On the bill

Fairy tales

From April 7, to November 4, 2018

"Sleeping Beauty", "Beauty and the Beast", "Cinderella", "Donkey Skin", "Riquet with the Tuft", "The Nutcracker", "Hansel and Gretel", "Alice in Wonderland", "The Child and the Spells", "The Golden Cockerel", "Midsummer Night Dream", "The Little Prince", "Le Prince de Motordu"… These ballet, opera, theater and marionette productions will soon be presented at the National Center of Stage Costume and Stage Set. From April 4, 2018 to September 16, 2018, the CNCS invites the visitors to immerse themselves in the enchanted world of some fifteen fairytales.

Exhibition with some pictures

Thanks to more than 150 stage costumes, the exhibition shows how costume designers have interpreted fairytale’s characters through various esthetics, shapes, textiles, ornamentations and colors.

Fairytale costumes help the public identify heroes and heroines at a glance. This Manichean world has its own codes. Sometimes, the characters merge with their costume. Such is the case with "The Little Prince" by Saint-Exupery and "Le Prince de Motordu" by Pef.

From showroom to showroom, the exhibition transports the public at the heart of a fantastic story. By a stroke of magic, the visitors enter via the “Gate of Dreams” before discovering different styles: fashion trends from the Middle Ages in "Sleeping Beauties" with stage costumes by Philippe Binot and Franca Squarciapino; baroque outfits by Olivier Bériot in "Donkey Skin"; XVIIIth century silk gowns and velvet suits embroidered with gold, pearls and ribbons for queens and kings attending a bal; pastel tulle inspired by the ethereal dresses of XIXth century fairies; and, last but not least, leather, latex and excessive make-up in "The Nutcracker" with a resolutely more modern approach by High Fashion designers of On aura tout vu…

The most diverse styles echo or clash with each other depending on how past or present princesses, eternal witches or princes of questionable repute are dressed.

Each window-case focuses on a fairytale and its characters, Carabosse and Lilas from Sleeping Beauty and Donkey Skin’s godmother among them. For a production by Compagnie L’éventail, Olivier Bériot has imagined an unusual costume for the fairy godmother : not only does she wear high gaiters and a tutu sustained with balloons, but her umbrella is her magic wand!

Kings, queens, princes and princesses are part of the exhibition, notably with children costumes for Prince de Motordu or Riquet with the Tuft, who ends up being transformed into a marionette.

Fairytales are also peopled with heroines like Cinderella, sublime in her ball gown designed by Christian Lacroix, and Belles –trapped in a giant bubble by Philippe Guillotel or wearing historical costumes by Franca Squarciapino.

As customary, poor children like Hansel and Gretel wear corduroy jackets and jumpers by Anthony Ward whereas the fairies and elves of "Midsummer Night Dream" make a parade of their Elisabethan outfits by John Berry.

Evil characters are equally important. Here, one finds a faceless Beast by Jorge Gallardo, Cinderella’s stepmother and half-sisters perfectly ridiculed in costumes by Alain Blanchot, not to mention magic creatures like the Witch named Grignote and the Merchant of Sand and Dew from "Hansel and Gretel".

Animals are also unavoidable fairytale characters. The visitors meet "The Nutcracker’s" King and Queen of Rats (in traditional or unorthodox costumes by On aura tout vu); the fox of "The Little Prince" in a leopard coat from the Comédie-Française; the cat of "Alice in Wonderland" in a costume by Charles Cusick-Smith and Phil R. Daniels or that of "The Child and the Spells" in a black and white leotard by Henri Galeron. Finally, as to underline the universality of fairytales, the Kabuki theater has staged "The Golden Cockerel" with sumptuous Japanese coats by Tomio Mohri, a costume creator who transcends colors.

Enchantment is the rule. Imagination is at its pick. The costume designers compete in fantasy. Each window-case displays 15 or more costumes next to models, video, pictures and sketches illustrating the designers’ incredible sources of inspiration. To sum up, Fairytales brings forth the vision of some High Fashion, stage costume, graphic and plastic-art designers who took hold of this magic world for our great pleasure.

Exhibition curator and scenography

Martine Kahane

Curator
Before directing the National Center of Stage Costume and Stage Set from 2006 to 2011, Martine Kahane was in charge of the Paris Opera Museum-Library, a library placed under the umbrella of the National Library of France. At the request of Hugo Gall, then Director...

Curator
Before directing the National Center of Stage Costume and Stage Set from 2006 to 2011, Martine Kahane was in charge of the Paris Opera Museum-Library, a library placed under the umbrella of the National Library of France. At the request of Hugo Gall, then Director of the Paris Opera, she has created and chaired a cultural department there. For 35 years, she has helped gather, shape and transcribe the memoirs of this great institution. The Palais Garnier is her favourite subject-matter, the XIXth century is her favourite period and Degas’s Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer is her favourite work of art. Her passion for the Paris Opera resulted in some 20 exhibitions and in just as many publications on Charles Garnier’s architectural design, the Paris Opera costume workshops and ballet company, and Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. Today, Martine Kahane is the President of Les Arts Florissants.

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Alain Batifoulier

Set Designer
After studying at the School of Fine Arts in Lyon, Alain Batifoulier devoted himself to the creation of stage costumes, stage sets and graphic designs for numerous performances and exhibitions. He has collaborated with famous theater directors such as Daniel...

Set Designer
After studying at the School of Fine Arts in Lyon, Alain Batifoulier devoted himself to the creation of stage costumes, stage sets and graphic designs for numerous performances and exhibitions. He has collaborated with famous theater directors such as Daniel Mesguich, Marcel Maréchal, Pierre Debauche, Jean-Louis Martin-Barbaz, Pierre Pradinas and  Philippe Faure. He has created the sets of classical and contemporary plays by Euripides, Shakespeare, Molière and Racine as well as Valère Novarina, Charles Juliet and Jacques Audiberti, the sets of contemporary musical works by Marius Constant and Luciano Berio as well as the sets of operas: Carmen by Georges Bizet at the Paris Opera, La passion de Gilles de Rais by Philippe Boesmans  at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels and Il Giardino Religioso by Bruno Maderna at La Scala in Milan. All in all, he has worked on more than 150 theater productions. Alain Batifoulier has also designed the sets of various exhibitions: in 2008, Sous l’empire des crinolines at the Palais Galliera -the City of Paris Fashion Museum- and Paris au temps des Misérables de Victor Hugo at the Musée Carnavalet; in 2009, The Splendor of the House of Camondo at the Museum of Jewish Art and History; then, 11exhibition projects at the National Library of France, including Ionesco in 2009; Les insolites, L’envers du décor and Barockissimo at the National Center of Stage Costume and Stage Set in 2011, 2012 and 2016; and finally, the sets of many contemporary art installations at the Passage de Retz and the Louis Vuitton Cultural Center in Paris.

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Simon de Tovar

Set Designer
Simon de Tovar graduated from the ATEP, a Parisian school of visual communication and graphic design. Since the opening of his own workshop in Paris, he has divided his time between designing furniture and lighting, and creating graphic designs and stage sets...

Set Designer
Simon de Tovar graduated from the ATEP, a Parisian school of visual communication and graphic design. Since the opening of his own workshop in Paris, he has divided his time between designing furniture and lighting, and creating graphic designs and stage sets for events or exhibitions. For the past 15 years, he has worked in conjunction with Alain Batifoulier on many museum projects, notably at the Palais Galliera, the City of Paris Fashion Museum, the Musée Carnvalet, the Maison de Victor Hugo, the Museum of Jewish Art and History, the National Library of France, the National Center of Stage Costume and Stage Set and the Louis Vuitton Cultural Center in Paris.

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