When Fashion and Ballet Meet
The stage costumes designed by the great stylists
Dressing the perfect body of a dancer, creating costumes that enhance the lightness and plasticity of the movements. It is the challenge taken yesterday and today by many great stylists. Like Roberto Capucci, who will present his first creations for a ballet in Rome.
G“ rags ”I draw them for work. But theater is my true love. And Béjart is part of our family ». With these words, Gianni Versace sent his brother Santo to his choreographer friend Maurice Béjart to support him in his new life in Lausanne, in 1992, after the stormy farewell to Brussels where the French master had founded the Ballet du XXe Siècle, a glam company revolutionary.
Versace’s sartorial flair and inventive freedom were in perfect symbiosis with Béjart’s sensual and ecumenical theater dance. It was a spectacle by Béjart, entitled Barocco Bel Canto and presented on the occasion of Pitti Uomo at the Boboli Gardens in Florence in June 1997, the dark omen of the assassination that, just three weeks later in Miami, would have hit the designer: in the center of the scene among the dancers, Naomi Campbell, wrapped in a Versace dress draped in pink silk crêpe, held a gun and fired.
Versace’s is the most striking Italian case of the fatal attraction between fashion and ballet. A passionate liaison with a long history, which Roberto Capucci , the stylist who designed unforgettable sculpture-dresses for the opera diva Raina Kabaivanska , no longer escapes from today .
For the first time, Capucci signs costumes for the ballet on the occasion of the Les Étoiles gala , organized by Daniele Cipriani at the Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome on 24, 25 and 26 January : among the expected stars, the fascinating Russian Denis Rodkin of Bolshoi , the Argentine Marianela Nuñez paired with Vadim Muntagirov from the Royal Ballet, the director of the Paris Opera Aurélie Dupont and Oleg Ivenko, the Kazan Ballet dancer chosen by Ralph Fiennes to play the role of Rudolf Nureyev in the film The White Crow .
Capucci’s costumes will be worn by the Korean Young Gyu Choi of the Dutch National Ballet, staged in the solo of the Golden Idol from La Bayadère , and by the Spanish Sergio Bernal of the Ballet Nacional de España, engaged in a red-hot zapateado carved from heels percussion of flamenco. At the center of the gala, a special tribute to Alicia Alonso, an icon of the Cuban ballet who passed away last October.
Swimsuits designed by Coco Chanel in 1924 for the ballet “Le Train bleu” on the subject of Jean Cocteau (photo Getty Images).
Coco Chanel was the first
Dressed by big brands, dance began to bewitch the theater audience a century ago. The first designer was Coco Chanel , author of the costumes of Le Train Bleu for the Russian Ballets, the legendary company of Diaghilev who engaged the most fashionable names of the artistic avant-garde in shows that seduced the public between genius and scandal.
It was 1924: Jean Cocteau had imagined portraying the beautiful Parisian world on vacation on the French Riviera (the “train bleu” was a luxury train for high society inaugurated two years earlier). In keeping with the ironic gaze of Cocteau’s subject and the cubist beach designed by Henry Laurens, Chanel dressed the dancers in jersey swimwear that highlighted the athletic figure leaving them free to dance the choreography of Bronislava Nijinskaja (sister of the mythical Nijinsky) on the experimental music of Darius Milhaud.
Last June, the Bolshoi dedicated to the relationship between Mademoiselle and the Russian ballet Gabrielle Chanelle , choreography by Yuri Possokhov: the role of Coco was played by the étoile Svetlana Zakharova.
Armani, Valentino and the love of Terpsichore
After Chanel, high fashion has made a pact with ballet: since then, the beauty of the athletic body, harmoniously shaped by academic technique, has been enhanced by the bold aesthetics of the stylists. The list of haute couture names that have responded to the call of Terpsichore (protector of dance, ed ) is long.
Giorgio Armani , when he worked for the theater, found in dance and musical an exotic paradise with refined and transgressive points: after the costumes for the ballet Bernstein Dances by John Neumeier in 1998, he designed the sinuous Spanish bata de cola worn in naked torso by Joaquin Cortés in the Soul show in 2000, transforming the traditional female mermaid dress into a black skirt with an infinite flounced tail.
The Missoni responded to the invitation of American athletic dance by designing flaming costumes for David Parsons’ Step into my Dream in 1990 and adherents for the Aeros dancers-gymnasts , a show choreographed by the Parsons-Pendleton-Ezralow trinity.
Tulle and chiffon dominated, with pastel, pearl and red shades, in the sixteen costumes designed by Valentino for the waltzes of the New Year’s Concert at the Kunsthistoriches Museum in Vienna in 2010: the étoiles of the Paris Opera Eleonora Abbagnato and Nicolas Le Riche wore them with the corps de ballet of the Wiener Staatsoper.