Wednesday, April 22, 2009

christian lacroix exhibit at the national museum

i was reading a fashion magazine a couple of weeks ago (i read so many, so can't actually remember which one) and there was a short bit about the christian lacroix exhibit at the national museum. so last sunday i dragged my sweetheart off to see it, though to give him credit, he didn't exactly protest.

there were exhibits of clothes he'd designed for various theatrical productions... Carmen, Othello, a version of Cinderella... everything beautiful and absolutely inspiring... suddenly i felt the urge to buy a dress with a full skirt, suddenly i wanted to wear lace bustier dresses in all sorts of colours.

the picture below is of a costume lacroix designed for the title character in the opera Eliogabalo... can you believe it's made entirely out of paper?

three of these (below) are from Cosi Fan Tutte. i love the colour of the dress, and the organza crinkled to look like a skirt in the suit-like outfit is really quite inspiring... i'm sure it could translate into ready-to-wear in a second!

oh what a dress!

another section of the exhibition featured mobiles... dresses hanging from the air, other heftier costumes on slowly spinning platforms... all against a background of projected film clips of ballets and other theatrical performances. very very surreal. photos don't do this display any justice!

here are some of my favourite sketches from the exhibit.. when i saw them , i felt so terribly ashamed of the pitifully bland sketches i've been making for my sewing class... (clearly, though, one can hardly expect to rival lacroix!)

the first three here are for the costumes in Gaite Parisienne, a production by the American Ballet Theatre in 1988. Love those colours! My personal favourite is the red gown in the second picture... and i'd love to be able to wear those headpieces when i go shopping. fierce!

this is from the production of Cendrillon (Cinderella) by the Opera Comique, Paris... the sketches are for the costumes for the stepsisters' ballgowns... i think it's wonderful how lacroix manages to use all these grays and blacks and bland little browns and still come up with sketches so riveting.

here's a sketch of costumes from Arsa y Toma, a flamenco performance recounting the history of the dance from the 1950s til today. lacroix used small frills of real cloth to create these caricature-like sketches in the style of postcards.

lastly, here's one from Othello (the faces are so nicely done!)and another from Le Femme sans Ombre...

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