One of the eclectic costumes in the exhibition

I visited the Christian Lacroix Exhibition at the National Museum of Singapore with Maya today. I was very excited to be visiting and was totally bowled over by the creativity of the costumes and the beautiful layout of the exhibition. It was very dark as we walked in; the lights are turned down and the walls are black, so it felt very dramatic and sophisticated.

A flamenco-inspired costume from opera Carmen

I knew very little about Lacroix apart from the fact that he is a Haute Couture designer of elaborate fashion statements. Now I know that he as actually born in Arles, in the south of France, a small town made famous by Van Gogh. He was greatly influenced by the bull fights and gypsy life he witnessed during his early years as well as opera and theatre events.

Some of the beautiful sketches

The 80 costumes and some 60 drawings on display in this exhibition are from a diverse range of opera, ballet and theatre productions Lacroix designed for, including Othello, Carmen, Gaité Parisienne, Cosi Fan Tutte and Phèdre. Of course my favourite were the flamenco inspired costumes from Carmen and Arsa y Toma, full of exaggerated frills, polka dots and dramatic shoulder pieces.

The black polka dots on this costume were sewn on later to add depth

Arsa y Toma was a production that followed the history of flamenco dance, as a mix of traditional dance and the balletic quality of classic Spanish dance and modern dance. It was choreographed by Christina Hoyos, Spain's most celebrated Flamenco dancer, and must have been a treat to the eyes.

There is a space half way through the exhibition where children (actually adults were having as much fun with it today) can use templates to cut out and colour paper costumes for dolls. There are swabs of material they can feel and lots of draws full of mysterious surprises.

Budding designers getting creative

There are also some interesting interactive tours and workshops designed for children available, and the free guided tour would be a wonderful way to learn more details about how the costumes were made and the inspiration behind them.

Red is Lacroix's favourite colour, so if you get to the museum tomorrow (Sunday 3rd May) wearing anything red, you will enter for free. My handbag happened to be red, so I wasn't charged the usual SG$8. What an added bonus.

The children's workshops available are:

I can be a Fashion Designer
A creative workshop for parents and children aged 3 to 6 years old
Inspired by Christian Lacroix the costumier exhibition & co-developed with Toybox Edu-tainment

Colourful World of Opera
A children’s interactive tour of the Christian Lacroix the costumier exhibition.
For ages 7 to 12 years old


S$8 Adult
S$4 Senior (above 60 years old) & NSF
Free for all students with a student pass.
Free admission for children 6 years and under.
Free entry to all galleries for seniors, every Monday.

For more information about the exhibition and it's workshops, go to the National Museum of Singapore website


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