The London College of Fashion and The V&A Ballets Russes Design Perspective

The English National Ballet and London College of Fashion Students collaborate in celebration of the Ballet Russes centenary

Written by Sally Mumby-Croft

Illustration by Darren Fletcher

In celebration of the Ballet Russes’ centenary, Diaghilev and his provacative, scandalous Modern Ballet are the focus of the V&A’s 2010 Autumn Blockbuster ‘Diaghilev and the Golden Age of the Ballets Russes, 1909-1929′. (Read Amelia Skoda’s review here).

LCF ENB Project by Sean Michael

In October Amelia’s Magazine attended Justine Picardie’s introduction to Chanel at one of the V&A’s wonderful Friday night lectures. During a talk discussing Chanel’s life and development as a designer -alongside the influential people within her life- Picardie discussed the creative and fruitful friendship between Chanel and Diaghilev. This relationship saw Chanel design costumes for the ballet alongside the radically new scores being produced by Stravinsky and Debussy, to name but two composers sought out by Diaghilev.

Illustration by Charlotte Hoyle

To celebrate Diaghilev’s embracement of the artists of modernity (everyone from Picasso and Matisse to experimental composers), on the 19th November the V&A in collaboration with the London School of Fashion will host The Ballet Russes: Design Perspectives. The event will include the outcome of a year’s collaboration between the English National Ballet and students from the London College of Fashion.

To encourage students to explore Diaghilev’s legacy in art, fashion and dance, the English National Ballet – incredibly – opened their Ballet Russes archive, allowing LCF students access to set design, costumes and the development of performances during rehearsals.

Illustration by Running For Crayons

Mirroring the all encompassing nature of Diaghilev’s practice, students from Womenswear, Menswear, Surface Textiles, Illustration, Cordwainers Accessories, Cordwainers, Footware, Fashion Contour, Make Up, Air-Styling and Photography were invited to take part. A singluar aim for the project was to encourage students to learn the complexities of designing costume specifically for dance.

This Friday (November 19th) the V&A will present their collaboration with the London School of Fashion: “Ballet Russes: Design Perspectives’ as part of V&A Lates. On behalf of the occassional six English National Dancers will perform a specially written piece of choreography by the artist Stina Quagebeur to present the designs of 25 selected students.

Illustration by Charlotte Hoyle

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2 Responses to “The London College of Fashion and The V&A Ballets Russes Design Perspective”

  1. ballet news says:

    Hi, Ballet NEWS is looking for professional photographers. Might you be interested or do you know of anyone who might be ? perhaps you’d be kind enough to spread the word among the photography community ? I’m looking for photographers with experience of filming ballet – that’s really important as the learning curve is too steep and time too short to coach from scratch. The work is mostly based in London, but not entirely, and is evenings, weekends and some afternoons. In return, the photograph gets the best, most exclusive press access that money can’t buy, and publicity through Ballet NEWS. I’ve love to hear from anyone (via the website) who might be suitable. Thank you so much.

  2. Amelia says:

    I am only approving this in case it is of interest to readers who look at this post, but I can’t help anymore than that, especially since I presume you want their services for free…

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