Rag & Bone designs costumes for American Ballet Theatre
Rag & Bone is dipping a toe into the world of dance. The sportswear label, helmed by Marcus Wainwright, has teamed with choreographer Benjamin Millepied to wardrobe two new works for the American Ballet Theatre’s fall 2017 season.
Millepied, founder of L.A. Dance Project and formerly director of the Paris Opera Ballet, has created a stage piece for ABT’s annual David Koch Theater fall run, as well as a public work to be performed on the theater’s Philip Johnson-designed promenade. Both pieces are set to premiere on Oct. 25.
Millepied noted of his wardrobe requirements for his public piece, aptly named “Counterpoint for Philip Johnson”: “For the work in the public spaces I wanted to see the dancers in street clothes. Rag & Bone felt like the right company for that — their clothes are so contemporary. I’m not trying to create another world; I wanted something more realistic. The piece meant to be done in street clothes wanted that natural street quality to it.”
The piece is accompanied by a Steve Reich score, featuring a cast of 24 dancers — all styled in Rag & Bone street looks.
For the choreographer’s new stage work, “I Feel the Earth Move,” Rag & Bone has made minimalist shirts that accommodate an increased range of motion.
“You don’t always need a very complicated costume for ballet,” Millepied noted. “I think what’s great about Rag & Bone is that they have a lot of stuff that’s a touch eccentric, in a way that captures how people in New York and L.A. express their own individuality. Every time I come back from Paris I love to see this.”
Wainwright said of the collaboration: “Rag & Bone has a history of working with truly original artists, so it was a great honor to be part of Benjamin’s new work. He has such a modern perspective on dance and brings an authenticity that is very much in line with how we think as a brand. Bringing a twist to this performance was important for Benjamin so we worked together to pull pieces from our current collection. We think it is an interesting way to look at dancers, bringing an element of reality to the stage.”
This is not the brand’s first dance tie-up. For fall 2015, the firm teamed with Mikhail Baryshnikov and Lil Buck for a promotional video featuring its seasonal designs.