Glammed up

French de­signer Do­minique Devor­sine comes up with eye­catch­ing cos­tumes for Dama Or­ches­tra’s lat­est pro­duc­tion.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - R.AGE - By SHEELA CHAN­DRAN

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.”

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