INSPIRE: Riccardo Tisci for l’Opéra National de Paris

With his signature dark romanticism, dark prince of fashion (and a cochair of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s opening gala for the Costume Institute’s exhibition “Punk”) Riccardo Tisci collaborated with the Palais Garnier to create hauntingly beautiful costumes for the production of Maurice Ravel’s “Le Boléro” at the Paris Opera Garnier. The sheer body suits are reminiscent of Tisci’s Givenchy Fall 2010 Couture collection and embroidered with exaggerated, swirling bones of a human skeleton.


Givenchy, Fall 2010 Couture

This delicate approach to representing and, for lack of a better word, embellishing the body elevates the human form from static mass to a light being — appropriate for a ballet, no? In this way, the costumes also complement performance artist, and the show’s producer, Marina Ambramovic’s set design. The dancers appear transformed and in direct contrast to the dark, heavy, shifting nature of the choreography and set.

On creating the costumes for the show, Tisci says, “Boléro is all about intensity! The music has such an intense feeling. I wanted the dancers to feel naked somehow. The costumes express two sides of me: darkness and romanticism.”

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Costume sketch by Tisci

There’s a beautiful tension between the delicate fabric and the dancer’s strong bodies. Skirts and capes float with the dynamic energy of the dancers’ movement as the set literally reflects the choreography with elevated, tilted mirrors.


The skirts float and twirl with pumped in smoke to create an illusion of ghostlike figures who seem to float across the stage rather than dance.


Le Boléro” premiered last night in Paris.

More costume detail shots from Tisci’s Instagram (@riccardotisci17):

ric's instas