Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Fresh Tutu Brigade

If there is a heaven for people in the costume industry, it surely includes an infinite walk-in closet: one-stop shopping no matter the fabric, historical period or one-of-a-kind button needed.

For Marc Happel, director of New York City Ballet’s costume shop, reality is somewhat more challenging. He and his staff are charged with rebuilding costumes made years or decades ago, sometimes with materials that have long since gone out of style or production. Meanwhile, shrinking budgets, rising costs and an imperiled garment district make it increasingly difficult to keep City Ballet’s vast repertory looking fresh.

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