Dress And… FUNCTION & FASHION
A Column Exploring What the Best-Dressed Improvisers Are Wearing
By Miriam Sirota
Ah, another season begins bringing with it fabulous new fashions for the improviser! And who could be more indicative of the spring clothing trends than the super-stylish Tom Carrozza.
Decked out in blue jeans and one of his red or orange summer shirts (to add some spice to what, lately, has been a series of overcast days), Tom is equally ready to take on the highly variable weather as well as the challenge of creating a difficult improvised song.
Wouldn’t we all love to know what’s on the mind of this trend-setter when he is dressing for an improv show? “I think, ‘What would Edith Head do if she were still alive?’” Tom explains, showing how he is strongly influenced by the old classics.
Clearly, Tom does not run with the passing fads. A resident of the West 20s, he refers to his own style as “counter-Chelsea” because he won’t wear a goatee or his hair in a pony-tail. Instead, Tom goes against the grain favoring the timeless basics. “I like mix and matchables. I lean towards solids, because that’s what they’re there for.” It takes a great man to understand the true place of “the solid” in fashion.
Tom was willing to offer some tips to the improvers of the world about dressing for improvisation. “Gabardine does not move well on stage. It can hinder your space work.” Tom stresses the importance of function as well as fashion in improv performances. One should never let a snazzy new outfit get in the way of fully executing a very physical “Weak Previews” clip or having to play a pregnant donkey. Anything can happen on stage, and the improviser must be dressed for the moment.
You’ll all be thrilled to know that Tom has some very exciting plans in store for the future. He’ll soon be launching his own line of clothing called TOM CARROZZAWEAR – a fabulous new line of action wear designed for improvisers of the 21st century. The clothing, for the male and female improviser, will feature interchangeable basics in a variety of colors (in natural fabrics that allow the body to breathe, of course).
The fabrics will be treated with a stain-resistant Scotch guard as well, especially for improvisers who perform in rowdy bars and often have food and beer thrown at them by drunken patrons. Sunday Night Improv’s “Fashion Week” will feature Tom’s new line, which will also be available through Macy’s, Saks, and the Wingnut Gazette Spring Catalog. Here’s looking at you, kids!
Fashion tip of the month: never wear a hat en route to performing an improv show. By the time you remove the hat and arrive on stage, you’ll have “hat-head,” which looks quite sloppy and unprofessional.