Peter Gabriel was one of the most innovative frontmen of his era. He redefined what frontmen were capable of and sparkled a thousand imitators. In this blog, we’re going to look at his costumes of the Genesis golden era and how to recreate them yourself.
Old man Henry
Old man Henry is the character reflecting on the passage of time in the song The Musical Box. The basis of this costume, as with many of the costume here, is a pair of flared black trousers and a black top. To complete the look, wear a latex old man mask.
Jacob from Genesis’ breakthrough hit I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe) is one of Peter Gabriel’s most famous costumes. Dressed all in black with white makeup and with a strange grey bucket hat that looks like a daffodil with a WW1 era German army spike on top.
Slipperman was worn during The Colony of Slipperman from The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. The basic gist is that Slipperman is a walking STI. A lovely image and Phil Collins’ most hated costume that Gabriel ever wore. The costume was a custom-made latex job, but if you fancy recreating warts you can check out this video.
Britannia was the character who was the voice of Britain in Dancing with the Moonlit Night from selling England by the Pound. To wear this costume, you’ll need a sequin Union flag tabard, a black top as mentioned above, a helmet and black leggings, which you’ll find discounts on at https://www.groupon.com.au/vouchers/stores/bonds.com.au
The Reverend is a character in the song The Battle of Epping Forest. To get this look you’ll need a waistcoat, a kipper tie, which you can pick up on eBay and a pair of sheer tights to wear over your head, with eye and mouth holes cut out of them.
This is probably the most important of all the costumes Peter Gabriel wore because it was the first. Gabriel explains how it came about, saying: “With the costumes, I started wearing bat wings and stuff, and getting a little more outlandish, and then on Foxtrot I wore the fox head and the red dress. My wife, Jill, had a red Ossie Clark dress which I could just about get into, and we had a fox head made. The first time we tried it was in a former boxing ring in Dublin, and there was just a shocked silence.” The result was some media attention for the band and with the extra attention, costumes became a major part of Genesis’ live show. To get the look you’ll need a fox mask and a red dress.
The flower costume was worn during the live performance of the fifth movement of Supper’s Ready from Foxtrot. The song is about Narcissus, who was punished by the gods for his habit of knocking women back. The costume was inspired by a 1950s British TV programme for children called Bill and Ben the Flowerpot men. To recreate this look pick up this daffodil hat.