Performance costume, 'Horse Rider', fabric/ metal designed by Kristian Fredrikson, made by Driza-bone, used in the Welcome Segment of the Opening Ceremony of Olympic Games, Sydney, 2000
The 'Horse Rider' costume was designed by Kristian Fredrikson. It is based on the Driza-bone coat, which originated in Australia and has barely changed since the late 1890's. The costume featured in the Welcome segment of the 2000 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony. This segment involved 120 riders on brown horses who performed a tight drill culminating in the formation of the Olympic rings. Each rider wore a scarf in one of the Olympic ring colours.
The costume consists of a waxed cotton Driza-bone coat, Driza-Bone felt hat with gold IOC pin and a cotton kerchief in one of the five Olympic ring colours. The designs for the Horse Riders are based on a typical outback riding outfit. The original coat design required various modifications for the Olympic Games. The colour has been specially dyed and the length of the coats is longer than a contemporary retail store bought coat. A prototype was manufactured in the Ceremonies Costume Workshop before being manufactured through a fashion manufacturing agent.
David Atkins, Artistic Director and Producer for the Ceremonies Division, approved the production of ceremonial uniforms after approving this stockman theme. "The Driza- bone, the Akubra, that whole look, the Australian stockman look is a fairly unique look and significant around the world as being Australian and so once you see that you know exactly where you are." The uniform project resulted in a significant contract for the Australian company, Driza-bone, which manufactured 3,500 coats and 4,000 hats for the Olympic Games.
In May 1998, Driza-bone began work on the Olympic project, transforming drawings by costume designer, Kristian Fredrikson, into samples and coat patterns. It then submitted each element of the uniform to the Ceremonies Department for approval. The Driza-bone team - one coordinator, two assistants and ten machinists - worked an average of twelve hours each day in the weeks leading up to the Olympics. Consequently, the uniforms represent Driza-bone's contributions to the Olympic Games, and also reflect the Australian stockman image that the Ceremonies Division promoted during the event.
Kristian Fredrikson (born 1940) has been at the forefront of performance design in Australia for over five decades. He was appointed Resident Designer at the Melbourne Theatre Company in 1966 and remained in this position for eight years. He has subsequently designed countless works for the major performing arts companies in Australia, including Opera Australia, Sydney Dance Company, Sydney Theatre Company, Victorian State Opera, Australian Ballet and the Sydney Dance Company.
He has collaborated with many celebrated directors and choreographers such as Dame Peggy Van Praagh, Stanton Welch, George Ogilvie and Graeme Murphy.
Fredrikson has also designed for film and television productions including: 'Undercover', 'Vietnam', 'Dirtwater Dynasty' and 'The Shiralee'.
Awards received by Fredrikson include the Helpmann Award for Best Costume Design (2002) for 'School For Scandal' at the Sydney Theatre Company and the 1999 Australian Dance Award for Services to Dance.
The designs for the Horse Riders are based on a typical outback riding outfit. The colour has been specially dyed and the length of the coats is longer than a contemporary store bought coat.
Maker name Driza-bone, Brisbane Queensland for the Ceremonies Costume Workshop.
Worn by 1 of 120 horsemen
Presented to the Powerhouse Museum by the Olympic Coordination Authority, on behalf of the NSW Government