Monday, 25 November 2013

18th Century Menswear Costume - Danceny, "Les Liaisons Dangereuses"

Today was the hand-in of our first project of second year Costume for Performance at London College of Fashion - we have spent the last couple of months working from the text "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" (1782) by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos and realising one male character. I chose to make Danceny's costume, for a ballet production. 

My concept drew upon the steady moral decay that drives the narrative - as the integrity of society disintegrates so does the costume, revealing excess, extravagance and debauchery beneath. Danceny, a young Chevalier, starts the story as a sweet music tutor in love with the innocent Cecile. He is coached by the scheming Vicomte de Valmont, who corrupts him into a selfish and proud person with destructive consequences. This costume would be for Act I (of III), Scene iii - the beginning of the relationship with Valmont and the licentious pre-Revolution French aristocracy.

Underneath the coat is a waistcoat that looks relatively plain from the front, but portrays the lavish nature of 1770s French aristocracy at the back. It was inspired by my visit to see ballet costumes from the Birmingham Royal Ballet's 'Sleeping Beauty' and seeing the use of layered nets, lace and glittering fabrics to wonderful effect on stage. 

I cannot believe that I managed to make a full man's costume in about 4 weeks of making time - a shirt, breeches, waistcoat and coat. A year ago, I would never have thought that possible! I am so happy with the results. Of course, there are many things I would do differently next time, but for now I'm just going to appreciate what I have achieved today! A big big THANK YOU!!! to my wonderful brother for being my model, putting up with my surprise 11pm "YOU NEED TO TRY THIS ON RIGHT NOW!!!"s and "HURRY UP AND STRIKE A BALLET POSE!!!". I am so grateful for your patience and help.

I will share some of my design work as soon as I get my portfolio back. Expect plenty more blog posts now that I am not absolutely snowed under at uni!


  1. Not only did you manage that in 4 weeks but on top of projects and outside work!! Amazing megan x

  2. The back of the coat is utterly breathtaking...beautiful work!!