REI KAWAKUBO DESIGNS THE COSTUMES OF THE OPERA 'ORLANDO' - CRASH Magazine
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©Wiener Staatsoper / Michael Pöhn / Hair by Julien d'Ys

REI KAWAKUBO DESIGNS THE COSTUMES OF THE OPERA ‘ORLANDO’

By Crash redaction

A new interpretation of the 1928 Virginia Woolf book Orlando has been brought to opera – with the same title – directed by Olga Neuwirth, who called none other than Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons to create the fantastic costumes. Quite fittingly, the story of Orlando revolves around gender identity and the mutating of bodies, which resonates with Kawakubo’s work. Pieces for the opera are extremely oversized, otherworldly, and chunky with pads that transform the body from human to unknown. Naturally, the 1920s story is transposed to today and traces parallels with issues faced in the twenty-first century. The world premiere of the opera two days ago at the Vienna State Opera marked the third act in Comme des Garçons’ « transformation and liberation » project, inspired by Orlando. The Japanese designer first showcased her ideas at Paris Fashion Week last June and then presented the final show collection last September. 

The performance on December 18th will be broadcast in HD worldwide via Wiener Staatsoper live at home (www.staatsoper.com)

©Wiener Staatsoper / Michael Pöhn / Hair by Julien d’Ys

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