Mine Vergès and her Atelier de Création for costume design

november 2023

In the captivating world of artistic creation, the talented costume designer Mine Vergès stands out as an emblematic figure, melding her passion and experience to bring to life outfits of breathtaking beauty. Every costume at the Moulin Rouge tells a story. They add a spectacular touch to each instant, fusing extravagance and elegance in a magical world of feathers, rhinestones and sequins. Come discover the nimble fingers behind this mastery of excellence…

THE STORY AND FAME OF MINE VERGES

Mine Verges, a true pillar of the history of costume design, started her career in 1959 at the Festival de Montauban before moving to Paris after having created outfits for the National Chaillot Theatre. She expressed her passion for the art of costume design by founding a workshop bearing her name in 1971, where she worked until 2007.

The heart of her renown lies in her capacity to transcend the various artistic genres. From the worlds of music hall and fashion, theatre and opera, not to mention circus and ballet, she has dressed the most iconic starts of her time!

The name Mine Vergès resonates through emblematic theatres such as the Folies Bergères, the Olympia, the Lido and the Paradis Latin.

The celebrities she has dressed include such legends as Juliette Gréco, Barbara, Josephine Baker, Nana Mouskouri, Dalida, Line Renaud and Mylène Farmer.

Her creativity has also embellished fashion shows from designers such as Thierry Mugler and Karl Lagerfeld.

All through a career of more than 60 years, Mine has made the music hall her speciality.

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Mine verges moulin rouge
© Moulin Rouge®
© Philippe Wojazer
© Moulin Rouge®

MINE VERGES AND THE MOULIN ROUGE

Driven by her everlasting passion, Mine Vergès left the management of her eponymous workshop to others and joined the Moulin Rouge. She currently supervises costume design as the director of the Atelier de Création. Since the Fascination Revue in 1967, Mine Vergès has dressed dancers from six Moulin Rouge revue shows: Festival; Follement; Frénésie; Femmes, Femmes, Femmes; Formidable and Féerie. At more than 80 years old, her love of dressmaking remains as steadfast as ever!

Located close to the Moulin Rouge, the Atelier de Création is where costumes of unparalleled splendour are designed.. Produced from the highest-quality materials with detailed decorations entirely made by hand, these creations adorn the artists of the current Féerie Revue show every night, for which more than 1000 costumes and accessories are made to measure.

For Mine Vergès, passion and encounters are inextricably related and are the driving force of her creative instincts. Her passion feeds a fervent desire to create while encounters continue to be the mainstays that form her ideas.

THE COSTUME DESIGN PROCESS

The Atelier de Création embodies excellence, in which talent and passion intersect to give life to textile artworks.

Mine’s team of costume designers spends between 10 and 280 hours on each design, showcasing the legacy of exceptional know-how entrusted to them by Mine Vergès.

The creative process is an intricate ballet in which hundreds of sketches come to life, each fabric and accessory is meticulously selected to enhance the choreography and ensure the dancers’ comfort. Inspired by a sketch, the costume designers assemble fabrics, sequins and rhinestones by hand, applying both rigour and precision.

All fabrics and materials must be selected with the greatest attention in order to be very resistant and embellish the choreography. The outfits must also be comfortable to wear and easy to manage so as to prevent any awkwardness for the dancers when on-stage.

These creations are possible thanks to various artisan Houses, all subsidiaries of the Moulin Rouge. In addition to the Atelier de Création, Moulin Rouge collaborates with bootmakers from, Maison Clairvoy, feather workers from Maison Février and a team of embroiderers from Atelier Valentin. These various workshops work together to design the costumes. Together their work gives rise to extraordinary creations of unparalleled quality, the result of a cohesive and coordinated team of different expert skills.

 

 

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© Moulin Rouge®
spectacle Moulin Rouge costume rouge
© Sandie Bertrand

THE REVUE COSTUMES

Today the “Féerie” Revue show boasts thousands of outfits, worn in four different scenes such as “Le Moulin Rouge, aujourd’hui et hier, le Moulin Rouge toujours”, “Les Pirates”, “Au Cirque”, and “Le Moulin Rouge de 1900 à…” [The Moulin Rouge of today and yesteryear, the Moulin Rouge forever, The Pirates, At the Circus and “The Moulin Rouge: from 1900 to …]: various themes that give free rein to the vivid imagination of Mine Verges and her team.

One of the most impressive illustrations of the Atelier de Création know-how is the design of the outfits for the French Cancan, the Moulin Rouge’s iconic dance. From sketches to production, each step is meticulously orchestrated to create pieces to live up to the requirements of this dance which entails acrobatics and extreme flexibility. Constraints that cannot be ignored when fabricating the costumes!

From petticoats to corsets, each detail has been designed with an eye to aesthetics and function, ensuring that the dancers shine on stage with all the spirited energy of the French Cancan.

As a result, Mine Vergès’ heritage in the world of the stage and fashion remains a history of audacity, creativity and dedication. Her influence persists through the Moulin Rouge’s Atelier de Création, where each piece is a celebration of the magic of the stage and the timeless passion for dressmaking!

 

 

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spectacle féerie moulin rouge les majorettes
© Philippe Wojazer
Maquette costume majorette ©Collection privée Moulin Rouge®
© Moulin Rouge®

Un des sommets de l’expertise de l’Atelier de Création réside dans la création des costumes pour le French Cancan, danse emblématique du Moulin Rouge. Du dessin à la réalisation, chaque étape est minutieusement orchestrée pour créer des pièces à la hauteur des exigences de cette danse qui nécessite acrobaties et souplesse. Des contraintes à ne pas négliger lors de la confection des costumes !

Des jupons aux corsages, chaque détail est pensé pour allier esthétique et fonctionnalité, permettant aux danseuses de briller sur scène avec l’énergie vive du French Cancan.

Ainsi, l’héritage de Mine Verges dans le monde du spectacle et de la mode reste une histoire d’audace, de créativité et de dévouement. Son influence se perpétue à travers l’Atelier de Création du Moulin Rouge, où chaque couture est une célébration de la magie du spectacle et de la passion intemporelle pour la confection !

 

 

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maquette costume french cancan Moulin Rouge
© Moulin Rouge®
french cancan moulin rouge
© Sandie Bertrand

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