Miles E. White (July 27, 1914 – February 17, 2000) was a top costume designer of Broadway musicals for 25 years. He is known in the entertainment industry for his well rendered, prolific, imaginative and witty designs. He won recognition, including four Donaldson Awards and two Tony Awards.
White designed for five movies, and he received Oscar nominations for three of them. These were The Greatest Show on Earth, There's No Business Like Show Business, and Mike Todd's Around the World in 80 Days.
White designed costumes for Rodgers and Hammerstein's first two Broadway hits, Oklahoma! and Carousel, and dozens of other musicals as well as ballets, ice shows, circuses, and TV productions. His costume designs for the Ice Capades of 1965 (along with Billy Livingston and Celine Faur) were noted: "And those beautiful costumes are the efforts of Miles White, Billy Livingston and Celine Faur." His last Broadway show was Tricks, in 1973, for which he received a Tony nomination. As musicals were revived, the productions occasionally used his designs, and also true for Fall River Legend for the American Ballet Theater. In 1989 he redesigned the "High Button Shoes" number for Jerome Robbins' Broadway.
Costume designer William Ivey Long referred to Miles White as "his hero," in a recording made of the March 20, 2000, memorial service at the York Theater. In this audio recording, he also cited White's "exquisite drawings," works of art in themselves, in addition to their role as working design sketches.
Douglas Colby, expert on theater design, tells the story of accompanying White to a performance of Fall River Legend several years ago. He said, "The distinguished costume designer Patricia Zipprodt approached the urbane, monocled gentleman I was accompanying, my friend Miles White, and introduced him to her guests as 'God.' One understood what she meant," Colby concluded. This information appears in the Playbill booklet distributed at the March 20, 2000 Memorial Service.
As reported in The New York Times, Mary C. Henderson in her book Theater in America, mentioned that Miles White's designs were inspired by the dance and the circus. "His costumes are constructed to move with the performer's body, not an easy feat," she wrote. After Oklahoma!, she noted, he dominated musical comedy costuming for more than 25 years."
White died on February 17, 2000.
Source for Broadway productions:Playbill Vault
- "Miles White; Costume Designer on Broadway (Obituaries)" Los Angeles Times, February 21, 2000
- Gussow, Mel. "Miles White, 85, Broadway Costume Designer" The New York Times, February 19, 2000
- Blakely, Thomas. "Ice Capades Glides Along Without A Fall" The Pittsburgh Press, September 21, 1965
- Jones, Kenneth and Ehren, Christine. "York Holds March 20 Memorial Service For Broadway Costumer Miles White" playbill.com, March 20, 2000
- Jones, Kenneth.Miles White, Musical Theatre Costume Designer, Dead at 85" playbill.com, February 20, 2000
- "Miles White Broadway Credits and Awards" playbillvault.com, accessed July 4, 2014
- " A Day In The Life Of Just About Everyone Listing" Internet Off-Broadway Database, accessed July 4, 2014
- " A Quarter For The Ladies Room Listing" Internet Off-Broadway Database, accessed July 4, 2014
- " Changes Listing" Internet Off-Broadway Database, accessed July 4, 2014