne Oster-Bainsson

Becky Lasky

Camilla Dely

Cathy Meacham-Hunt

Christopher Metzger

Chris Peterson

Candice Cain

Christine Smith-McNamara

Dan Wang

Devon Painter

David Stein

Glenna Ryer

Gayland Spaulding

Heather Freedman

Heidi Bryan

Herin Kaputkin

Izzy Fields

Jeanette Leeporter

Kara Tesch

Kara Harmon

Kenneth F. Mooney

Laura Drawbaugh

Lisa Logan

Leon Dobkowski

Linda Ross

Laurie Bramhall

Mark Koss

Marina Reti

Maiko Matsushima

Michael Sharpe

Margaret F. Morettini

Margie Bailey

Meriwether Snipes

Nancy Palmatier

Jessica Pabst

Jessica Trejos

Orla Long

Sydney Gallas

Sara James

Sarah Cubbage

Sarita Fellows

Steven B. Feldman

Tom McAlister

Tricia Barsamian

Tamara Arzumanova