The most recent mega present at Berlin’s Friedrichstadt-Palast options mirror balls sharpened into cone bras, wacky inflatable costumes bobbing round an unlimited swimming pool, and roughly 100 million Swarovski crystals — one weighing 400 kilos.
Credit score for all that fantasy and sparkle goes to Paris style legend Jean Paul Gaultier, curator and visible design director of the brand new cabaret-style revue that premiered Wednesday evening within the German capital.
“Every time it’s a brand new story, and which means you must discover one thing else, one thing completely different,” he mentioned. “So creativity is concerned, undoubtedly. And that’s very thrilling.”
About 1,900 attended the opening evening together with Gaultier, Irish musical twins Jedward, Austrian singer and drag performer Conchita Wurst, American actress Pleasure Sunday and French actor William Abadie.
“Falling | In Love” is the title of the bold present, billed as the most costly ever mounted by the state theater, owned by the Metropolis of Berlin. The manufacturing funds was almost 14 million euros and it’s slated for a two-year run.
Half Moulin Rouge, half Cirque du Soleil, half rock live performance, the “grand reveals” served up by Friedrichstadt-Palast contain greater than 100 performers, together with singers, dancers and acrobats. The complete ensemble contains round 500 folks from 28 nations.
The brand new present’s protagonist is a younger, deaf and mute poet who doesn’t match into any mould. Whereas passionate and filled with longing, he lives within the sort of joyless, hopeless place the place one needs to be swallowed up by a gap within the floor.
Lo and behold, he falls by “the grey asphalt of civilization” right into a “hidden backyard of affection” the place he experiences “the everlasting human dream of a greater world,” in keeping with the theater.
Enter Gaultier, who sketched colourful, otherworldly units — some moist, some dry — and greater than 400 costumes that deliver the story to life.
In an interview with WWD, the designer — who created the all-singing, all-dancing autobiographical cabaret “Trend Freak Present” in 2018 — mentioned he places himself within the place of the spectator.
“I attempted to make what I felt was finest for every character,” he mentioned. “We additionally needed to create an environment and guarantee a visible affect.”
Cue a kaleidoscope of vivid hues.
“You recognize, you’ll be able to say numerous issues by colours,” Gaultier mentioned, explaining that the present depicts “three tribes — a blue one, a purple one and a inexperienced one, and on the finish it turns into a rainbow. In fact, all of that’s symbolic, making coloration a key ingredient in creating the present.”
In response to the theater, the phrase “falling” within the present title alludes to the sense of foreboding felt by many individuals in these troubled instances, although the final word message of the present is one among hope.
“We imagine in the great thing about this world and within the good of individuals, regardless of every little thing,” mentioned Berndt Schmidt, normal director and producer on the theater, suggesting that guests will fall into “a sea of affection.”
Gaultier mentioned he associated strongly to the narrative, and the present’s uplifting message.
“The story is kind of optimistic, and that’s why I liked it,” he mentioned. “It’s all about what’s occurring now, with completely different tribes preventing, right here represented with completely different colours. So after all, it pertains to racism and the variations that may separate folks. However like I mentioned, completely different colours can come collectively and turn into a rainbow, so it’s symbolic of inclusivity, unity, fluidity, and in addition celebrating variations.”
The designer famous that the protagonist is handicapped, however overcomes this and is ready to talk with folks. “So it reveals what may occur to the world, and what has to occur to the world.”
Gaultier’s costumes recall parts from his huge and eclectic oeuvre, achieved over a profession spanning 50 years. There are caged constructions, cone bras, samurai collars, body-swallowing catsuits and strong-shouldered tailoring.
And as was all the time the case at his energetic runway reveals, every outfit is matched to strikingly authentic hairstyles and make-up — or jarringly juxtaposed, as within the powdered Marie-Antoinette wigs paired with biker leathers in a single scene of “Falling | In Love.”
Demonstrating that he nonetheless has a style for style’s outer fringes, Gaultier conscripted the alien-looking Canadian couple generally known as Fecal Matter, and the Russian efficiency artist Sasha Frolova, synonymous with latex and summary kinds, to costume a number of scenes.
“I used to be taken with collaborating with some folks whose work I really like,” Gaultier mentioned.
Fecal Matter’s Hannah Rose Dalton and Steven Raj Bhaskaran query gender boundaries and beliefs of magnificence with their fashions, whereas slyly poking enjoyable at consumerism.
The pale, bald duo — a fan of darkened eyeballs, zombie make-up and physique dysphoria — based Fecal Matter in 2016 and in the present day boast 743,000 followers on Instagram. They created near 50 costumes for the Berlin present, with one stole resembling a headless, two-tailed fish wrapped across the shoulders.
“I believed that they could possibly be fabulous for this present. I like how they give the impression of being, and the way they current themselves as a result of their expression is exclusive and offers some emotion that I’m not in a position to give,” Gaultier mentioned. “I believe they create one thing very fascinating for that present.”
Frolova makes sculptures, digital artwork and inflatable latex costumes which can be colourful, cartoonish and otherworldly.
“I really like her work, she’s an actual artist,” Gaultier enthused of the 45 seems she created for the stage. “It’s actually one thing that’s good for a present like this — it’s past style, and actually inventive. Visually, it’s improbable — like a dream.”
The brand new present at Friedrichstadt-Palast represents an encore for Gaultier, who had designed round 500 costumes for “The One” revue that opened in 2016.
The famed couturier, who retired from the runway in 2020, was more than pleased to once more fill what’s billed as the most important theater stage on the planet.
“If you end up designing a style assortment, you create it along with your model, however it’s creating garments women and men can really purchase and put on. It’s a enterprise, so there are some codes to respect, and lots of guidelines,” he mentioned.
Against this, creating costumes for a revue at Friedrichstadt-Palast means exerting a boundless creativity to create fantasy worlds. “So it’s very completely different,” Gaultier enthused.
That mentioned, he harassed that he should respect the narrative. “There’s a story it’s a must to observe, and it’s not my story,” Gaultier defined. “You have to be cautious to create issues that flatter the story and doesn’t change its spirit or aims.”
Oliver Hoppmann, inventive director of Friedrichstadt-Palast since 2015, authored the brand new present and in addition directed it. “Falling | In Love” unfurls over two hours, with a 30-minute intermission. Ticket costs begin at round 30 euros.