In “Aline” by Valérie Lemercier, the other stars of the film are the costumes. The actress and director offers a fake biopic on Celine Dion and recreates, sometimes in detail, the outfits of the famous singer.
One hundred and fifty. This is the number of costumes made for Valérie Lemercier in Aline. For her sixth feature film, the actress and director hits hard. She stages a fiction freely inspired by the fate of Céline Dion – renamed here Aline Dieu -, a singer that she incarnates from her 5 to her 50 years. On paper, such an idea is surprising, but on the screen, the magic operates. The success of the film depends, among other things, on the care taken in the creation of the outfits.
Behind this colossal work, we find the costume designer Catherine Leterrier. Her first meeting with Valérie Lemercier dates back to 1990, for Snowy in May by Louis Malle. Subsequently, the two women often worked together, especially on Visitors. Since Royal palace, Catherine Leterrier collaborates with the actress on all her directing projects.
“For Aline, there was a lot of work upstream, explains the costume designer in the press kit. [Valérie Lemercier] has read absolutely everything that has been written about Celine Dion. I think that with all these newspapers, these books, we could fill a truck!”During the shooting, a costume workshop, run by Didier Despin and his seamstresses, was set up.
Known for her attention to detail, Valérie Lemercier greatly participated in the development of these outfits. Catherine Leterrier specifies that the actress and director “knows suppliers known only to sharp costumers”. “We had to obey the style of Valérie who is eccentric and who also loves tradition. So, to look very far in the extravagance then eliminate, skim, then, to find the pure and essential line. I know her well enough not to be afraid to offer her ideas that she will reject! She’s a perfectionist, me too, that’s good, and it’s crazy how she sees everything!”
Concert outfit (2008)
For every artist on stage, costumes are part of the show. Celine Dion, renowned for her taste for fashion, is obviously no exception to the rule. In Aline, Valérie Lemercier and Catherine Leterrier reproduced certain pieces of the Canadian diva almost identically. Nevertheless, the costume designer specifies that the “principle of extreme documentation” for the preparation of the project also made it possible to move away from reality for other important sequences.
Concert held in Las Vegas (2007)
In addition to the costume workshop held by Didier Despin, an entire team was in charge of the beads. “They spent their days threading pearls literally”, says Catherine Leterrier, before adding: “Each dress, each outfit, that Aline wears in the film, from childhood to adulthood, had its dedicated underwear and corsetry. “
Costume for Television (1983)
This costume present in one of the scenes of the film is once again very close to reality. Valérie Lemercier chose to include it in her feature film because it was worn for Celine Dion’s first French television, during the Champs-Elysées program presented by Michel Drucker, in 1983. The presenter also appears briefly in the film through archival footage.
Concert outfit (1988)
Because she traces Celine Dion’s career over 45 years, Valérie Lemercier travels through the ages in Aline. The opportunity to have more fun with trends, like those of the eighties. On this subject, Catherine Leterrier says that the actress and director wanted to keep the “fun spirit” of this decade. She continues: “She is right: in each era, everyone dresses in their own way, without necessarily agreeing with what is shown in the fashion newspapers, even if I confess to having worn myself in those years. the legendary fringed suede pants! ”
The wedding dress (1994)
Another important moment reconstituted in Aline: the marriage between Céline Dion and René Angélil. Creating the dress was one of the biggest challenges for the film, as the costume designer explains: “Her wedding dress, her tiara, the bridesmaids’ dresses took a lot of work, but Valérie shows them in homeopathic doses on the screen. Here again, she is right: this wedding dress is, above all, a staging accessory, since it is too bulky to go through the door and can only go through the window. The costume serves the action. Action takes precedence over aesthetics or fashion. ”
Concert held in Las Vegas (2011)
For Aline’s final scene, Valérie Lemercier is greatly inspired by another outfit worn by Celine Dion during one of her shows in Las Vegas in 2011. Beyond the original creations made by Catherine Leterrier for the film, designer Stéphane Rolland – who has actually dressed Celine Dion on several occasions – worked on two outfits worn by the actress.
The Oscars dress for “My Heart Will Go On” (1998)
It is one of the unmissable moments of Celine Dion’s career: her performance at the Oscars for the song “My Heart Will Go On”, theme of the film Titanic composed by James Horner. Later in the evening, the title will receive the statuette for the best original song In Aline, Valérie Lemercier recreates this iconic moment and wears, in particular, a replica of the heart of the ocean as a necklace.
Concert held in Las Vegas (2007)
Another costume taken from a concert in Las Vegas in 2007 during which Celine Dion performed the title “River Deep, Mountain High”, cover of a Tina Turner hit.