Grease is the Word

Jesenia Garcia, Editor In Chief

Lights, camera, action! It’s automatic, it’s systematic, it’s hydromatic; it’s grease lightning! This March, students from both South El Monte and Mountain View High School will come together to put on their own production of Grease. Everyone may be familiar with the plot of the movie, two teenagers attempting to rekindle their summer love while experiencing typical teenage difficulty. However, aside from the music being a popular aspect of what the movie was known for, the fashion seen in the film also left quite the impression on its audience. 

Although Grease was filmed in 1978, the move was set in the ‘50s. In the film, a majority of the female characters are seen in fitted pencil skirts, cropped pants, and their reputable pink ladies jackets. They also accessorized themselves with cat eye glasses, scarves, and headbands. However the female lead, Sandy, has a unique style compared to the rest of the pink ladies. She tends to dress modestly and preppy. Her character is frequently seen in longer skirts and sweater sets. On the other hand, the male characters pretty much wear the same thing as one another. They’re all seen in a classic white or black tee, with dark wash or black jeans, and converse. And of course, their signature leather jackets. 

Grease is a well-known and loved movie that is still referenced to this day. In 2019, South held a Through the Decades Night Rally. The Class of 2023 was assigned the ‘50s so of course they pulled inspiration from Grease. Student participants of the corresponding class came dressed in Grease inspired outfits. They were seen in fitted tees, dark wash denim, and converse. Some students even wore leather jackets and red bandannas. 

Senior, Asa Rodriguez, is in charge of costuming for the upcoming play. Asa has been interested in costuming since the 6th grade but also mentions her interest in wigs and makeup.  Since the costumes will be acquired through a costume rental company, she shares how that process works. First, she gets everyone’s name and their measurements. Asa measures their inseam, out-seam, neck, and posture which will help her determine how much and where she will need to make adjustments. She then sends in the cast’s measurements to the company and they make the costumes. Once the costumes arrive she explains that if a cast member doesn’t like their costume for any reason Asa will make adjustments herself with her sewing machine. 

When it comes to her ideas about the cast’s costumes, she decided to pull inspiration from the 1950s era. For the main cast, their costumes are heavily influenced by the main characters in Grease. As for the rest of the characters, their costume inspiration came from other films as well. Asa sketches the costume designs herself, she also utilizes reference pictures so she gets a clear vision of the design she wants to create. To Asa it’s important the cast members get a say in their costumes, “I want them to feel comfortable in what they’re wearing.” Some of the cast members are transgender so their costume will be altered to their desire in order to ensure comfortability. “For example, if we have a transgender woman and they want their outfits made for a woman but their outfits are designed for men, then I need to stitch it up, make padding, etc.” However, she does add that she becomes somewhat difficult when the cast continuously makes changes to their costumes.  

Costuming takes serious time and dedication. Not only is Asa in charge of costuming for the musical, but she also contributes her time to ASB and Cheer. Luckily, she’s fortunate to have the help of her friends Adam Cuevas and Christopher Rodriguez. Lastly, she shares some insight for those interested in costuming. “If you want to do costuming, I think it’s very fun. You get to know the cast members, you get to see how they interpret their character, and meet new people.”