ART AND FASHION HAVE ALWAYS CREATED MARVELOUS SYNERGIES. IN 20TH CENTURY PARIS, RUSSIAN BALLET COSTUMES WERE, AND STILL ARE, AN EXAMPLE OF CREATIVITY, CONCEIVED BY THE GENIUS MIND OF SERGEJ DJAGILEV.
During the entire 20th century and later, couturiers started creating for the theatre. Like the unforgettable, elegant costumes for “Le train bleu” op.84, the Darius Milhaud ballet commissioned by Diaghilev, created by a young Coco Chanel in 1924.
Fast forward to the Eighties. Jean Paul Gaultier in 1985 focused his creative energy on the costumes for the ballet “Le Défilé” by choreographer Règine Chopinot.
Gianni Versace’s collaborations were highly acclaimed, too. He developed a strong bond with the theatre four years after his first womenswear collection. Between 1981 and 1982 he created the costumes for La Scala Theater ballet that staged ‘Josephslegende’ from Richard Strauss. Versace continued to create stage costumes for ‘Don Pasquale’ by Donizetti and for ‘Dionysos’, directed by Maurice Béjart at the Piccolo Teatro in Milan.
Provence-born designer Christian Lacroix, who was also a costume designer, won the Molière twice, the biggest French award. In 1996 he worked for “Phèdre” at the Comédie Française and then for “Cyrano de Bergerac” staged at the Comédie. In 2007 he celebrated his 20-year career with the exhibition “Christian Lacroix Costumier”, set up in Moulins sur Allier at the Centre National du Costume de Scène, the institution Lacroix is president of today and that collect over 8,500 costumes from the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, the Comédie Française, the Opéra in Paris and various companies.
The costumes for Ravel’s ‘Bolero’, performed at Opéra Garnier in Paris in 2013, were created by designer Riccardo Tisci. The project involved an extraordinary creative team, featuring Marina Abramovich for the set design, choreographers Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Damien Jalet and directed by Brigitte Lefèvre, director of the choreography of the Ballet de l’Opéra National de Paris, who asked Tisci to design the costumes.
In 2013 the Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra collaborated with designer Azzedine Alaïa to create the stage costumes for ‘The Marriage of Figaro’, on a set designed by architect Jean Nouvel, winner of the Pritzker prize. The Tunisian couturier designed the costumes for the female and male cast.
All clear examples of how different forms of art can coexist peacefully and harmoniously.