NATALIE PORTMAN may have glided with ease across the stage for her role as a prima ballerina in the upcoming ballet thriller BLACK SWAN, but it turns out that it was the team behind her tutus that were put to the real challenge.

While becoming the first fashion designers to receive a National Art Award from Americans For The Arts recently, RODARTE’S Laura and Kate Mulleavy explained to the challenges of creating the intricate costumes for the film.

“A tutu is 13 layers of tulle sticking straight out and then it’s over the body, so you can imagine. It’s crazy!” said Laura, who had only seen a ballet costume up close once before the film.

The sister act was introduced to the film’s director DARREN ARONOFSKY by NATALIE – a long time RODARTE lover – and after that, were brought on board to create looks for the film’s SWAN LAKE performance.

“Building a tutu is one of the lost arts. Everyone will know it’s like getting your hand on the prize, like a coveted piece of couture that no one ever gets to see,” Laura explained.

“You can’t go rent a tutu. You have to own it.”

“They’re never actually perfect. But from afar, when you’re in the audience, it looks like one of the most beautiful things in the world.”


  1. I’m really excited to see Black Swan and I am not a big fan of Aronofsky’s at all. But the buzz from the Toronto Festival was so great.

    And as someone who is a little obsessed with film costuming, I found these comments on what goes into creating a tutu to be enlightening.

    From your more recent posts, it sounds as if you have been going through a rough patch with some people in your on line life. Hope things are better soon.

    I know I have always enjoyed corresponding with you and hearing your astute insights into film.

    Hang in there.

  2. Patty, you’re bloody well awesome.

    Your support means the world to me. I’m very happy that you jumped the fence.

    BLACK SWAN’S opening is something that I’m greatly looking forward to. My anticipation for that is growing by the day. Can’t wait until it arrives here.

    Yeah, you and I are definitely passionate fashionistas as well as fervent devotees of superior costume design. I think that Mr. Aronofsky’s film will have a lot to offer in terms of the latter aspect.

    All the better for us.

    As for the other, here’s the way it all shakes out.

    People have websites for a variety of reasons. I took it very seriously. Poured my heart and soul into it for two years.

    To me, it wasn’t just a hobby or fun like it is for some. It was a means to an end.

    I have ambition and I undertook all of the demands so that I could get somewhere. It’s different now…in every imaginable way.

    I never stepped on anyone to get here. I didn’t do anything to harm or hurt anybody. But once you get a taste of success, you find out who your real friends are.

    Like I said elsewhere, it’s basically jealousy, pettiness and bitterness. I’m quite familiar with this phenomenon off the net because of the way I look. I get it. Being a glamorous intellectually driven blonde who’s in charge of her sensuality upsets the status quo.

    Too f’ing bad. I won’t have it.

    So I built this site up from nothing. All by myself. I have a wonderful man who’s changed my life. He would go to the wall to protect me and my interests…and we have each others’ backs until the end of time.

    It’s all about loyalty, mutual adoration and looking out for each other. I’m the luckiest chick on the planet.

    I’m not preventing anyone from going out and getting whatever they want. But if they don’t have what it takes (in any regard) and they simply want to tear down my accomplishments and contentment when it has nothing whatsoever to do with them, then they can go straight to hell.

    Two of the people (and I use that word loosely…) that have caused the most grief are a pair of mentally unstable morally reprehensible scuzzballs. They were never friends of mine anyway.

    I simply tolerated them. But that’s all over now.

    Let’s just say that not everyone understands the true meaning of friendship. It’s not my problem. I’ve had enough.

    I’m not upset. But I am wickedly pissed. There’s a difference.

    There are lots of other things that play into this. The recognition by strangers is absolutely surreal. People look at me all the time. But this is totally different. It reminds me of being a much older looking 14 year old and getting enormous amounts of attention when my hormones just started to kick in. It was deadly. But I coped.

    In 2010, almost everyone means well and has good intentions. Sometimes they’ll talk to me directly and use references from the site or elsewhere that they know I’ll recognize. They want me to be aware that they’re on my side. That’s cool. Then I can just converse (within boundaries) and be a regular person.

    There are plenty of things that I can’t discuss with them. I do believe that they understand this. But to have that kind of support is not something that I would ever take for granted.

    I’ve never had so many discussions about skinny jeans in my lifetime. Totally ironic considering I don’t even own a pair any more.

    Other times I get yelled at. Yesterday some young guys behind me in the street started talking at a noticeable volume about things that were Irish. A few weeks ago a couple of teenage girls spotted me and began screaming the name of a well known Toronto based TV talk show host.

    Yeah, I saw that interview too.

    I listen to quite a bit of local radio and it’s obvious that there are a lot of individuals in my home town that read CP. Some of them are people that I’ve admired for years.

    So it’s overwhelming and kind of crazy. But in an especially lovely way.

    Not only did I NOT expect any of this to happen, I really didn’t think it would transpire this quickly if it did.

    But it has. I suppose you will always be resented by a few minor fools.

    F them. I’m going to be appreciative of all of it and just go where the day takes me.

    Lots of interesting things are happening. I’m in love. Life is tremendously sweet.

    I hope that everything is going great guns for you, Patty. Thank you so much for being here. It means a lot.

    Hang in there.

    Didn’t someone say that on a talk show recently? Or was it a cat food commercial…?

    Sounds kinda familiar…

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