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Christian Lacroix Ballet costumes

Lacroix at the CNCS CC Flickr Xi WEGThe  National Costume Museum at Moulins (about 2.5 hours from Paris) is showcasing the wonderful Swarovski crystal encrusted Christian Lacroix ballet costumes worn by the dancers at the Paris Opera Ballet in 2011.

The French designer Christian Lacroix used around 2 million Swarovski crystals for the sumptuous and shimmering outfits for the ballet La Source which told the tale of a princess who falls in love with a hunter. The ballet had fallen out of favour with  Paris Opera Ballet at the end of the 19th Century and this was its first airing for more than 100 years. Lacroix says that his designs for the costumes, like the ballet had come out “of a long sleep in their freshness and their memory , with aspects of rustic contrast and the opulence of brocades , of ornaments and jewelry … ”

The 80 costumes are magnificently made, hand embroidered, lavish, shimmering and beautiful.  Visitors can also see behind the scenes how the sewing workshops are set up, how fittings are made, the fabrics used as well as the manufacture and installation of scenery and photographs of the rehearsals. There are sketches by Lacroix of his original ideas, videos showing Lacroix and his team  seen sourcing fabric, sewing, painting, developing make up, making headdresses and adjusting costumes so they perfectly fit the dancers

The exhibition will close on December 31 2012.

The museum also holds costumes by Yves Saint-Laurent and Jean Paul Gaultier among the 10,000 stage costumes stored there. The costumes are considered a work of art for future generations to admire, but never wear.

For information see the National Costume Museum website : www.cncs.fr/

Address: Quartier Villars, Route de Montilly 03000 MOULINS


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