Klaus tells a story behind his concept for Cunning Little Vixen opera for Finnish National Opera
The visual concept opened to me as a ballroom like ensemble which would feel like a forest. To follow this it felt natural to visualise the costume design as clothing with references to history of fashion, not a specific time or style but a combination of many. The costume design had to stay light and be flexible and dynamic for moving on the stage but also be visually impactful and detailed with strong graphic silhouettes. It was very important to me to create costumes that would give a direction to the performers for their character studies.
I wanted to use natural materials like wool and silk as much as possible. It was really interesting to get to use the Opera ateliers, the costume studio, hat makers, the dye department and the cobblers are unique in their incredible skills.
My aim was to give each costume a recognisable character and it was strongly based on the hand sewn geometric patterns and the focal point of each outfit are the hats that give each costume their distinctive look. The hats are one of the most important parts of the whole visual concept of the Cunning Little Vixen. The hat like head pieces that are functional in the fast choreography are successful only because the incredible skill of their makers.
I divided the costumes in two categories in my mind. Animals and humans.
Animals I saw as naturally flamboyant creatures who shamelessly flaunt their decorative features and shine. The humans I wanted to show as simpler and modest and almost clumsy crowd who are identifying their social or professional status. Both groups I wanted to unify with graphic embroidery and patterns that would take this production from the world of Janacek to more scandinavian and nordic world with it’s own aesthetic.