July 13 2014

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3 posts tagged "“Sleep No More”"

Thom Browne Lends His Magic Touch to Queen of the Night


Thom Browne

What’s the biggest difference between designing stage costumes and runway looks? Functionality, according to Thom Browne, who’s made more than eighty outfits for the forthcoming interactive theatrical experience, Queen of the Night. The endeavor marks Browne’s first foray into stage garb—a somewhat surprising fact, considering his proclivity for dramatic fashion week displays (cue models tied down to beds, white-powdered catwalkers teetering about a padded room in sculptural frocks, and gentlemen in exaggerated military garb marching through Paris’ École Militaire). “In regards to creating a fantasy, this was very similar to what I do in my runway collections,” explained Browne. “But I don’t always think about functional clothing, so that was the greatest challenge. These are circus performers, so you have to make sure that they can move in the garments.”

Created by Sleep No More‘s Randy Weiner and his Variety Worldwide co-partners Simon Hammerstein and Murtaza Akbar, Queen of the Night will open on New Year’s Eve at the Diamond Horseshoe—a famed thirties vaudeville theater which, set at the bottom of a deadly spiral staircase, has been restored to its Art Deco glory under the watchful eye of the play’s creative director, Giovanna Battaglia. The show promises to be as grand as its venue, and features acrobats that hang from the ceiling; a bubbling, smoking cocktail “distillery” that looks more like a laboratory than a bar; a food performance by artist Jennifer Rubell (whole pigs will be presented to guests on spits, roasted chickens will be served in cages); and a labyrinth of secret back rooms where theatergoers can have one-on-one adventures with the Browne-clad actors.

Loosely based on The Magic Flute, the surreal tale of love, turmoil, and lessons learned stars Martha Graham principal dancer Katherine Crockett. Her regal character was inspired by such bon-vivant society women as Peggy Guggenheim and Marchesa Luisa Casati, an Italian heiress and muse who supposedly once proclaimed, “I want to be a living work of art.”

Thom Browne's Queen of the Night SketchAs you can see from Browne’s sketch (left), which debuts exclusively here, the designer will transform Crockett into just that. “The costume itself is overwhelming in size and scale. It has an ecclesiastic, otherworldly sensibility,” said Browne of the leading lady’s ensemble, which comprises a massive embellished cape, a “very sexy” frock, and an astounding amount of beading and embroidery. “There are also some fantastic anatomical references,” Browne noted, pointing to pairs of hands that seem to grasp at the hips, ankles, and shoulders of Crockett’s look.

A troop of twenty butler characters will wear Browne’s signature cropped suits (with a twist, he assures us), and every element of his designs—no mater how fantastical—will play a role in the story. “You know, I based the costumes on the Marchesa, and wanted to create a whole world for somebody that just lives the most unbelievable, spectacular life,” offered Browne. “I want it to be a real fantasy experience for everyone.”

For tickets and further information on Queen of the Night visit

Photos: (portrait); Thom Browne (sketch)

Masked Ravers And A Summer Soiree


Christina Ricci at the Fresh Air Fund galaIt was New York’s first sticky evening of the season last night, so guests were glad that the Fresh Air Fund gala, held at Pier Sixty’s waterside venue, offered just that. Fresh Air Fund provides inner-city children with summer experiences out in the country, and the evening’s cause had guests talking about their own summer rituals, then and now. Richard Chai had a family camp in Connecticut growing up, and whenever Thakoon Panichgul gets out of the city, he’s an avid gardener. Christina Ricci recalled, “I worked as a child, so I didn’t spend a lot of time going to camp!” Except for once—who could forget Wednesday Addams’ stint at Camp Chippewa?

A few blocks up Eleventh Avenue at the McKittrick Hotel, Leigh Blake hosted a private performance of Sleep No More to launch her charity Act V’s new initiative, EndGame: The Global Campaign to Defeat AIDS, TB, and Malaria.

After the performance, the vodka started flowing, and a rave broke out in the McKittrick great hall. The venue had everyone in a noir, voyeuristic mood, and many guests—like Simon Doonan—chose to keep their Sleep No More masks on while dancing. “It is important to wear a mask when you get to my age and you haven’t had a face-lift,” joked Doonan. Before hitting the turntables, Chelsea Leyland, too, weighed in on the party accessories. “I feel like I’m in a Stanley Kubrick film,” she said. “Makes me want to be naughty.”

Photo: Taylor Hill / Getty Images

BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund Shortlist Announced, Dita Von Teese To Appear In “Sleep No More,” Agyness Deyn’s Loft For Sale , And More…


This year’s shortlist of designers for the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund 2012 was announced today by the British Fashion Council. The nine designers—Jonathan Saunders, Marios Schwab, Mary Katrantzou, Meadham Kirchhoff, Nicholas Kirkwood, Peter Pilotto, Richard Nicoll, Roksanda Ilincic, and Zoe Jordan—will present their collections and future plans before a panel of judges chaired by British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman. [British Fashion Council]

For its first time ever, Levi’s is planning to show its core collection during New York fashion week in February. The “big-budget presentation in Soho” will show off its Levi’s Red Tab, Levi’s Vintage Collection, and Made & Crafted lines. [WWD]

Dita Von Teese will reportedly join the cast of “Sleep No More” in New York for a special New Year’s Eve show. The burlesque queen’s role in the show has not been revealed yet. [Page Six]

Model Agyness Deyn’s Williamsburg apartment is on the market for $2.5 million dollars. However, the 2,911-square-foot apartment’s baby blue rococo kitchen and leopard-print carpets might put off a few potential buyers. [Telegraph]

Photo: Carly Otness /