It is not fine materials but craftsmanship that determines the quality of a costume. R.B., Head of the costume workshops
Each costume is unique, made to measure for one production and one singer. Most of the pieces are made at La Monnaie.
The Costume-making workshop is part of the Costume workshops, which also include the Shoemaking and Dying workshops, Millinery and Decoration, the Costume stock, the Fabric stock, and the Fitting rooms. Let’s take a closer look at the Women’s and men’s Costume-making workshops.
Women and men
Fabrics and materials
Made to measure
For the stage
The stages of making a costume
As in the world of haute couture, the work here is divided between two distinct workshops: women and men. Details, fabrics and the movement of the body differ greatly depending on sex.
A year before the premiere, the artistic team and the costume designer send a model of the costumes to our workshops. This can take a wide variety of forms: drawings, photographs, collages, and videos. A discussion is then held about the materials, colours, style, and the intended effect.
Lace, tulle, silk, velvet, leather, foam, and technical fabrics are just a few of the materials used to create a costume.
Of the 24 dressmakers and tailors, four are cutters. Responsible for preparing the patterns based on the drawings and for alterations, they supervise the costume making from start to finish.
The cut pieces of cloth are then assembled and sewn by the costume makers before the first fitting.
It usually takes two fittings to adjust the costume to the singer’s body.
Making a costume for the stage is a challenge. It involves taking into account the light, the balance of colours, the movements of the singers, and some elements of stagecraft (such as blood or wine stains, which react differently depending on the fabric that is chosen).