Performance costume, 'Ricca', fabric, designed by Peter Morrissey, made by Ceremonies Costume Workshop and Peter Lang, used in Opening Ceremony of Olympic Games, Sydney, 2000
The 'Ricca' gown features a fitted bodice with single shoulder strap over the left shoulder. The skirt has a high slit revealing the left leg and features a long train. The gown was designed by Australian fashion designer Peter Morrissey and manufactured in the Ceremonies Costume Workshop. The gown was featured on the Oceania float in the Arrivals segment of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony. It was worn by and is named after Ricca Paris.
The costume is constructed from a synthetic crepe patterned with the 'Numina' textile print. The design for the textile print was taken from an original artwork done by indigenous artist Jacinta Numina Waugh. The fabric was hand beaded with blue, black and silver sequins at a beading workshop in India.
The costume is accessorised with a silver plated necklace, cuffs and earrings. Peter Morrissey developed the jewellery in consultation with jewellery designer Peter Lang. It is based on the MORRISSEY jewellery collection released to complement Peter Morrissey's Summer 2001 collection. The 2001 collection also featured the 'Numina' print.
Renya Xydis in collaboration with Morrissey developed the hair design associated with the gown. The hair design featured long black hairpieces, feathers and rhinestone strips across the forehead.
The Opening Ceremony Context
The Opening Ceremony of the 2000 Olympic Games comprised three major sections: mandatory formalities and protocol sections, the cultural display and the entrance of the athletes.
The Arrivals segment was part of the cultural display of the Opening Ceremony. This segment aimed to produce a theatrical representation of Australia's multiculturalism. The programme for the Olympic Opening Ceremony states: The history of Australia is the history of migration. We have come from all corners of the planet to form a vibrant, culturally rich and constantly evolving society. In this segment, a new group of arrivals form the Olympic symbol that unites the five continents of the world. They disperse, leaving behind their children - our hope for the future. More children appear until two thousand gather to form the pattern of the night sky, containing the distinctive Southern Cross constellation.
The Arrivals segment saw five floats each representing a continent enter the arena. Each float carried performers in costumes inspired by the continent. Using the symbolism of the colours of Olympic rings, each continent/float was represented by a colour. Black was used to represent the African nations, yellow the Asian nations, red the Americas, green was used for Europe and blue for Oceania, which includes Australia
The costumes for each float were designed by prominent Australian fashion. Fashion designers rather then theatrical costume designers were used to provide a contemporary, cutting edge, high fashion look to the costumes. The designers were Jenny Kee (Africa and Americas), Lisa Ho (Asia), Norma Moriceau (Europe) and Peter Morrissey (Oceania).
Performers for the segment were selected from schools, community groups and from cultural and ethnic support groups. Approximately 500 performers danced around and on each of the five floats in the costumes created by the designers.
Peter Morrissey (born 1962) has been at the forefront of Australian fashion design for over a decade. In the mid 1980s he co-founded the internationally successful Morrissey Edmiston label. With its signature sexy, youthful styles and slick marketing the label attracted a star clientele, which included Michael Hutchence, Elle Macpherson and Nicole Kidman. His designs graced the pages of national and international magazines.
The Morrissey Edmiston partnership dissolved in 1997. In the same year, Peter Morrissey launched a new label MORRISSEY. Under his new label, Morrissey began designing both men's and women's wear that successfully combined wearability with glamour and sex appeal. In November 2000 he sold his fashion business to Oroton International, however he retains creative control over the look of the MORRISEY label.
Morrissey's Summer 2001 collection was previewed at this Mercedes Australian Fashion Week in May 2000. The collection featured a print from an original artwork by indigenous artist Jacinta Numina Waugh. Morrissey discovered Numina Waugh's work through an Aboriginal development unit initiative in Darwin. Morrissey titled the print 'Numina' and decided to also incorporate it into his designs for the Oceania float.
The base colour palette used in the Oceania section was blue. Morrissey highlighted the base colour with darker blue, aqua, white and silver.
In developing the costumes a series of conceptual sketches were presented to Ric Birch Director of Ceremonies, David Atkins Creative Director/Producer and Ceremonies Department staff in February 2000. After developing the final sketches, Morrissey and Creative Director Jayson Brunsdon worked on refining the designs based on consultation with the wearer. The 'Ricca' gown incorporates a very long train because the wearer Ricca Paris was adept at handling such a feature.
The silver jewellery that accompanies the gown was developed in conjunction with jewellery designer Peter Lang. It is based on the boomerang influenced jewellery collection released by MORRISSEY to complement the 'Numina' print designs in 2000.
The design of the hair and make-up formed an important part of the overall look of the gown. The extreme high-fashion makeup and hair styles were developed in collaboration with hair stylist Renya Xydis and makeup artist Kelly Stratton.