Inside NYC Ballet's Costume Design Workshop

Inside NYC Ballet's Costume Design Workshop

Kimber Watson
Feb 26, 2015
(Image credit: Driely S. for Racked)

A dancer in a Carolina Herrera costume awaiting her fitting.

I enjoy peeking into inspiring studios and workspaces as much as I do homes, and this tour is no exception. Speaking as an artist, there is nothing more draining on your creativity than working in a space that doesn't motivate and speak to you! But by the looks of the costumes turned out by the New York City Ballet's costume workshop, these digs are just the opposite.

(Image credit: Driely S. for Racked)

Where fabrics come to be custom-dyed.

Located on Manhattan's Upper West Side, the folks at Racked took us on a tour of the remarkable studio, which has expansive windows overlooking Lincoln Center. The workspace houses a team of 17 highly skilled craftsmen, necessary since a complicated ensemble can take 40 hours to create! Once the show is over, the often short-lived costumes are boxed up and sent to storage.

While many other ballet companies simply cannot afford the luxuries of a costume department, NYC ballet's costume department is among its most expensive. And while there are many arguments that think costumes may detract from the ballet, the costume director maintains that it pays off for the New York City Ballet.

(Image credit: Driely S. for Racked)

A Carolina Herrera dress in the New York City Ballet costume department.

Racked was given an exclusive tour of NYC Ballet's costume workshop while they were busily preparing for the fall gala. Coinciding with the fall gala is fashion week, where some of fashion's biggest designers collaborate with the NYC Ballet's costume team. The idea was from fashion icon, Sarah Jessica Parker, who also happens to sit on the ballet's board of directors. The Spring Gala is on May 7th.

For many more pictures from the tour and the entire article, visit Exclusive: Tour the New York Ballet's Designer Costume Workshop | Racked.

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