The exhibition opens with the profession of costume designer, who models in three dimensions the original drawing of the costume designer, before detailing, over 10 rooms, the different trades of the theatrical production chain. From head to toe, the route highlights these exceptional creations: hats, wigs, masks, show jewelry, feathers, costume decorations, carcasses, armor, shoes.
Each showcase presents around twenty objects alongside films, photos, sketches, samples or prototypes illustrating the techniques and know-how. A spectacular presentation closes the exhibition. It pays tribute to the profession of decorator and scenographer and to the workshops where the sets are made. This final room echoes the future Scenography Interpretation Center which will open at the end of 2019 as part of the CNCS extension project.
Although these trades are making a comeback on the front of the stage thanks to the big French luxury brands, like Hermès or LVMH which open the doors of their workshops, or to the parades of fashion houses like Chanel which take for thematic the trades of art, these professions have not been the subject of recent studies or publications accessible to the general public. With stage craftsmen, the National Center for Stage Costume is participating in this highlighting with an educational exhibition and the publication of a catalog.
Questions of transmission, essential in the field of these rare professions, are at the heart of the exhibition thanks to the collaboration of schools such as the National School of Theater Arts and Techniques (ENSATT), vocational high schools or training courses such as the Diplôme des Métiers d’Art Costumier or the Greta du spectacle which lend the CNCS the achievements of their students. Subsequently, the students will be invited to make visits and demonstrations within the framework of the exhibition, in particular during workshops.
Finally, the exhibition will also be an opportunity to reveal the history of these professions, some of which are in the process of disappearing or undergoing profound changes. Drawing its origins from those of performing arts, in close connection with technical developments in these creative sectors, it is also the social history of these activities that will be evoked in the background.
Images courtesy of Centre National du Costume de Scene