GO BIG OR GO HOME: Even by Las Vegas standards, Kylie Minogue made an entrance for the ages on Friday at The Venetian, kicking off her Voltaire residency by throwing off a gigantic faux fur pink coat.
It was one of three looks created for the performer by French designer Alexandre Vauthier, who also designed her asymmetrical open-back fringed dress in a sunset gradient of crystals she also wore that evening and a leopard crystal-embroidered jumpsuit in red with matching boots, slated to appear later.
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“I wanted to play with the beginnings of Las Vegas, when Liberace and Frank Sinatra made [the city] blow up,” Vauthier told WWD ahead of the premiere, describing the show vibe as a mix between Studio 54, the legendary cabaret-meets-nightclub The Box and “the very Vegas side of where [Minogue’s show is] happening.”
Vauthier was particularly proud of the fringed dress, a “real challenge” that required well over 2,000 hours of work.
It’s not just Minogue whom he dressed for the occasion: the French designer produced some 141 pieces in total for the supporting cast, as well as all venue staff and hosts.
For Vauthier, working on this project felt like a “breather because it’s outside of the [fashion] calendar, with creative goals, expectations and requirements [that] are completely different.” It was the perfect way to stretch design legs that can go from “the most sober suit to something more out there than Bob Mackie.”
All in all, Vauthier worked two years on the concept with producer Michael Gruber, as well as Marc Zaffuto and Manon Savary of now-defunct Paris cabaret Manko.
To bring the looks to life, the designer teamed with costume designer Stefano Canulli, an industry veteran whom he’d first worked with under the late Thierry Mugler, Canulli’s collaborator Simon Crowhurst, as well as the nimble hands of the Métiers d’Arts specialist ateliers Vauthier works with for his own brand.
Although the French designer has previously created stage outfits for Taylor Swift, Beyoncé and Miley Cyrus, this project was a different beast owing to the number of outfits for dancers “because that’s a whole other approach where you have to consider every aspect from script to choreography to truly accompany them — think about what they’ll do and present on stage,” Vauthier said.
To avoid any costume connotations, he “treated them as a couture collection…pushing to find a balance between what they need [to move] for their performance and the technicity required of [couture] designs.”
In the cast’s lineup are gold jumpsuits for a Space Age moment, black backless catsuits, a bedazzled leopard-print number as well as a draped bodysuit paired with a furry pink chubby — to match two risqué poodle characters.
Female staffers wear rhinestone-adorned bustiers or a body suit with marked shoulders paired with stirrup leggings that give legs for days, while males sport sharp jackets or tuxedo shirts with a bedazzled bib.
There are also sunglasses, designed by eyewear guru Alain Mikli, including Minogue’s yellow crystal pair paired with that rainbow dress.
Footwear is designed by Giuseppe Zanotti, who currently holds the license for Vauthier’s eponymous footwear line.
Throughout Minogue’s three-month residency, the Parisian designer promised there would be further surprises with new iterations of looks. “There’s plenty more where that came from,” he quipped.
After Minogue, the 1,000-seat Voltaire nightspot, which is meant as a cross between a cabaret and a nightclub, has revealed Christina Aguilera as the headliner for the holiday season, debuting a show on New Year’s Eve weekend.
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