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Friday, 13 April 2012

Gareth Pugh's Ballet Costumes


This April, Wayne McGregor's widely anticipated merging of fashion, ballet and contemporary dance will be staged at the Royal Opera House, London. With Mark Ronson scoring the production, 'Carbon Life' is set to modernise an art form previously considered out-dated or boring by some, bringing ballet to the centre of the fashion world's attention.

Gareth Pugh, world famous fashion designer known for his black and white, fantastical but slightly aggressive collections joins the team as Costume Designer. The photo above shows one of his designs: simple in colour and texture, but stunning in the complexity of angles, points and shape. The sharp edges add a skeletal or shell-like quality making the dancer more creature than human, bringing us back to a more animal, primitive behaviour - which is evidently well suited for a piece investigating human identity, psychology and masculinity vs. femininity. Pugh says that we wanted to convey naivety of birth, and then development, so "everybody starts naked, then evolves" through their costumes.

McGregor never works with pointe shoes or tutus, so Pugh had plenty of scope for experimenting with shape and structure, as well as new fabrics and textures not offered by classical ballet costumes. He does include some elements of traditional ballet attire - his footwear is shaped to allow the dancer to dance on their toes, and despite is stiff appearance, is apparently surprisingly unrestrictive and allows the foot to move in every way it needs to.

All in all these costumes are set to be an incredible part of the show and most importantly convey a style that has never before been realised in such a traditional dance field.

'Carbon Life' is on until April 23 at the Royal Opera House.

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