Traditional ballet attire just got a major upgrade. Last night, celebrities and designers turned out in full force to attend the New York City Ballet's annual Fall Gala, which took on a theme of "From the Runway to the Ballet" for the fourth year in a row. During the evening, five new ballets were debuted—each of which featured original costumes created by noted fashion designers.
The event's co-chair, Sarah Jessica Parker, worked with each performance's choreographer to choose a designer to work with. The final list was made up of Zuhair Murad, Hanako Maeda of ADEAM, Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida of Marques'Almeida, Humberto Leon of Opening Ceremony and Kenzo, and Peter Copping of Oscar de la Renta.
After being tapped for the role, each designer had to closely collaborate with the choreographer of his or her assigned dance. For Murad, it wasn't so simple to take his signature glamorous style from the runway to the stage. "It’s a bit of challenge for me to go from [designing] haute couture evening dresses to the ballet," he told InStyle. Explained Murad, "It’s working with the curve of the woman—with the shapes and with the movement. I used my imagination to create something really soft with a touch of lace that was refined enough to fit the New York Ballet."
Scroll down to see Murad's creations, as well as the rest of the evening's high-fashion costumes.
Zuhair Murad's costumes for "Polaris"
Murad kept an open mind when he began working with choreographer Myles Thatcher. "My own idea was just to create something that really matched with the dance and the music after I heard it," he said. "I spoke with the choreographer to understand exactly what the movement was, and then we started to create the idea." So how did they land on the bedazzled light blue looks? "We wanted something simple that was really comfortable to dance and move in," said Murad. "At the same time, [we wanted] the pastel color to give the effect that they were soft."
Hanako Maeda of ADEAM's costumes for "The Blue Distance"
For the second performance, which was choreographed by Robert Binet, ADEAM designer Hanako Maeda took things to a darker place. Her designs featured Swarovski crystal-embellished bodices that faded from navy to white, appearing almost mermaid-esque with their scale-like details. Maeda incorporated sheer-paneled cutouts on the sides of the dancers' torsos, and topped off the glittering looks with white tulle tutus.
Marques'Almeida's costumes for "Common Ground"
Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida created color-blocked outfits for the third performance of the night, which was choreographed by Troy Schumacher. The asymmetrical designs and brighter hues of the costumes was fitting for the dance, which featured a livelier pace than the first two performances.
Humberto Leon's costumes for "New Blood"
The Opening Ceremony and Kenzo designer just said "no" to tutus, instead opting to dress dancers in sleek bodysuits for the ballet choreographed by Justin Peck. Each two-tone look had a white leotard underneath, and no dancer sported the same color on both of his or her legs. The cutouts were also aplenty.
Peter Copping's costumes for "Thou Swell"
The Oscar de la Renta designer pulled out all the stops for the evening's final performance, which was the longest and most glamorous of the night. From flowing dresses to sequined evening gowns, Copping's designs looked like they were straight off the runway. The principal ballerinas walked out onto the elaborately stage wearing oversized stoles that were removed in a dramatic fashion, proving that ballerinas can accessorize with more than just their pointe shoes even during a performance. Perhaps most impressive part was the fact that the gown-clad dancers effortlessly did one pirouette after another on stage. Talk about graceful.