Catherine Zuber’s sketch for “Little Women”: Beth.
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NEW YORK — The several film versions of Louisa May Alcott’s 1868 novel, “Little Women” — Katharine Hepburn starred as the tomboyish Jo March in 1933; June Allyson, in 1949, and Winona Ryder, in 1994 — often have inspired fashion designers to dream of full skirts, lace-up boots and nipped-in waistlines. A new musical that opened Sunday night on Broadway starring Sutton Foster should inspire a whole new generation of girls to dress like the March sisters. For costume designer Catherine Zuber, the challenge was trying to make the outfits look like fashionable family hand-me-downs. “What’s hard to achieve,” she says, “is having the costumes maintain a charm while making them look used and recycled. They can’t seem dreary. They should show an exuberance of spirit.”