Interactive: Huntswoman Costume by Lila de Nobili for 'Sleeping Beauty', 1968
Lila de Nobili designed costumes for The Royal Ballet's production of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's ballet, 'The Sleeping Beauty', in 1968. It was an unenviable task following Oliver Messel's iconic 1946 production and the only solution was to create something entirely different from his dreamy English lyricism. She and the producer, Peter Wright, rejected all previous concepts for an the quasi- Tennysonian feel of a medieval romance seen through the eyes of 19th-century neo-Gothic. The women's hunting costumes in Act II had elegance and weight, reflecting the aristocratic origins of the characters in the heraldic symbols executed in traditional and 'new' materials - the felt appliques of the 1950s mixing with the adhesives and resins for the fleur de lys. The muted browns and blues suggested autumnal shades reflecting the fallow years of Princess Aurora's sleep.
Museum no. S.73 to C-1985