Christian Lacroix and stage

From 3rd June till 11th November 2007

How does a top designer see the stage costumes? How does a wizard of colors, a shimmering fabrics lover, a forms and volumes sculptor, an alchemist of lace, braids, ruchings, and other fancy goods, how does he transform artists by giving them a second skin for ballets, operas and theatrical works played on most prestigious stages here and there?

L'exposition en images

For more than 20 years, even before he launched his haute couture house, Christian Lacroix has been officiating with a constant joy behind the scene of theatre workrooms, combining haute couture techniques’ science with traditional know-how and stage’s tricks, respect of the works and personal sensibility. Christian Lacroix likes to recall his first steps in couture, although when he was young, coming back from the theatre, he would already reinterpret the costumes he had just seen on stage.

As an echo to this initial vocation, the national centre for stage costumes and design organizes an exhibition on “Christian Lacroix and stage”. This exhibition will present very thoroughly the work of Christian Lacroix for various performing arts, and first of all for more than twenty-five productions of ballet, theatre and opera.

  • In the field of ballet: “cancan” costumes for La Gaîté parisienne (1988, New York, American Ballet Theatre), extremely couture tutus for Tarnished angels (1987) and shimmering ones for Jewels (2000) or even orientalized costumes for Scheherazade (2002), productions created for the Opera de Paris Ballet, from Themes and Variations (1998) to Cinderella (1999), with sequined tulles created for the Vienna Opera Ballet, and “choux” tutus for La Valse des bonbons (2000) at the famous Vienna new year’s celebrations.
  • For the theatre: on different stages, Les Caprices de Marianne (1994, Bouffes du Nord, Paris) and Othello (1995, Théâtre 14, Paris), and at the Théâtre Français from Phèdre (1995) to Cyrano de Bergerac (2006),
  • For the opera: Cinderella (1986, Opera Comique), Carmen (1989, Amphitheatre of Nîmes); Maria Golovin (2006, Opera de Marseille), Don Giovanni (2006, Innsbruck); at the Theatre de la Monnaie in Brussels, Il Re pastore (2003), Eliogabalo (2004), La Femme sans ombre (2005), Cosi fan tutte (2006); up to his next creation for Le Noze di Figaro for Aix en Provence’s next festival in July 2007…

The exhibition will also present costumes imagined for song recitals or celebrations, together with models, sketch books, samples, information files, bills, photographs, videos...

Giving substance to his dreams, Christian Lacroix doesn’t change whilst he moves from ones’ world and ones’ role to another, asserting “What founds my personal coherence is always the idea of the show”.

Artistic Director: Christian Lacroix

Publishing

Book-Catalogue. (Christian Lacroix texts on his involvement in different plays; interviews with fashion designers, directors, actors who have worked on these plays…

Iconography: photographs, stage photos, reproduction of costumes models…

This exhibition is one of the events of Christian Lacroix haute couture house 20 years’ celebrations. The Arts Décoratifs museum (Musée de la Mode in Paris) will be organizing starting November 2007, an exhibition on “Christian Lacroix and the Haute Couture”.

Commissariat de l’exposition et direction artistique

Christian Lacroix

Artistic director

He lives and works in Paris and Arles, where he was born. After studying classics and the history of art, he could not see himself as a painter, teacher or museum curator so he went into fashion and costume design at Hermès, then Guy Paulin, in Paris, Italy and...

Artistic director

He lives and works in Paris and Arles, where he was born. After studying classics and the history of art, he could not see himself as a painter, teacher or museum curator so he went into fashion and costume design at Hermès, then Guy Paulin, in Paris, Italy and Japan. He was artistic director of the Jean Patou fashion house from 1982 to 1987, until Bernard Arnault founded the Christian Lacroix fashion house. At the same time in the 1980s he designed models for numerous theatre, opera and ballet productions in France (Opéra, Comédie-Française, Opéra Comique, Festival d’Aix, Marseille) and abroad (la Monnaie in Brussels, New York Metropolitan, Operas of Vienna and Berlin). At the Opera of Paris, he designed for: Cinderella (P. Maxwell Davis, 1986), The Tarnished Angels (K. Armitage, 1987), Jewells (G. Balanchine, 2000), Scheherazade (B. Li, 2001).

Since 2000, he has developed an activity in industrial design (TGV, hotels, Gaumont cinemas) and the scenography of his own work, activities that have become dominant since the recent end of the fashion design activities (National Center for Stage Costumes, the Fashion Museum and the Museum of Decorative Arts in 2007, Réattu Museum, Marmottan Museum …).

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Michel Albertini

Scenography

Michel Albertini has lead at the same time a career as a writer, director, actor and set designer. Born in the south of France, he crossed paths with Roland Petit and Zizi Jeanmaire who carried him off to their ballets all around the world. Friends with Louis Aragon...

Scenography

Michel Albertini has lead at the same time a career as a writer, director, actor and set designer. Born in the south of France, he crossed paths with Roland Petit and Zizi Jeanmaire who carried him off to their ballets all around the world. Friends with Louis Aragon and Antoine Vitez, he completed his theatrical studies at the National Conservatory in Paris, « Villa Medicis » Laureat, he lived for a while in New York. His encounter with two actors, William Burroughs and Brion Gysin was decisive. On the Broadway, he also worked on the creation of Etienne Roda Gil’s musical "36 Popular Front". In Europe, he has taken part in several films and series at the service of the most adventurous directors, starring with Sophia Loren, Sophie Marceau, Alain Delon, Mélanie Griffith... In Berlin, he interpreted “Das Lederrman”, “The man of Leather” under the direction of R.W. Fassbinder, in Venice “The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian” by Annunzio and Debuss, directed by Pier Luigi Pizzi at the Fenice theatre, in Montreal he acted in popular series.

Michel Albertini has written several plays, performed in different Parisian theatres, notably “Les Merdicoles” at the Comédie Française. In addition he is one of the most read romantic novelists in France- ten novels with titles like “the Orphans of Nha Trang”, “The Lovers of the Earthquake”, “Love with two faces” … have been published in several collections.

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Delphine Pinasa

Delegate director of the CNCS, exhibition curator

Delphine Pinasa, at the time delegate director of the CNCS, was curator for the exhibition « Garden scenes with flowers ». Delphine Pinasa is now director and curator of the CNCS. This art historian, a specialist in stage costumes and...

Delegate director of the CNCS, exhibition curator

Delphine Pinasa, at the time delegate director of the CNCS, was curator for the exhibition « Garden scenes with flowers ». Delphine Pinasa is now director and curator of the CNCS. This art historian, a specialist in stage costumes and ex-delegate director of the CNCS from 2005 has worked for the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the Ministry of Culture and Communication, and the National Opera of Paris from 1993 to 2005, where she was notably responsible for the museographical collection of costumes, then head of the Costume Heritage department of this theatre from 2001. Delphine Pinasa has been exhibition curator for numerous exhibitions in France and abroad and has published several books relating to these exhibitions and the history of stage costumes.

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