Performance costume, ' Lily Pad Boy', fabric, designed by Lisa Ho, used in Opening Ceremony of Olympic Games, Sydney, 2000
This costume titled 'Lily Pad Boy' features a gold lurex/lycra singlet and a cotton waistcoat with coin detail, a pair of full cut yellow pants and a yellow headscarf.
The costume was designed by Australian fashion designer Lisa Ho and manufactured in the Ceremonies Costume Workshop. The costume featured in the Asia section of the Arrivals segment of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony and was one of thirteen Lily Pad Boy costumes worn by a child member of one of several Asian community and cultural groups.
The Opening Ceremony of the 2000 Olympic Games was comprised of three major sections: the mandatory formalities and protocol sections, the cultural display and the entrance of the athletes. Within the cultural display, there were eight segments titled: Welcome, Deep Sea Dreaming, Awakening, Fire, Nature, Tin Symphony, Arrivals and Eternity.
This costume was used in the Arrivals segment 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. The colours of the Olympic rings set the costume colours; black for the African nations, yellow for the Asian nations, red for the Americas, green for Europe and blue for Oceania, which includes Australia.
The costumes for each float were designed by prominent Australian fashion and film designers 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 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.
Lisa Ho graduated from East Sydney Technical College in Dress Design. She initially sold her garments at Paddington Markets in Sydney. Subsequently she launched a signature label LISA HO and has opened five signature boutiques in Australia. The label is stocked by major department stores and boutiques throughout Australia, America, England and Asia.
In developing the designs for the Asian section Ho looked to the rich diversity of clothing forms and the many visual and cultural icons from the countries that make up Asia. These included: the Goddess Shiva, traditional Chinese Dynastic court dress, Asiatic flowers, Thai temple architecture, Japanese tattooing, Arabic coin jewellery, 19th century Palestinian headdresses and Indian tapestry.
More contemporary inspiration was found in the work of Canada's Cirque Du Soleil and current fashion trends such as '70's glamour'. The costumes were also infused with Ho's own decorative and eclectic style, which typically incorporates intricate evening details into daywear. IN a press release, she gave her rationale as: "Demystifying precious things to make them there to enjoy for anyone anytime. To have fun with them".
The 13 Lily Pad Boy costumes were designed to be appropriate for the children who would dance around the Asia float. The costume is based on a traditional Middle Eastern dress style and is inspired by costume designs for Canada's Cirque Du Soliel.
Maker name Ceremonies Costume Department
Worn by a child member of one of several Asian community and cultural groups. One of 13.
Presented to the Powerhouse Museum by the Olympic Coordination Authority, on behalf of the NSW Government