I like to travel routes unknown, not for snobbery or thirst for distinguish myself, but simply because i like to follow my thought and my instict in the wake of curiosity.

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Cecil Beaton’s costumes for La Traviata Metropolitan Opera House, 1966

Cecil Beaton’s costumes for La Traviata Metropolitan Opera House, 1966

Sir Cecil Beaton (1904-1980) was best known as a photographer. Beaton also worked as an illustrator, a diarist, and designer for stage and film. He won three Oscars for costume and art direction for the film version of My Fair Lady (1965) and for Gigi (1958).
La Traviata is an opera in three acts with music by Giuseppe Verdi. The producer for the Metropolitan Opera House was Alfred Lunt and was the first production for the opening season of the new Metropolitan Opera House. Cecil Beaton’s designs were praised by the critics for catching the decadence and luxury of the mid-19th century Parisian scene.

Cecil Beaton created glorious gowns for the opening season of the Metropolitan Opera Company’s 1966 La Traviata at Lincoln Center-dressed in the reds and golds of the Met.

For the costumes, Beaton said “I wanted the colours to have a gold light-dark but sparkling, scintillating.” Karinska made the gowns and headresses-scouring about for old laces, jet, tinsel, ribbons to get the effect -a look of-lushness-a heaviness indicative of 1860 that Beaton desired. Alfred Lunt’s stage sets were designed by Beaton as well.

“I have the worst ear for criticism; even when I have created a stage set I like,
I always hear the woman in the back of the dress circle who says she doesn’t like blue. “
Cecil Beaton

Cecil Beaton - Marina Berenson for Vogue september 1966

Cecil Beaton – Marina Berenson for Vogue september 1966

Cecil arrived in New York City in 1928, having achieved early success in his homeland.Trans-Atlantic connections resulted in his near-instant introduction to New York City’s elite, including Elsie de Wolfe and Edna Woolman Chase, the editor of Vogue magazine at the time. What followed is the stuff of legend: a remarkably agile career which spanned fifty years and as many visionary works in which Beaton brought his rarefied vision to bear on fashion photography, illustration and caricature, portraiture (in drawings and photographs), and set and costume design for stage and film.
Cecil Beaton’s stratospheric ambition was nurtured and sustained by mid-20th–century New York, where his career was able to maintain a feverishly high pitch. Society figures, media giants, impresarios, celebrities, actors, artists, writers, and the merely famous passed in front of his camera in an endless parade of glamour and style. The pages of Condé Nast publications—most notably, Vogue magazine—showcased his elaborately staged photo shoots, in which his eye for opulence and drama animated such sitters as Fred (and his wife, Adele) Astaire, Maria Callas, Greta Garbo, Martha Graham, Audrey Hepburn, Katharine Hepburn, and the woman who would become the ultimate 20th-century icon: Marilyn Monroe. He enlivened his photographs with sets in which he borrowed liberally and extravagantly from European art forms, incorporating formal elements of modern (and classical) painting and sculpture into his work, and bringing elements of such major aesthetic movements as impressionism, surrealism, and others into the homes of magazine readers nationwide.

His extraordinary stage sets and costumes for Broadway, the Metropolitan Opera, and the New York City Ballet were masterful evocations of “place” in the extreme.


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Vogue 1949

I’m often surprised how many young students of sets and costume design do not know some historical masters of the scenography.
So I want to create a section on my blog about the masters of the past. Then I start with the incredible Lila De Nobili and her fantastic history and career.

Lila de Nobili (1916–2002) was a celebrated Italian fashion illustrator,and later stageand costume designer. She was noted for her work atVogue magazine, designing covers which are now classic pieces of fashion history.
Lila de Nobili was born at Lugano, Switzerland, on September 3 1916, to an Italian father and a Hungarian mother. Lila never went to school; instead she concentrated on drawing and painting.

She moved to Paris, in the 1930s she began designing clothes for French Haute Couture fashion houses.

She was well known on numerous European theatre and operatic stages in the 1950s and 1960s for her romantic settings and famous for working with Franco Zeffireli and Luchino Visconti at the Teatro alla Scala.


Lila De Nobili – Violetta Costume for Maria Callas

In the 1950s, De Nobili started working with theatre and film director Luchino Visconti, and in1955 began creating the costumes for La Traviata at La Scala Opera House, Milan, with the renowned Maria Callas as Violetta. This work has been inspiraton for Catherine Martin and the costume for Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge.

Impressive was her pictorial trait, her illustrations reminiscent of paintings by Boldini and some impressionst painter.

In Britain, she won renown for six Shakespeare productions for the young Peter Hall at Stratford-on-Avon between 1957 and 1962.
She went on to work for Laurence Olivier at the National Theatre on Congreve’s Love for Love (1965); her sets were used again for a revival 20 years later.
She also worked at Covent Garden and Glyndebourne; dressed Maria Callas in La Traviata (1955), and designed costumes in Paris for Edith Piaf and Ingrid Bergman.


Vogue _ 1946

Lila de Nobili also worked with Hall on Twelfth Night (1958) and The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1960). She dressed Audrey Hepburn for Gigi on Broadway and contributed to a number of Visconti productions.
In her final years, Lila de Nobili (died aged 85) became something of a recluse in Paris surrounded only by his cats. But she spent much of her time teaching painting to underprivileged children. She never married.

Lila De Nobili, costumes de cigarières pour Carmen de Bizet, 1959

Lila De Nobili, costumes de cigarières pour Carmen de Bizet, 1959

Lila De Nobili, costumes d’enfants et de soldats pour Carmen de Bizet, 1959

Lila De Nobili, costumes des enfants et de soldats pour Carmen de Bizet, 1959


Maria Callas – Costume by Lila De Nobili for Traviata

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EIKO ISHIOKA said: “The world is my studio and everything on earth is my motif.  In order to help communicate my message, I have looked for talented people in various fields. I have worked with these people to broadcast our messages throughout the media. Television, stage, posters, newspapers, and books have been my canvas, and my collaborators have been most precious paint.”


Parco – advertising

For me Eiko Ishioka is the most incredible and visionary creative artist ever known. She was a Japanese art director, scenographer, costume and graphic designer famous for her work in stage theatre, movie production, music video, advertising and print media.

She worked on the most important creative production of the world, from Dracula Bram Stoker by Francis Ford Coppola to Cirque du Soleil (Oscar Academy Award winner for best costume design), from director Tarsem Singht (the Cell, The fall, Mirror Mirror, Immortals) to Opening Ceremony Olympics Games in Beijing etc…

She has been a genious, Ishioka’s work spanned genres and continents and forged a visual bridge between the East and the West. Her work was so provocative in every possible sense of the word, and it was meant to be.


She also directed Björk’s controversial 2002 video for the song “COCOON,” in which the singer appears to be nude; designed the performers’ costumes for the spectacular opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics Games in 2008; and dreamed up the futuristic outfits for Grace Jones’s 2009 tour.


Cocoon – Bjork

From childhood, Eiko was encouraged to pursue a career in design. Her father was a commercial graphic designer, and her mother, a ­traditional Tokyo housewife who wanted a more exciting life for her daughter. After studying design at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, Eiko began working in the advertising division of ­Shiseido in 1961 at age 22; four years later she was the first woman to win Japan’s most prestigious advertising award. “One man, a very talented designer, said that my name would not be famous if I were not a woman,” Eiko said in 2000. “It made me angry.”

Over the years, Ishioka developed and established herself as Japan’s foremost art director. Her work helped Japan transform itself from a traditional culture into a modern consumer society which became a powerful player on the global economic and cultural stage. But she did it without selling her soul.



She won a 1986 Grammy Award for her cover design of Miles Davis’ album TUTU and in the 1985 Cannes Film Festival Award for Artistic Contribution for her work on Paul Schrader film MISHIMA as well as numerous Japanese awards.

She is my biggest inspiration, I’m trying as she did to collaborate in various fields of my job and to have opportunity to work from opera house to commercial spot, from movie production to great event show, from graphic animation to fashion show.

I think it’s the best way to keep an open mind and to give a view always curious and innovative into the work.


The Fall

For example in the wonderful movie THE FALL (unknown for many) she created vast landscapes, Taj Mahal-inspired architecture, elaborate interiors, gigantic blood-stained linens, and images of birds flying out of people’s mouths. However, in this fantasy world — directed by Tarsem but imagined by a young Romanian girl (played by Catinca Untaru) — it’s the costumes that make the characters come to life. o Eiko Ishioka created matching black-and-gold uniforms for the masked bandit and his trusty sidekick (above); a red, black, and white-striped fur coat for the character of Darwin, a iron pyrite-beaded headdress topped with brassy horns for the former slave, and a lotus-patterned crimson dress for the kidnapped princess (her face hidden beneath an opaque, chiffon mask inspired by Japanese folding fans).

Ishioka’s work is pervaded with a deeply stylized sensual surrealism. It takes you into an unknown world so thoroughly different from what you’re used to that you don’t know what to expect. She drops you in new territory, and leaves you there to figure it out for yourself.


Dracul Bram Stoker – F. Ford Coppola

For Bram Stoker’s Dracula for example, she designed costumes that blurred the line between human and beast. “Dracula has a very cliche style built [during a] long long film history,” she explained during an interview. “Francis [Coppola] and I wanted to completely throw away this cliche look to create our own vision, which does not look like a man, a woman, or old, or young, beast or human. What is this one?

Ishioka’s work was not rational. It didn’t have a political or philosophical message. It was emotional. It overwhelmed the senses. On the site of Cirque du Soleil Ishioka is quoted as saying, “One of my objectives at Cirque du Soleil is to design costumes that will accentuate and even reinforce the visual and emotional impact of the risks taken by the artists, while ensuring their complete safety.”


The Cell – Tarsem Singht

In a few words for me She is the best and undisputed creative of all time.


graphic adv