DRESS CODES: Christian Lacroix faced a new challenge in his career as a costume designer: imagining women’s clothes for a man.

Tapped to dress acclaimed French actor Guillaume Gallienne in the title role of “Lucrèce Borgia,” premiering Saturday at the Comédie-Française in Paris, Lacroix imagined a black satin dress, “very graphic, very neat, almost geometric, and a petticoat.” Two sleeveless period coats, one black, another in blood-red velvet, round out the wardrobe for the production directed by Denis Podalydès.

This story first appeared in the May 21, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“I mainly didn’t consider Guillaume a man during the process,” Lacroix told WWD, noting the corset, true to 16th-century style, is a flattening one, while the farthingale around the hips hides a feminine silhouette.

He noted Gallienne was planning to perform with his own hair, which is curly and at times unruly, and would not pad his chest. At press time, the makeup was still a work in progress, but likely to take a “kabuki onnagata approach, in Tamasaburo style,” Lacroix said.

The Victor Hugo stage play is to run through July 20.

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