From Runway to Stage: Erdem Moralioglu’s Costume Designs for the Royal Ballet

The Royal Ballet has always been known for its stunning productions, and its latest collaboration with fashion designer Erdem Moralioglu is no exception. Erdem, known for his elegant and feminine designs, has created a series of costumes for the ballet’s upcoming production of “The Nutcracker” that are nothing short of breathtaking. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the costumes and what inspired Erdem to create them.


Erdem has always been fascinated by the world of ballet and the way it combines beauty, grace, and athleticism. When he was approached by the Royal Ballet to create costumes for “The Nutcracker,” he knew he had to say yes. “I’ve always been in awe of the transcendent beauty of ballet, and the idea of creating costumes that would enhance the movement and elegance of the dancers was a dream come true,” he said in an interview.

To get inspired, Erdem spent hours watching rehearsals and studying the choreography of the ballet. He also looked to the ballet’s rich history, including the iconic costumes designed by Władysław Ślewiński for the 1930sproduction. “I wanted to create costumes that would not only be beautiful on their own, but also complete the narrative of the ballet and enhance the movement of the dancers,” he explained.

Design Process:

Erdem’s design process began with sketching out ideas and working closely with the ballet’s costume department to ensure that the costumes would be both beautiful and functional. He wanted each costume to have a sense of drama and movement, while also highlighting the dancer’s skill and artistry.

One of the most challenging aspects of the design process was creating costumes that would work for both the men and women in the ballet. Erdem wanted to create costumes that would be gender-neutral, while still maintaining the classical elegance of the ballet. “I didn’t want the costumes to be too masculine or too feminine, but rather something that would complement and enhance the movement of both the male and female dancers,” he explained.

The Fabric:

The fabric used for the costumes was a key aspect of the design process. Erdem wanted to use materials that would catch the light and add an extra layer of drama to the performances. He chose a range of fabrics, including silks, satins, and velvets, that would flow beautifully and have a sense of luxury and opulence. “I wanted the fabrics to be sensual and luxurious, while still being lightweight and easy to move in,” he said.

The Colors:

The colors used in the costumes were also carefully chosen to enhance the narrative of the ballet. Erdem chose a palette of muted pastels and rich jewel tones that would complement the ballet’s set design and add a touch of magic and wonder to the performances. “I wanted the colors to be soft and muted, but still have a sense of depth and richness that would draw the audience in,” he explained.

The Costumes:

The costumes themselves are true works of art. Each one is carefully crafted to enhance the movement and elegance of the dancer, while also telling the story of the ballet. From the intricate embroidery on the Sugar Plum Fairy’s tutu, to the delicate beading on the male dancer’s vests, every detail has been carefully thought out and executed.

One of the standout costumes is the Sugar Plum Fairy’s tutu, which is adorned with delicate embroidery and sparkling beads. The tutu is made of layers of silk organza, which gives it a light and airy feel. The embroidery is intricate and delicate, with each bead and sequin carefully placed to create a sense of movement and flow.

Another standout costume is the Nutcracker Prince’s jacket, which is made of rich velvet and adorned with intricate beading. The Nutcracker Prince’s jacket is a striking piece, with its deep blue velvet and intricate beading that catches the light as the dancer moves. The beading is a subtle nod to the ballet’s festive theme, without being too overt. “I wanted the costumes to feel like they were a part of the story, rather than just a decoration,” Erdem explained.

The female corps de ballet costumes are equally impressive, with their flowing tulle skirts and delicate lace bodices. The soft pastel colors are a perfect backdrop for the dancers’ movements, and the lace adds a touch of romance and femininity. “I wanted the female costumes to feel soft and ethereal, like they were floating on air,” Erdem said.

The Male Dancers

The male dancers’ costumes are a departure from the traditional tutus and tights, and instead feature sleek, modern jumpsuits. The jumpsuits are made of stretchy lycra and are designed to hug the dancer’s body, emphasizing their muscles and movements. The costumes are a bold choice, but one that pays off – they add a touch of modernity to the production, while still maintaining the classic elegance of the ballet.

The Jumpsuits

The jumpsuits are a key component of the male dancers’ costumes, and their design required careful consideration. Erdem wanted the jumpsuits to be functional, comfortable, and visually stunning. “I wanted the jumpsuits to enhance the movement of the dancers, rather than restrict it,” he said.

To achieve this, Erdem worked closely with the ballet’s costume department to create a jumpsuit that would stretch and move with the dancer. The jumpsuits are made of a high-tech lycra that is both comfortable and durable, and the design features a high neckline and long sleeves to provide maximum coverage and support.

The jumpsuits are also adorned with intricate beading and embroidery, which adds a touch of luxury and sophistication to the costume. “I wanted the jumpsuits to feel like they were made for a modern-day prince, rather than a traditional ballet dancer,” Erdem said.

The Accessories

The accessories used in the costumes are a key component of the overall design. From the delicate crowns and tiaras worn by the female dancers, to the sleek leather belts worn by the male dancers, every accessory has been carefully chosen to enhance the costume and the story it tells.

The crowns and tiaras are made of delicate filigree and sparkling gems, and are designed to add a touch of regality to the female dancers’ costumes. The leather belts worn by the male dancers are a nod to the traditional ballet belt, but with a modern twist – they are sleek and unobtrusive, and add a touch of sophistication to the jumpsuit.

The shoes worn by the dancers are also an important aspect of the costume design. The ballet shoes are made of soft leather and are designed to be both comfortable and supportive, allowing the dancers to move freely and gracefully across the stage.

The Makeup and Hair

The makeup and hair styles worn by the dancers are also an important part of the overall costume design. The makeup is designed to enhance the dancer’s features, while still maintaining a natural look. The hair styles are elegant and refined, with the female dancers wearing their hair in sleek buns and the male dancers wearing their hair slicked back.

The makeup and hair styles are a key aspect of the costume design, as they help to create a cohesive look and enhance the overall visual impact of the production. “I wanted the makeup and hair to feel like a natural extension of the costume, rather than a separate entity,” Erdem said.

The Collaboration

Erdem’s collaboration with the Royal Ballet has been a huge success, with his costumes receiving widespread critical acclaim. The collaboration has also been a learning experience for Erdem, who has previously only designed costumes for his own runway shows. “Working with the Royal Ballet has been a dream come true,” Erdem said. “I’ve always been fascinated by the art form and the way it combines beauty, grace, and athleticism. It’s been an incredible experience to see my designs come to life on stage.”

The collaboration has also allowed Erdem to explore new creative avenues. “Designing costumes for the ballet has given me the opportunity to think outside the box and push the boundaries of fashion,” he said. “It’s a very different process than designing ready-to-wear clothes, and it’s allowed me to tap into my creativity in a new way.”

Erdem’s designs for the Royal Ballet have been well-received by audiences and critics alike. His costumes for the production of “The Nutcracker” were praised for their elegance and sophistication, and his designs for the company’s recent production of “Swan Lake” were hailed as a “visual feast.”

Looking ahead, Erdem is excited to continue his collaboration with the Royal Ballet. “I’m thrilled to be working with such an iconic and prestigious institution,” he said. “I can’t wait to see what the future holds for us.”

With his unique blend of artistry and elegance, Erdem Moralioglu is sure to continue making waves in the fashion world, both on and off the stage.