This summer, I was lucky enough to be in Washington D.C. during the National Gallery of Art's exhibit "Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes, 1909–1929: When Art Danced with Music." It was a glorious feast of Stravinsky, Nijinski...all the skis! But I have to admit, I was quite shocked when I saw another familiar name in the exhibit: Coco Chanel, who designed the costumes for Nijinski's Le Train Bleu back in 1924.
I guess I never really realized that big time fashion designers ever collaborated with choreographers. I mean...it makes sense. I've watched enough "Project Runway" to know that how the clothes move is super important. So why not put high fashion on ballerinas, the best movers out there?
Valentino (left) and costume director Marc Happel working in the NYCB Costume Shop (Photos by Paul Kolnik)
And now, the National Ballet of Canada is following suit (pun intended), working with Canadian designers Jim Searle and Chris Tyrell of Hoax Couture for their Innovation programme, which runs November 22-28.