I’m sure it will probably be kept under lock and clé, but I will definitely try to get a closer look at this tutu in two weeks time. I’m especially delighted it’s Elena Glurdjidze. She is a phenomenal dancer, and I hope one day to see her from the front of the stage rather than squinting from the wings. I can’t say I’m a huge fan of Mr Lagerfeld, but there’s no doubting the man can work a bag full of feathers like no one else. It really does look like a work of art on the outside, so I’d really be fascinated to see more details.
Although I made a decision a long while ago that costume was quite possibly not going to be my future, my occasional stints working at a ballet company have maintained an interest in stage costume. It’s musty, filthy, sweaty and sometimes gaudy up close, but I’ve always felt inspired and happy when I’ve been surrounded by bizarre costume confections. In fact, considering my love of [deliberate] clothing clutter in my own wardrobe, spending an entire day squished in between rails of original Edwardian costumes at The Players’ Theatre ["cor blimey" music hall type shenanigans...I was there for two weeks on a work placement] when I was 16 was probably quite an important experience for me. I love each hanger having something radically different, and possibly clashing, on it. Sometimes I find myself just looking into my wardrobe in a dreamy daze. I am determined never to have a minimalist wardrobe, it would be unbearably dull.
Ballet costumes are endlessly inspirational and, like Ossie, I swoon over the costumes of the Ballet Russes and the incredible designs of Leon Bakst (amongst many others). I try to save scans I see of old ballet photos; they thrill me completely but also creep me out a bit. Which is such a delicious feeling, don’t you think?
The saddest part of the closure of The Theatre Museum in Covent Garden, and subsequent re-housing at the V&A, is the loss of the creepy corridors and cabinets in which sat the musty old costumes. The V&A have created a lovely, more airy space for the exhibits….but rather lost the point in the process.