MUSIC LESSONS: Designer Mimi Prober never aspired to be a costume designer but some of her creations can be found on performers in “Rocktopia” on Broadway.
Her designs were first used by the musical in Budapest last year, where a PBS special was filmed before the show went on tour. In New York, the rotating lead performers have included Train’s Pat Monahan, Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider and now Cheap Trick’s Robin Zander. For the multimedia show, a symphony orchestra, rock band and choir give the music another blast. The Broadway venture has been a new undertaking for Prober.
She said, “This is my first time. I’m not a costume designer so it’s not anything I ever thought about doing but it’s been such an amazing opportunity. It’s really cool to have your name on the playbill and to have the Shubert Theater thank you. It’s definitely been a learning experience in terms of Broadway versus fashion.”
“The Voice’s” Kimberly Nichole; Celtic Woman violinist Máiréad Nesbitt, a Grammy nominee, and the Metropolitan Opera’s Alyson Cambridge wear designs from Prober such as botanical-dyed items for Nesbitt. Prober said of Cambridge, “She is definitely a great personality so we really played up that operatic effect so she’s wearing this intricately beaded corset that has beads from the 1800s to the Twenties.”
“I did the designs for the women’s fashion following the philosophy of my work. They liked what I was doing in terms of using the antique materials and bringing that story into a modern light,” Prober said. “In a lot of ways, that is like what they’re doing. Taking classic music, classic rock and opera and mixing it all together and making it intertwined. It’s as if Freddy Mercury and Beethoven were from the same era, they would all hang out and work together.”
In other news, Prober has collaborated with the accessories label From the Road to launch a collection of handwoven and botanically dyed and embroidered wraps that are available at Barneys New York. She is friendly with the company’s founder Susan Easton. Together they are using artists and weavers in Nepal to make their scarves and wraps, with Prober hand embroidering fragments of lace onto them. Prober will have one of her gowns featured in the “Fashion Unraveled” exhibition that bows May 25 at The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology.