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Au Fil Des Fleurs, Scènes De Jardins
(Over the Flowers, Garden Scenes)

Start Date 06 December 2008
End Date 19 April 2009
Venue Centre National du Costume de Scene
Location Moulins, France
Curator Delphine Pinasal
Designer Bernard Connan
Exhibition Display of Mannequins
Exhibition Display of Mannequins
Exhibition Display of Mannequins

The garden is a scenic space. With the seasons, nature changes the decor and the plants change their costume, as in the theatre. Men, for their part, never stop inventing paradisiacal settings for nature as well as for the stage. The theatre gives them a fifth dimension, that of illusion. Presented at the National Center for Stage Costume from December 6, 2008 to April 19, 2009, the exhibition “Over the flowers, garden scenes” is an invitation to discover the different techniques of creation and realization of plant decoration on textiles, in the service of stage costume, through a hundred costumes including flower girls, the lady with camellias, the lilac fairy, the spectre of the rose, Flore, Iris and Pomone, the knight with the rose …

Over the show booklets, the sets plant the garden scenes, in turn enchanting and evil. From act to painting follow one another groves, by land, undergrowth, forests, caves fountains…

Thus will descend from the hangers or rise from below the theatre the sleeping forest of Sleeping Beauty, or the deep forest of Mélisande, the planted park large chestnut trees, conducive to amorous games at the Marriage of Figaro, or even Marguerite’s little grisette garden, in Faust…

Like the genius of nature or the great architect, the costume designers shape shapes and materials, textiles and ornaments to populate the stage with creatures from the plant kingdom, full of charm, fantasy and picturesque .

The flower girls, the lady with the camellias, the lilac fairy, the spectre of the rose, Flore, Iris and Pomone, the knight with the rose, Carmen and “the flower that you threw to me”,… are embodied, while that gardeners and flower girls are busy cultivating the stages of theatres. Fantastic and magical visions come to life through costumes treated with the greatest realism or the finest illusion, made from textiles with woven or printed patterns, painted with stencils or screen-printed, embroidered with threads or sequins, garnished with applications or inlays. Each drawn rib, each cut petal, each embroidered stem, each screen-printed foliage is an element of a precise and magical decoration, elaborated thanks to the know-how of craftsmen handling techniques, tools and materials with science and art. This art is the fruit of a sometimes very old transmission, of a daily creation, inspired by botanical books or born of an imagination without limits.

Some of these creative techniques (embroidery, lace, artificial flowers, painting, applications, screen printing, flocking, etc.) are explained in the exhibition, not only through didactic information, but also samples to touch and discover.

Images courtesy of Centre National du Costume de Scene