Jean Paul Gaultier's sexy costumes for Snow White ballet
Jean Paul Gaultier relished the chance to create costumes for a new version of a classic ballet.
The Paris-born couturier has designed the outfits for Ballet Preljocaj’s version of Snow White, which will soon be performed at the Lyric Theatre in Queensland, Australia.
Gaultier was approached by the ballet’s choreographer Angelin Preljocaj to create the ensembles for the production and the haute couture designer knew instantly that it was an opportunity that he couldn’t pass up. Though he admits the experience was a little challenging as he didn’t have complete creative control like he's used to.
“When I work for myself I am the director, choreographer and casting agent but when I work with someone else the script is already there and I have to put my creativity in the service of another,” he told Vogue Australia. “So the challenge is how to make 'Gaultier' that goes perfectly with the story.”
Gaultier explains that Preljocaj didn’t want the costumes to be too conservative, and actually asked for the ensembles worn by the dancer playing Snow White to veer on the sexy side. In fact, the 64-year-old says that Snow White’s costumes ended up being the hardest to design and create, whereas he knew almost immediately what the Wicked Step Mother and other key figures would be attired in.
“I saw the prince as a torero (Spanish for bullfighter), the seven dwarfs were seven monks who are also mountain climbers… It was really fun reimagining the fairy tale,” he explained.
As Gaultier has made costumes for the stage before, famously outfitting singer Madonna for various appearances and her 1990 The Blond Ambition Tour, he had a fair idea of how to make the garments simultaneously glamorous and functional for the stage. And he spent a lot of time discussing concepts with the choreographer as well as the dancers themselves.
“I have worked for stage for many years, I know what it means to dance in the costume but at the same time a choreographer can find a solution for a difficult costume,” he shared.