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Dancing with the Stars

Star-studded CHANEL costumes shine at the Opéra national de Paris Opening Gala

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CHANEL’s close relationship with the world of ballet was forged in the early 20th century. From the first time Gabrielle Chanel attended Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring to her ensuing patronage of the Ballet, a tradition of costume-making was established for the fashion brand.

The Opera’s Opening Gala of 2021–2022, held at the Palais Garnier, marked an important collaboration between CHANEL and the Opéra national de Paris. The ten Étoile dancers emerged outfitted in spellbinding costumes and tiaras created for them exclusively by CHANEL, under the artistic guidance of creative director Virginie Viard.

Opéra national de Paris dancers shine onstage at the season’s Opening Gala of 2021–2022.
Opéra national de Paris dancers shine onstage at the season’s Opening Gala of 2021–2022.

The design concept emerged from a creative collaboration between Viard, the opera’s ateliers, and the embroiderer Lesage, one of CHANEL’s own Métiers d’art ateliers. A white silk satin corset and tulle tutu formed each enchanting costume, which was scattered with embroidered celestial motifs evoking the wonder of a star-studded night sky.

Over 1,300 decorative elements went into the ten exquisitely embellished costumes, including crystal shards, glass micro-beads, and various types of stars. The tutus were made of tulle embroidered at Lesage using the Lunéville crochet technique and needlework, before being sewn at the Paris Opera ateliers.

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A close-up of the stars, crystal shards, and glass micro-beads that decorate the Étoile dancers’ tutus.

The corsets also received elaborate embroidery treatments with an astral theme. The tiaras were the finishing touch to each costume. Made from an organza fabric base, they were embroidered with moons, stars, and gems that shimmered under the stage lights. The result was nothing short of ethereal, with the dancers’ outfits appearing illuminated from within as they moved across the stage.

The collaboration between CHANEL and the Opéra national de Paris reflects their shared commitment to preserving ballet’s timeless magic. The costumes are intended to be worn by the Étoile dancers at each season’s opening for years to come.

This story is from Magnifissance Issue 110

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