Olivier Rousteing has built an impressive portfolio of stage costumes for the likes of Beyoncé and Rihanna, but his next project will require him to really up his game when it comes to dressing dancers, as he'll be crafting costumes for the ballet.
WWD reports that the Balmain creative director was tapped by choreographer Sébastien Bertaud to create looks for the show Renaissance, which will interpret the world of classical ballet for the modern era.
“With the world of the opera, we are opening up a new sector and a new era for Balmain,” Rousteing told the outlet. “It’s a really nice validation of my style and a way of showing you can remain international even while being very Parisian.”
The two men collaborated wholly on the project, with Rousteing taking inspiration from the score, and Bertaud tweaking the choreography to reflect the costumes. “I used drawings that Olivier made—for example, embroidery patterns—and I tried to transcribe them into dance movements and to place groups of dancers like human chains that would echo Olivier’s sketches,” he said. “It’s a dialogue between costume, music and dance.”
Fashion designers have long been called upon to create costumes for dancers and performers all over the world. This was even chronicled in an exhibition at the Museum at FIT in 2014, and last summer Karl Lagerfeld was tapped to provide the performers ensembles. It is a history and connection that is not lost upon Rousteing, especially after he learned that Pierre Balmain himself even created costumes for the opera in the 1950s.
“I feel honored and flattered because I know that other couturiers who have a lot more experience than me, who have built empires and contributed to French culture, were lucky enough to be asked,” he said. “Knowing I am one of them now makes me really proud—proud of my country, proud of what I am, and proud of Balmain.”
Renaissance will run at the Paris Opera from June 13 through 18.