LONDON–The Empire in Leicester Square played host last night to the UK premiere of Burlesque, a so-so sparkle-n-sequins musical starring Cher and Christina Aguilera and an army of gorgeous Swarovski-dripping bustiers designed by Michael Kaplan. The BAFTA award winning costume designer is to thank for trend-spawning films like Flashdance, Blade Runner, Pearl Harbor and the Versace and Marc Jacobs-influencing Fight Club…the man’s got range.
The sparkly, indoor-use-only outfits, aside from Christina’s undeniable set of pipes, were the glue-gun that kept the film together. The true stunners included: six variations of delicate hand-linked gold chains with tiny Swarovskis whipping around in the finale; Christina’s high collared string of pearls “dress” that whipped right off her in one number; black velvet bodysuits with 1930s-inspired sequined hands over the bum and boobs. The costumes, like the score, drew inspiration from every era from the ’20s to the ’80s and will undoubtedly boost sales at Agent Provocateur. We also wouldn’t be surprised if some girls abandon the acrobatics of pole-dancing lessons for the glam athleticism of burlesque.
In an interview with The Times of London, Kaplan explains of one of the costumes: “I wanted Christina to kind of look like a dessert. There’s feathers, there’s satin, and she’s all pink and peach and adorable. Like some kind of sorbet.” Christina, who’s been partying it up in London with her new beau Matthew Rutler, whom she met on the set of the film, told the audience of her film debut that “acting was a whole new animal.” And, “I thrust myself into dancing like never before.”
Cher strutted up the red carpet in a wavy tangerine wig, wearing a black lace bodysuit and chiffon mullet skirt by Julien Macdonald. But then she brought the rock back by throwing a leather biker jacket over it. After expressing how much fun she’d had filming the musical she added, “Everyone was very, very, young.”
Though cringe-worthy writing included a dance routine referred to as the “Wagon Wheel Watusi,” these words of wisdom from Cher to her dancers are ones for every girls’ handbook: “If you fall off the stage, remember…leg extended, boobs out.”