Zenaida Yanowsky in Will Tuckett’s Elizabeth (photo by Ilaria Martello)

There are tutus. And then there's everything else. How do you design period costumes that are 1) recognizable to the audience and 2) possible to dance in? For The Royal Ballet's Elizabeth, starring Carlos Acosta and RB principal Zenaida Yanowsky, the ROH costume department had to create iconic, Tudor-era clothing that could respond to a contemporary ballet.

Fortunately, nothing seems out of reach for intrepid designers and costumers. Fay Fullerton, head of costume for the entire ROH shop, used materials like chiffon and organza to replicate the look of Queen Elizabeth's coronation robes—minus the heavy, stifling fabric that was probably used at the time. The costumers also used technology like 3D printing to replicate Tudor-era patterns and the texture of armor.

With the ROH's dedication to educating the next generation of costume makers, this kind of innovation will just keep growing.

For more news on all things ballet, don’t miss a single issue.

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