Friday, July 13, 2012

My Favorite Ballet Costume of All Time or: Why I Am the Google Master

Okay. So I work in fashion and stuff, whatever. The point is that I have been in to it for a long time and over the years I have amassed a great collection of images of designs that I find inspiring. These days most of it is on a flash drive that I occasionally load with pictures from my super-special file folder, which acquires a new image at least twice a day. But back in the day it was a binder of magazine clippings, and on the very rare occasion that I actually do buy a Vogue or something (every few years, when the big one that is almost nothing but advertisements comes out) I still snip out a few choice pieces and stick them in the binder. Many years ago (1995 or something around there), when my Nana passed away, I came in to possession of a rather odd thing that, honestly, I love to no end. It is a Town and Country magazine (circa 1990) with the cover torn off. Between the pages there are lots of clippings from other magazines, crammed in pretty willy-nilly and mostly showing a fine collection of opulent jewelry and long fur coats. Needless to say, my family has never been known for it's copious wealth. There were also a handful of really dramatic fashion plates from 80s and early 90s magazines. I took some of them out to display to better advantage within my own design binder, because holy cow, they are fabulous. I am particularly taken with this incredible red and gold split gown, which is of course displayed in a much more fabulous manner in the magazine clippings.
Enough back story. In amongst all this treasure was this photograph, which I have scanned for you because it's a thing of beauty and hence a joy forever:
I love it. I have loved it since I first clamped eyes on it. Stripes are one of my favorite things but what always got me here is the skirt. The black glove shapes radiating out from the waist on a white background. Wowza. Love it. I've always wanted to do something with the concept but was afraid the hand-theme, taken away from context, would look a bit too much like a cute "Manos the Hands of Fate" costume. Not that that wouldn't be appropriate at ComicCon or something.
But this was all I knew about it. Just that little scrap of text under the photo, because this is exactly how it was originally cut out by my Nana lo these many years ago.
Susan Jaffe as The Glove Seller in Gaîté Parisienne, for the American Ballet Theater, in it's 60th year of existence.
Great, that is REAL helpful. Costumes can be SUCH hard nuts to crack because of the way they are created for one company and then rented or sold (or both) to other companies for as long as the fabric can stay mostly cohesive (and then a liiiiiiittle bit longer than that).
But I have searched for it online for several years, anyway, out of hope.
BUT! The internet finally caught up with me and my labor of love has born sweet fruit! Check it, guys. This baby was made in 1983 (1983! I was 2!) for ABT and designed by Christian LaCroix, who apparently has a long and beautiful string of ballets under his design belt. As it were (as an aside, I cannot cannot cannot hear of Christian LaCroix without thinking of Lucien LaCroix, from the early 90s Canadian vampire TV cop show Forever Knight. CANNOT. But anyway.)
So, there we have it. BUT EVEN BETTER!
We have more pictures, guys!
Here is the first one I found:
And then, paydirt as it were, I found this one:
Okay, I think I am done being a total ballet costume nerd, now.
Okay, no. No, I'm not.

1 comment:

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