French museum hosts Shakespearean costume exhibit

The National Centre for Stage Costumes in Moulins, France is playing host to an elaborate display of Shakespearean theatrical costumes entitled Shakespeare, l'├ętoffe du monde. The silk, satin and gemstone-studded costumes reflect designs from over a century of productions.

Production designer Jenny Tiramani attributes the requirement of lavish costumes to the Elizabethans themselves. "There are cases recorded of people flouting the laws and being punished for it but I wouldn't say they were extremely effective. Certainly it was many years since the last person had been executed, for example, for wearing purple!" she said. "People wanted to show as much fabric as they possibly could to signal wealth, it was a society absolutely obsessed with status."