The Fashion Designer Inspired by The Nutcracker Ballet

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Sweet Swift by Christian Siriano. Photo: © Dresses to Dream About; by Christian Siriano; Rizzoli New York; 2017.

Fashion designer Christian Siriano was inspired by ballet at an early age — specifically, by his sister’s performance as a dancer in The Nutcracker’s Sugar Plum Fairy scene. Growing up in Annapolis, Maryland, he watched her dance in the holiday production every year and fell in love with the costumes: a silky dress adorned with pastel flower petals. “A performance was like a fashion show,” he once told NPR of the ballet. “I just loved that world and I didn’t really know why I loved that world, but I knew I loved that fantasy idea.”

The Project Runway winner has since dressed public figures and celebrities such as Michelle Obama. Today he’s releasing a photography book that details the design process behind his gowns. Dresses to Dream About, published by Rizzoli, features original sketches and mood boards (including drawings of ballet costumes), behind-the-scenes stories from Siriano, and stunning shots of completed dresses. Click through to see a ruby Great Gatsby–era slip dress, light pink tulle, and more ethereal designs.

Dresses To Dream About by Christian Siriano

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Elegant Dresses Inspired by The Nutcracker Ballet