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Rare costume is up for auction at Knowle

A COSTUME designed and produced by Leon Bakst for the ballet ‘Le Dieu Bleu’ will go on sale April 28th at Bonhams’ Costume and Textiles auction in Knowle where it is expected to fetch between £1,500 - £2,500.

A COSTUME designed and produced by Leon Bakst for the ballet ‘Le Dieu Bleu’ will go on sale April 28th at Bonhams’ Costume and Textiles auction in Knowle where it is expected to fetch between £1,500 - £2,500.

The production was performed over a short run for both the first and last time in 1912, making this an incredibly rare piece that provides an insight into a vibrant and unique time in the early twentieth century. This vibrancy is born out in the costume’s colourful appearance that carries the distinctive mark of the oriental influences so popular at the time.

The outfit is that of one of the Temple Assistants and comprises of a cropped jacket and a short circular skirt, and a reproduced turban hat, it would have originally had another longer underskirt skirt, which has since been lost to the ravages of time. The costume is in vivid shades of magenta, yellow and purple, with appliqué and shell decoration, the costume has some sign of wear but all in all, is still an amazing costume, and features a wonderful history.

2009 celebrates 100 years of Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes. Russian born Serge Diaghilev bought his dance company to Paris, where on the 19th May 1909 he gave his first performance of the Ballet Russes. The Ballet played a large part in the arts and fashion scene in Paris at the time with famous artists and designers such as Picasso and Matisse working to paint scenery and design costumes.

Leon Bakst, a Jewish émigré from the Russian pale of settlement, fled the restrictions of Imperial Russia for the opportunities of Western Europe and became one of the most famous fashion illustrators and designers of the period. His designs directly influenced the fashion movement of the time.

 

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