NATIONAL CENTRE FOR STAGE COSTUMES
Opened in 2006, this National centre for stage costumes is a one-of-a-kind : the only venue in the world entirely dedicated to the heritage of live entertainment (theatre, opera, dance, etc) and décors and costumes in particular.
The CNCS is housed in the old cavalry house, in the heart of the Villars quarter, built during the reign of Louis XV. It bears the name of the Marshal of Villars, key war figure, born in Moulins and distinguished under the Sun King, namely at the battle of Denain in 1712.
Many a famous horseman was seen in these beautiful buildings of noble architecture just like during the Moulin parties and their Grand café where Etienne Balsan, during the Belle Epoque, helped a very young designer, a certain Coco Chanel, become known.
The CNCS can boast today 9,000 or so costumes featured during temporary exhibitions running with the seasons on themes varying from “Bêtes de scène” (stage animals) to “J’aime les militaires !”(I love soldiers) and “Mille et une nuits” (A thousand and one nights) to “Au fil des fleurs” (garden scenes with flowers). In 2009, the CNCS paid homage to Rudolf Nureyev, the dance icon awaiting the opening of the specially-dedicated permanent exhibition halls thanks to the donation from the Rudolf Nureyev Foundation.
The CNCS has obviously highlighted its chairman of honour, Christian Lacroix, the great designer and the exhibition dedicated to him in Moulins tours the world from Singapore to Sao Paulo.
The CNCS is a lively historical hub on all fronts: exhibitions, documentation centre, auditorium, shop, restaurant, portraying all the splendours of entertainment and those who patiently create them, decorators, designers, costumers and workshops.