Philippe Guillotel began designing and making costumes when he was just eight. As soon as he could, he studied design, cutting and sewing at various schools in Paris. After a decade in the world of fashion he discovered dance, and through it, his true calling: costume allied to movement.
Since 1985, Philippe has worked for many high profile French movie and theatre directors. He has had a long working relationship with the renowned French choreographer Philippe Decouflé for whom he designed the astonishing costumes seen in the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France. He also worked with Decouflé on the opening ceremonies of the 50th Cannes film festival in 1997 and Tricodex, a multimedia work for the Ballet de l'Opéra de Lyon, in 2003. Between 2001 and 2005, his designs were featured in four ballets, including La Belle, staged by the Ballets de Monte Carlo.
Philippe designed the exuberant costumes for the 2002 feature film Astérix & Obélix: Mission Cleopatra, for which he received a César award, and prior to that, the films Doggy Bag and À la Mode. In 2007 he designed the costumes for choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot’s production of Gounod’s Faust in Wiesbaden. He has been equally active in the world of live shows, designing the costumes for the musical Starmania in 1995 for Canadian composer and director Lewis Furey, and videos for a number of artists such as Julien Clerc and Alain Souchon.
With his costumes for IRIS, Philippe is working on his second Cirque du Soleil production, following The Beatles LOVE. "Cirque du Soleil has the biggest costume shop in the world,” he says. “Its scope gives designers permission to allow their imaginations a much freer rein than anywhere else."
"I explored several distinct themes with the IRIS costumes: capturing and transmitting images, sound and light," he says. “I also wanted to reflect the evolution of color in film from black and white to the saturated colors of Dick Tracy, passing through colorization and Technicolor. I would like the costumes in IRIS to trigger what each spectator imagines when someone says the word ‘cinema.’"
Philippe Guillotel was born in Paris.