Cruise Line Goes Far-Out for Circus at Sea
Collaboration was a "dream come true," says felt textiles designer.
Meaghan O'Neill -- Interior Design, 1/4/2005 12:00:00 AM
When it comes to otherworldly creations, Cirque du Soleil provides no lack of inspiration. So when Janice Arnold of JA Felt (formerly known as J. Arnold Felt) was brought on to create bespoke textiles for the Celebrity Cruises line that features the fantastical circus, she was delighted with the opportunity.
"Since I first saw Cirque du Soleil perform in 1986, I’ve been inspired by every aspect of their cutting edge productions. Making the fabric for this project is an exciting collaboration—a dream come true," said the designer, who runs her namesake business from Centralia, Washington.
For Constellation, the first Celebrity Cruises ship to feature Cirque du Soleil, Arnold helped in the creation of an observation lounge, called the Bar at the Edge of the Earth, that was transformed into a surreal atmosphere. The space, which opened last month, features handmade fabrics designed by Arnold.
The project was led by Jean-François Bouchard, Cirque du Soleil's director of creation for special projects. Bouchard enlisted Montreal-based architecture firm Hylo Design to create the space, with JA Felt creating and installing fabrics for the hand-sculpted ceiling, entrance curtains, stage and projection screens, interior tent curtains, column wrap and furniture upholstery.
"When we saw the samples from JA Felt, we knew we had at last found what we had been searching for," said Stephanie Cardinal, partner at Hylo Design.
Arnold, who hand made fabrics from silk, wool and a metal-silk blend, referred to traditional felt-making techniques in order create an exotic line of modern and versatile textiles with a very organic feel. The fabrics were fittingly inspired by the qualities of water, says Arnold—perfectly appropriate for Cirque du Soleil at sea.
Late next month, Celebrity will unveil another Cirque du Soleil space on the Summit, its second ship to feature the theater production. Summit will feature the same interior design and fabrics scheme as the Constellation.