Birmingham's iconic department store puts the spotlight on 25 years of classic costumes

This year, Birmingham Royal Ballet celebrate 25 years in the city. During this time the company have presented more than 130 different ballets over 225 weeks of performances. A production such as Swan Lake requires around 500 costumes, 145 headdresses and 60 tutus alone, which is why it is no surprise that production staff keep just under 10,000 costumes at their storage space in Dudley.

For the first time ever, Birmingham Royal Ballet have teamed up with the city’s most illustrious department store - House of Fraser - to display a few highlights from the company’s extensive catalogue of costumes from their 25-year residency in the city.

This intimate exhibition is created to give members of the public a rare up-close experience of the beautiful and intricate designs seen on-stage, and what it takes to bring them to life from initial sketches to the finished product.

Over the years Birmingham Royal Ballet have worked with some of the biggest names in theatrical design, art, and fashion to create unforgettable costumes. Such names include Jasper Conran OBE, Olivier Award-winning John Macfarlane, Philip Prowse, Tony Award winning Katrina Lindsay and prop-costume maker Robert Allsopp who has worked on Doctor Who and Hollywood blockbusters such as X-Men, Gladiator, and Robin Hood.

Elaine Garlick, Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Head of Costume said:

“This is an extraordinary opportunity for us to display to the public the time, effort and craftsmanship that goes into each and every costume that we put on stage. The skilled teams that we have worked with over the years are World leaders in costume making, printing and dyeing, and it’s fantastic that a major department store like House of Fraser have been so enthusiastic in helping us to display these beautiful designs in a way that audiences very rarely see.”

'Birmingham Royal Ballet: 25 Years of Costume' runs at House of Fraser Birmingham for two weeks only from 28 September - 11 October and admission is free.

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