Chanel & The Dying Swan

Karl Lagerfeld creates the principle ballerina costume for The Dying Swan to mark the centenary of the Ballet Russes and films the fitting himself.

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100 years have passed since the debut performance Serge Diaghilev's Ballet Russes at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris, yet it still remains as hauntingly beautiful. Karl Lagerfeld, Creative Director of Chanel has stepped up to design the costume of principle ballerina for the English National Ballet's centenary performance. Elena Glurdjidze who plays the auspicious role of the dying swan explains, "We always say that the look is 50% of how you are going to dance, so it is very important to have a beautiful costume".  Over 100 hours and a plethora of feathers went into the creation of the costume, which will be debuted at Sadlers Wells on 16 June 2009. Other opportunities to see the ballet/costume are a one-off performance at St Pauls Cathedral on 30 June as part of the City of London Festival and in September at the Gran Teatro del Liceu, Barcelona.

Lagerfeld, a professed ballet lover, comments on his fascination for the art "...as a child I was already impressed by old images of Anna Pavlova dancing the ballet". The video below was taken at the Chanel office after the final fitting and filmed exclusively by Lagerfeld. You can see the full film here.

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