There is no feeling quite like going to the ballet. You get dressed up, sit on beautiful, plush chairs in a grand theater covered in gold leaf and before the curtain even opens it is wonderful. When the music starts playing and the dancers fill the stage you are drawn into a story told by music, movement, and costumes. It can be heartbreaking, witty or shocking without a single word. The tradition of ballet has a powerful way of combining different mediums to tap into emotion.
“The costumes are very important to the dancer. They are there to accompany the dancer, not to get in the way or distract, and sometimes to reassure and inspire,” said Xavier Ronze, head of couture at Paris’s famous Opera Garnier, where Christian Lacroix designed the costumes for the 2011 production of La Source. La Source, or The Spring in English, is a story about a hunter who falls in love with Nouredda, who is betrothed to a Khan, and the nymph who helps the hunter win Nouredda even though she is in love with the hunter herself. This tale of love in the orient and cast of harem girls, Cossacks and nymphs was illustrated perfectly by Lacroix; using Swarovski Elements, he created garments that accompanied and illuminated the characters.
Although the show has closed, the Lacroix costumes are being featured in an exhibit in the French National Costume Museum in the city of Moulins from Jun. 16 to Dec. 31. There you can take a look at all of the 130 costumes created for the show. Even without having seen the ballet, the costumes show you the fantastical world of La Source and Lacroix.