Since the premiere of The Masked Singer SA, we’ve been wondering and taking guesses at who is behind the mask. Have you ever wondered who is behind the designs? Nounouche unmasked the costume designer Heidi Bothma Du Toit and she spoke to us about creating the most delightfully deranged and unforgettable costumes to ever grace the South African screens!
The singing competition features celebrities disguised as full body masks and their identities are only revealed once they are voted off. I’m certain you’ve been asking yourself how they breathe, see and perform with those masks on. Heidi Bothma’s incredible costumes contribute to a large part of the show’s appeal. She shared that the first thing they had to consider before designing the masks was to make sure the performers had fun, comfortable enough to give stellar performances. “I worked with an amazing team and the production team gave us enough creative freedom for all 17 costumes that we designed. We had to understand that every contestant is different and wanted each costume to stand out and give it a theatrical feel.”
Heidi Bothma who is the founder of Hollywood Costumes has been a designer for close to 3 decades now and shared that designing for The Masked Singer was one of her greatest highlights in her career. Creating extravagant ensembles, her focal point has always been fashion forward and exploring themes with different ‘larger than life characters’ as she casually puts it. For The Masked Singer, Heidi said that even though they had limited time to design the costumes which was 6 to 8 weeks at most, Heidi and her team had to put in extra hours to bring the vision to life. She gave endless praises to her team for being profoundly creative, committed and giving input for each costume.
The trick of this singing competition is to fully conceal the identity of each singer and the designer pulled just that. The process was very complex, as the costumes needed to be outlandish yet practical for stars to sing and dance in. Heidi said she came up with several concepts and that the producers and contestants also made suggestions. One costume for this season is The Lollipop, which Heidi says was the most difficult of all to create. Before bringing the vision of The Lollipop to life, “we had to consider that some of the celebrities were claustrophobic so to make it as comfortable as we could, we made extra holes inside and put fans inside to make breathing easier,” Heidi explained.
The mastermind behind the elaborate costumes in the singing competition added that her work comes to life on stage, through the performers and fans who celebrate them. “Since childhood, I have always been drawn to fantasy than reality. So designing these playful and colourful costumes took me back to reconnect with my inner child and it’s been a beautiful journey,” she added, beaming in ecstasy.
She recently designed two outfits for the media personality, Somizi Mhlongo for the recent Hollywoodbets Durban July. The media personality channelled an alien look and he made a grand entrance when he was carried into the venue by men holding him up in a pyramid alien cage. Heidi touched on her beautiful relationship with Somizi Mhlongo who is also one of the detectives for The Masked Singer.
The Masked Singer is one of the hottest reality shows in Mzansi right now and is trending every week. Be sure to catch it and have fun guessing which celebrity is behind the mask! The Masked Singer South Africa airs Saturdays at 18:00 on SABC 3 and at 20:00 on SABC 1. Repeats air on Thursdays at 21:00 on SABC 1.