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Esmeralda's White Dress from Notre Dame de Paris

Updated on September 23, 2014

Esmeralda's White Costume

In the second act of Notre Dame de Paris, Esmeralda has been arrested. She wears a new costume that signifies her as a prisoner.

For a prisoner costume, its very feminine. Unlike her green costume, her prisoner dress is less fabric specific which means its fairly consistent between the different casts and versions although there are some deviations.

For this page we'll look at the core components and the the versions that differ.

This costume isn't as iconic as Esmeralda's green dress so pictures are a bit limited.

Costume was design by Fred Sathal.

Poll #1

Helene Segara as Esmeralda, Notre Dame de Paris
Helene Segara as Esmeralda, Notre Dame de Paris

Overall, do you like this costume?

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Notre Dame de Paris

The Silhouette

The Silhouette of Esmeralda white costume, Notre Dame de Paris
The Silhouette of Esmeralda white costume, Notre Dame de Paris

The Silhouette is a straight sheath dress. Sheath dress are elegant and simple in style but because the fabric is so close to the body there is little to no movement in this costume. Though the costume doesn't need movement unlike the green dress since Esmeralda does no dancing in the second act.

The Fabric

The Fabric of Esmeralda white costume, Notre Dame de Paris
The Fabric of Esmeralda white costume, Notre Dame de Paris

The fabric on this costume ranges from lightweight to medium weight. And the color ranges from off-white to taupe, although under some of the lighting it can look pink.

The original version seems to be taupe with a slight pinkish sheen to it. The Russian version has a two tone white gray fabric with sparkles. It looks almost like stained glass which is a nice hint at Esmeralda is allegory as Notre Dame. Though this dress could have been used for promotional purposes. The fabric on all the version has a beautiful drape.

The Neckline

The Neckline of Esmeraldas white costume, Notre Dame de Paris
The Neckline of Esmeraldas white costume, Notre Dame de Paris

The neckline is typically a slight cowl. A cowl neckline is a high loose turnover collar. The amount of drape to the neckline ranges from very heavy to very little.

For instance the costume in the Belgium version there is no cowl. Instead it’s a v-neckline with a gather detail at the bust.

The Sleeves

The Sleeves of Esmeraldas white costume, Notre Dame de Paris
The Sleeves of Esmeraldas white costume, Notre Dame de Paris

The sleeves are typically flutter sleeves. Flutter sleeves are loose fitting and gathered at the shoulders.

The sleeves for this costume are short flutter sleeves. Like the cowl neckline, the the sleeves ranges on the gathering ranges from a lot to practically none. However even if the costume has no gathering, the sleeves are still loose fitting.

The Ruffles

The Ruffles of Esmeraldas white costume, Notre Dame de Paris
The Ruffles of Esmeraldas white costume, Notre Dame de Paris

Ruffles are the main point of interest this costume. The ruffles are sewn in at odd angles on the lower portion of the costume.

The length and fullness of the ruffles vary. For instance on the original costume they're fairly short but on the Asian tour costume they're longer. Also on some versions the upper ruffle doesn't wrap around the back but ends on the front. While other versions have the upper ruffle continue to the back.


The ruffles add a lot of femininity to this costume.

The Hemline

The Hemline of Esmeraldas white costume, Notre Dame de Paris
The Hemline of Esmeraldas white costume, Notre Dame de Paris

Despite the asymmetry of the ruffles and the overall feminine design of the costume the hemline is just straight. it's being straight directs the eye of the veiwer to the ruffles.

The Decortive Seams

The Decortive Seams of Esmeraldas white costume, Notre Dame de Paris
The Decortive Seams of Esmeraldas white costume, Notre Dame de Paris

On the original French costume, there are three seams on the front that meet in a v shape. This isn’t seen on other versions but the middle seam is seen most notably on the Korean version and the Asian Tour version.

These seams just add a bit more visual interest though I would doubt the people going to the live show would really notice but it's a nice artistic touch.

Other Variations

The Italian Version

The Italian Version of Esmeraldas white costume, Notre Dame de Paris
The Italian Version of Esmeraldas white costume, Notre Dame de Paris

The Italian version of this costume is much more simpler than the other versions. The cowl neckline is a simple v-neck. The sleeves have the same shape but lack the gathering of the flutter sleeves and there are no ruffles on the skirt portion.

The only difference between the different Italian casts is a slit but most versions do not have a slit.

The World Tour Verions

The World Tour Versions of Esmeraldas white costume, Notre Dame de Paris
The World Tour Versions of Esmeraldas white costume, Notre Dame de Paris

The World Tour cast seems to have two versions of the prisoner costumes. One seems to be like the Italian version but with more of a cowl neckline.

And the other is like a hybrid of the standard design and the Italian. The upper part flairs out so it’s wider than the skirt portion creating an overlay. What is interesting is during the final song Dance My Esmeralda, three dancers are always dressed in the same prisoner costume as Esmeralda but in this cast the dancer are wearing the standard ruffled costume and not the version that Esmeralda is wearing in this version. It’s just weird.

Poll #2

Sabrina de Siena as Esmeralda, Notre Dame de Paris
Sabrina de Siena as Esmeralda, Notre Dame de Paris

What version of this costume do you like the best?

See results

Are you a fan of Notre Dame de Paris?

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