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Costumer Barbara Karinska was one of countless emigrees flung westward from czarist Russia by the Bolsheviks in the 1920s. Costumes by Karinska chronicles the life and work of this remarkably talented woman, a consummate perfectionist who brought unprecedented quality, innovation, and beauty to costumes designed and executed for film, theater, opera, and dance. Working behind the scenes as one of Balanchine's closest and most important collaborators, Karinska made an enormous contribution to many of the great ballet masterpieces of this century, dressing over seventy-five of the choreographer's productions. This was, however, by no means her only professional association in a career spanning forty-five years. She worked with many other renowned choreographers, producers, and directors, such as Frederick Ashton, Agnes de Mille, Bronislava Nijinska, Jerome Robbins, Louis Jouvet, Franco Zeffirelli, Mike Todd, Victor Fleming, and George Cukor. She took sketches by such artists as Andre Derain, Marc Chagall, Isamu Noguchi, Balthus, and Salvador Dali and transformed them into tangible, wearable apparel. The lively text by Toni Bentley, a former dancer with the New York City Ballet, is full of anecdotes from those who knew the designer, revealing a sophisticated, independent woman with great style and aristocratic flair.

Karinska's costumes ran the gamut of theatrical genres, from burlesque and Broadway to Shakespeare and Moliere. As one of legendary choreographer George Balanchine's closest collaborators, Karinska dressed over 75 of his productions. This lavishly illustrated chronicle of Karinska's life and career is filled with anecdotes from those who knew her, plus an astounding collection of 242 personal photos and costume sketches, 78 in full color.

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