Long term collaborator and New Adventures Associate Artist, Lez Brotherston designed the set and costume for Matthew Bourne’s production of The Red Shoes, based on the iconic film by Pressburger and Powell. Read on to find out more about Brotherston’s costume designs, featuring some of his drawings!
A large amount of research went into the costume design to determine their historical accuracy. Photographs were the primary source of research as Brotherston referred to images of the Sadler’s Wells Ballet, The Royal Ballet and Ballet Rambert. Although the company have Russian connotations, the fictional Ballet Lermontov are based in London and therefore British ballet companies formed the foundations of the research. Due to the post-war time period, there was still rationing and a shortage of fabrics and this was taken into consideration when designing the costumes accurately.
Below you will find examples of some of these costumes:
Vicky changes costume multiple times during the production. Below is Brotherston’s design that Vicky wears during the Monte Carlo scenes. She wears white high-waist trousers with three metallic buttons on the pockets. Her white sweater is long sleeved with blue horizontal stripes.
Lermontov’s costumes throughout the show portrays his wealth and status. Below is what he wears in the comfort of his private chambers, which is a blood-red velvet robe.
At the beginning of the production, Irina is wearing a stunning black glittery romantic tutu with white gloves, seen in the below drawing.