Barbara Karinska


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(orig. Varvara Zhmoudska; b Kharkhov, 3 Oct. 1886; d New York, 18 Oct. 1983)

Russian-US designer and costume maker. She left Russia in 1928 and worked as a seamstress in Paris, executing designs by Dalí, Matisse, Beaton, and others. In 1930 she went to the US, working in Hollywood and in New York, then in 1949 designing her first ballet costumes for Balanchine's Bourrée fantasque. She became New York City Ballet's pre-eminent costume designer and maker, and, while her taste was not universally admired, some regarded her cutting skills and designs as exemplary, with Walter Terry calling her ‘ballet's most cherished sorceress’.

Subjects: Dance.

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