Monday, November 29, 2010

Show me how you Burlesque

I never thought any movie would rival my love for to costumes in Moulin Rouge. Moulin Rouge was THE movie that inspired me to want to be a costume designer and will forever have a special place in my heart.


Words cannot describe... well, actually they can.
and they're about too.

When I first saw a trailer for this movie the first thing that came to my mind was "OH! WOW! One of my mother's musical idols and one of mine in same same movie!" Speaking about Cher and Christina Aguilera respectively. So I knew when I visited home for this weekend some serious mother & daughter bonding had to occur!

The movie was spectacular and if you're looking for a feel good flick with beautiful women, amazing vocals and choreographed dancing this holiday season I highly recommend it. 
However, I feel the costuming for this film is definitely entitled to an award of sorts.

Michael Kaplan and I will be married on top of a mountain! and there's going to be flutes playing and trombones and flowers and garlands of fresh herbs. And we will dance till the sun rises. And then our children will form a family band.
And you're all invited!

Michael Kaplan's resume is a long one and he could possibly be described as an accidental trend-setter. Since his costumes from Flash Dance had women everywhere cutting out their t-shirt collars all throughout the 80s and myself only a couple years ago. His work on the movie Blade Runner is said to have inspired some of the late great Alexander McQueen's work and both Donatella Versace and Marc Jacobs have paid tribute to his work on one of my all time favorite movies, Fight Club. Most recently his costumes for Star Trek brought great pleasure to my inner geek.
The man shows no signs of slowing down. 

Burlesque tells a glitter-heavy, beaded story about a small-town girl, Ali (Christina Aguilera), looking to make it big in Los Angeles. She finds a job as a cocktail waitress in a burlesque lounge run by Tess (Cher) and soon finds herself center stage. Kaplan’s bold, over-the-top dance costumes play such a huge role in the film that they actually move the plot forward at certain points. To achieve all that sparkle and pop, Kaplan appears to have drawn from the art form’s long history. The costumes, he said, span “the ’20s through the ’40s, and there’s also a feeling of the ’50s and ’60s too. Some of it even has a tiny bit of futurism.” 
Kaplan was also quoted in the LA Times saying, “I wouldn’t be doing my job if I was thinking about the effect of the movie on fashion. I do what I think is right for the character. I want them to look like they exist in the world.” 

“…a costume from a number called ‘I Am a Good Girl.’ I wanted Christina to kind of look like a dessert. There’s feathers, there’s satin, and she’s all pink and peach and adorable. Like some kind of sorbet.” -Kaplan speaking specifically of my favorite piece on the movie (pictured above). 

Call me anything you want but this movie had everything I love when it comes to costume and design. Over the top, extravagance, sex appeal, glitz and glamor in the best and worst possible ways. Don't even get me started on the incredibly fierce Christian Louboutin shoes featured in this film.

The movie and Michael have been an incredible inspiration for me and has definitely influenced a lot of my most recent design ideas especially my Fashion History final project. Which, I will post once it is marked and returned to me. For now I have a ton of homework to catch up on. I will blog more about my trip home tomorrow.

Much Love <3



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