Ballet Couture: See Christian Lacroix's Costume Sketches for Paris's "La Source"

Ballet Couture: See Christian Lacroix's Costume Sketches for Paris's "La Source"

Christian Lacroix gave Paris Opera Ballet's production of "La Source" a dose of high fashion. The designer, who closed his fashion house in 2009 because of financial difficulties, created costumes for the ballet, which runs at Paris's Palais Garnierthrough November 12.

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The fashion designer had never heard of the 1866 Léo Delibesand Ludwig Minkus ballet — that is until Brigitee Lefèvre, the ballet’s director, approached him. "She wanted to bring this piece back to life and to have Jean Guillaume Bart do the choreography," said Lacroix in a statement.

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"La Source" is about a young hunter, Djémil , and his attempts to win the heart of the beautiful Nouredda, who is about to marry the Khan of Ghendjib.  Naïla, a nymph who is in love with  Djémil, helps him sabotage Nouredda's wedding so that he can pursue her.

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"I worked on this production thinking all the time of the period very 'école de Paris', highlighting, in my opinion, French taste, while replacing it in our Millennium," said Lacroix. He looked to the art of early 20th-century Paris for inspiration in designing his "mirage of silk tulle, brilliant liquid textiles, and mutated tweeds."

The endeavor marks a return to costume design for Lacroix, whose first foray onto the stage was when created the costumes for Edmond Rostand's "Chantcler" in 1986.  He twice went on to win the Molière Award (France's version of the Tony Awards) for Best Costume Designer, taking the prize in  1996 for "Phèdre" and again in 2007 for "Cyrano."

Click on the photo gallery at left to view side-by-side images of Lacroix's costume sketches and scenes from "La Source"