Moulin Rouge! Is the First Two-in-One Musical and Fashion Show

Lauren Reho
4 min readFeb 6, 2021

The Moulin Rouge. You have probably heard of this famous Parisian landmark many times. After all, it has its own Broadway musical named after it. Moulin Rouge! The Musical is the first-ever two-in-one Broadway musical and fashion show, which is monumental news to both the theatrical and fashion industry. Celebrities such as Billy Porter, Paris Hilton and members of The Blonds made an appearance that will not be forgotten. Even better, they set up their runway show in a sold-out theater with one of the most popular current musicals. Yes, “The Blonds x Moulin Rouge” did that.

New York Fashion Week Spring 2020 was full of many surprises including Gigi Hadid strutting barefoot down the runway after a malfunction with her Marc Jacobs shoes and Tom Ford signing to replace Diane von Furstenberg in the CFDA Chairman position. The past fashion week was one for the books, but it wasn’t until “The Blonds x Moulin Rouge” stole the show and added another full-layer of fierce to NYFW. The Blonds luxury style brand paired its glitzy outfits with the upbeat playlist from Moulin Rouge! The Musical to put on an unforgettable performance. The models and cast of the show were undoubtedly able to bring the Spring 2020 collection to life in their performance.

Moulin Rouge! The Musical is one of the hardest musicals to get tickets to and had a high-energy audience that hyped up the cast throughout the whole performance. The Blonds are notorious for putting on an over-the-top spectacle in any show they do. In this case, the team used the Broadway musical as inspiration for their latest collection. Their creation was a celebration that combined fashion, musical theatre and storytelling. The Blonds are known for using crystals to bedazzle just about any piece they showcase. In this collection, they added rose embroideries and cheetah prints onstage to each of the costumes inspired by those of Catherine Martin in the original Moulin Rouge film. The stunning costumes and the theatrical appeal of the venue made the performance so much more memorable.

“The Al Hirschfield Theatre has such a rich history, and to have the opportunity to present a show there was a dream come true. The collection was also inspired by the set — there are very specific icons [such as] the heart and other symbols of love, such as the rose” Phillipe said.

The fact that their show took place in this historic theatre, rather than a traditional catwalk, was groundbreaking. The location put a whole new twist on this NYFW featured collection and added an antique charm that left us all reminiscing on the 2001 film.

OK, but one cannot perform without including the Tony-Award winning star of Kinky Boots and Met Gala legend Billy Porter. Porter never fails to put on a spectacular performance in any setting he is in. David Blond said Porter has fun with his career and ultimately puts on “an all-encompassing religious experience.” Although Porter was busy directing a play in Boston during NYFW, he still managed to catch a train just in time to arrive in New York for rehearsal and the show — talk about dedication.

“One of my goals is always to use fashion as a platform for activism and through my art; I’m just always trying to figure out how to do it, but The Blonds make it easy,” Porter said.

He stole the show wearing a crystal-studded catsuit, a floor-length coat and we can’t forget his over-the-top headpiece that left us all wanting more.

One of the most memorable aspects of the show was when Paris Hilton flew out on stage next to the Eiffel Tower. All eyes were on her as she wore her glittery headpiece and beaded bodysuit. She sparkled up against the tower and was “the pinnacle of where Broadway and fashion meet” according to Phillipe Blond. She was joined onstage by other IMG models such as Maria Borges and Halima Aden, but she was clearly the center of attention. Her surprise appearance combined the Blonds’ glitz, glamour and drama into a breathtaking experience for all members of the audience.

The show was a success in both the New York Fashion Week Spring 2020 collection and in the Broadway musical theatre industry. The Blonds were able to achieve the exact vision they planned for the show — and more — through costumes, music and of course, storytelling.

Phillipe said, “It was a dream. After seeing Moulin Rouge! The Musical I knew that I just had to be my entrance. Everyone was on board from the very beginning and helped to turn that dream into reality. It took training and several rehearsals, and I also was fitted with a custom belt — crystallized, of course.”