LAS VEGAS - Meet Marc Bouwer, the man behind Shania Twain's fashion look.
In other words, her costumes in Twain's new Sin City show Shania: Still The One launching at The Colosseum on Saturday at Caesars Palace for a two year run. In fact, you may already know the fashion designer who previously created such iconic music video outfits as the form-fitting head-to-toe leopard print number with hood the Canadian-born singer wore for That Don't Impress Me Much and the sexy top hat and tails for Man! I Feel Like A Woman!, the latter which led to her getting a Revlon commercial.
Their relationship dates back 15 years when they were introduced a stylist at the VH1 Divas show and Twain wore some of Bouwer's designs. Following that, she approached him to design an eastern-inspired clingy gold dress, with hood and train, for her clip for From This Moment On and the rest is history.
"That video created such a sensation and she looked so incredibly beautiful in that, that everyone was like, 'Marc's got to be your style guru,'" said the South African-born, New York-based Bouwer standing near his famous creations now under glass with each accompanying video on display at the entrance way to The Colosseum. "It was immediate and from that moment on everything that she did regarding video and film and appearances we pretty much did."
But it's quite another thing to create eight or so costumes for a long running Las Vegas show, especially given the anticipation factor. Twain has been on stage for almost a decade. She also lost her voice in a condition known as dysphonia following a devastating divorce from husband-producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange, with whom she has an 11-year-old son Eja. She has since remarried the ex-husband of the woman, Twain's former best friend, who Lange left her for.
The 90-minute, hits-laden Still The One show, tells a very personal story of her life and career according to what little is known so far. "I didn't want it to be a typical Las Vegas extravaganza because that's not who she is," said Bouwer, who worked with Halston earlier in his career before becoming known as a master draper and developing his "athletic glamour" aesthetic.
"But obviously this (4,300-seat) arena is huge and it's a Vegas audience and you have to amp it up and we have. We have taken her most iconic looks and taken them to another level. And then there's some new things too which are really fantastic and fun. But they're all very polished and they're not the glitz for the sake of glitz. Each scene tells a specific story. There's definitely a lot of sparkle but it's in a very modern way." Adding to the pressure for Bouwer - who has been working with his team on the costumes for the last six months in New York - was Hurricane Sandy.
"We didn't get water damage, (our office is on the top floor), but we have three skylights, so we were petrified the stuff would get damaged so we wrapped it all up in plastic and we locked it in a room. And fortunately there was no damage there at all but we were two weeks without power and I was supposed to have done a lot of work then. So it was nightmarish. And we sat in the windows in the sunlight and sewed by hand for almost two weeks. I've never been so stressed out about anything because I knew that they were relying on me for the costumes. There was nobody else on board, it was me for her costumes. But we perservered."