French designer Dominique Devorsine comes up with eyecatching costumes for Dama Orchestra’s latest production.
French designer Dominique Devorsine comes up with eye-catching costumes for Dama Orceshtra’s latest production.
WITH days to go before the premiere of Dama Orchestra’s musical, Glitz And Glamour: Tales From Old Shanghai To Fragrance Bay, costume designer Dominique Devorsine was still working on the outfits for the show.
Prior to the interview last week, the French designer was meticulously stitching embellishments to a beige cheongsam at her costume rental studio in Desa Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur. Devorsine had helped put together over 150 outfits and was adding the finishing touches like embroidery and embellishments to a couple more.
“The musical features 17 members and each has an average of five to six costume changes. Outfits range from traditional cheongsams, samfu tops, men’s suits and glitzy dresses which have had sequins and feathers added,” said the soft-spoken Devorsine.
Glitz And Glamour is a music and dance showcase comprising well-known songs from the 1930s to the 60s. Spanning cosmopolitan Shanghai to old Hong Kong, the performance will be filled with nostalgia and bygone chic. The musical, directed and produced by Pun Kai Loon, runs from Friday until Oct 31 at Pentas 1, Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre in Sentul Park. Leading the cast are soprano singer Tan Soo Suan, Evelyn Toh, Roax Tan and Verhyn Siau.
The Broadway-style performance draws inspiration from the different eras of old Shanghai and the silver screen of Shaw Brothers and Cathay.
London-based choreographer Lisa Marie Lee directs the show which features a medley of Mandarin songs with a sprinkling of popular jazz numbers like Cheek To Cheek, Fly Me To The Moon and bilingual songs including Mambo Italiano and Kowloon Hong Kong.
“’The presentation is done in Broadway musical and cabaret style. It would be a Westernised interpretation of an Oriental presentation and features dances ranging n GlitzAndGlamour:TalesFromOld ShanghaiToFragranceBay opens on Friday and plays until Oct 31 at Pentas 1, Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre in Sentul Park. Showtime is 8.30pm with weekend matinee shows at 3pm. Tickets are priced between RM60 and RM275. For details, call % 03-4047 9000/6201 9107. Alternatively, browse klpac. org or damaorchestra.com. Dominique Devorsine working on a feather shawl for Dama Orchestra’s latest production. from the classics to Latin.
“Costumes have been created to fit the genre of each music performance,” said the award-winning Devorsine, who clinched the Best Costume Design & Makeup for Ismail, The Last Days at the seventh BOH Cameronian Arts Awards in 2009.
For the past three weeks, Devorsine and her partner Chung Sook Han have dedicated many hours to finishing the costumes for the project.
Devorsine explained it took time to find suitable material befitting the theme, thus the delay.
“Two months ago, I went material-hunting along Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman in Kuala Lumpur. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anything suitable as it was nearing Hari Raya and most traders sold material for the festive season. It was just two weeks ago that I finally found fabrics with suitable designs,” said the 43-year-old couturier.
Last month, she travelled to Pratunam Market in Bangkok to buy feathered shawls, head gears, sequined dresses and accessories – all to add glitz to the musical.
“Pratunam is touted as Thailand’s largest clothing market and has various offerings ranging from clothes to fabrics,” said Devorsine, a trained accountant who switched to costume designing after a short stint as costume director for Club Med’s inhouse shows.
The talented New Caledonian (a small French island in the south-west Pacific) had worked in Indonesia, Thailand and Mauritius before moving to Malaysia in 1991.
Since then, Devorsine has worked on numerous stage shows including Sybil, Broadway Parodies, Tunku The Musical and Always In Wonderland?. She has also collaborated with Dama on Butterfly Lovers and I Have A Date With Spring.
Glitz And Glamour’s music director Khor Seng Chew described Devorsine as a talented person who gives a fresh take to the costumes without losing the essence of the period the play is based upon.
“She has a different approach to costume designing. Instead of focusing on the nittygritty, she zeroes in on how the whole production comes together and regards costumes as an extension of an individual’s personality.”