Written by By Emilie Agudong, CNN
It’s a scene that would go viral — a ballet star dancing beneath a vintage silk curtain, completely transformed into the bombshell that’s come to be known as Coco Chanel.
In the past, the founder of fashion house Chanel — a virtuoso pianist by training — used her talents to unite the worlds of fashion and dance in innovative productions that have never been seen before.
And next year, someone will get to put these creations to the test as designer Paulo Costanzo reprises his latest performance.
“Coco Chanel is the one who started that, in the 1920s and ’30s, when she was playing the piano onstage and was dressing like the dancers,” he says. “She actually was a pilot, and so they don’t fly the way they do today … so it’s funny that she’s one of the people who made those costumes and actually expressed that idea of what art is.”
Born in Barbados to a Trinidadian mother and Japanese father, Costanzo considers the iconic fashion designer to be an inspiration for all of his collections, for which he creates many of the sets himself, using traditional techniques such as silk screening and ink painting.
“We do a lot of mural paintings, we do a lot of iture stain painting. It’s actually the key is the butter mold, which is a soap mixing technique which is like soap suds, but instead of detergent, it’s oil, and it’s mixed with silver to create a fine film, which is really beautiful,” he says.