Randy Rowoldt

Name: Randy Rowoldt


Age: 40

Profession: Costumer. "I was supposed to be a musician," Rowoldt says. He blew woodwinds in professional pit orchestras at age 14 ("two years younger than the legal age," he notes), but his designer genes also took hold early on. A set he designed for his high school's production of Peter Shaffer's "Royal Hunt of the Sun" was photographed for Theater Craft magazine. The Janesville, Wis., native later flew to Hollywood, where he built a pair of wings for Shirley MacLaine; St. Louis, costuming the Opera Theatre's Madama Butterfly and Peter Grimes; and eventually Minneapolis. Currently a milliner and craftsperson with the Children's Theater Company, Rowoldt teaches patterning and technical courses at the Art Institute of Minnesota ("my specialty is constructing historical garments"). He also freelances: Guess who designed the costumes for last year's Chippendales tour?

Type of closet: A deep walk-in just off his office and library in a second-floor apartment near the Children's Theater. ("It'a 1911 four-flat," says Rowoldt. "With all the original woodwork.")

Closet dimensions: 10.5' x 4' x 4.3'

Occupancy: 1, with space for a white mixed-Persian named Daphnis.

Average usage: 5 minutes per day.

Color: Bleached linen. ("Like a boiled Edwardian shirt.")

Organizational style: International. A handmade Scottish kilt in glowing earth tones hangs beside a formal black-and-gray kimono and traditional Japanese hapi shorts. ("At one time in my life, I dressed almost entirely in Japanese style," Rowoldt says.) A midnight-blue West African tunic and pants are festooned with fertility symbols. Corduroy German knickers and a Victorian corset snuggle next to a silver leather harness and cowboy-style chaps of bronze vinyl ("I made a matching codpiece from an old window screen," grins Rowoldt). An unassuming sky-blue sports coat from Saks Fifth Avenue once belonged to Robert Redford ("Omigosh, there's a used hankie in the pocket I never noticed before!").

Most recent acquisition: Green plaid flannel high-top Converse sneakers. And plaid T-shirts and shorts. ("I tend to over-coordinate when my partner and I go to the gym.")

Future yard-sale bargain: "Sweaters! My mother knits me a new one every year for Christmas. I can't possibly wear this many sweaters in a lifetime."

Comment: "Gay fashion is growing increasingly juvenile. The goal for both sexes now is to look like a little boy. A very little boy. Those stiff, new jeans with the deep cuffs? They're straight out of Leave It to Beaver."

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