The Australian Ballet

Ballet's Best Headdresses

No one knows how to top off a killer costume like a ballet designer. No one’s going on an Easter Parade right now, but plenty of people are dressing up for fun in bedrooms and on balconies. Looking for some Easter bonnet inspiration? Here are some of our favourite crowning glories.

Dawn 600 x 800 Kate Longley0 G4 A75612016 226 min

Dawn, Coppélia

In Peggy van Praagh's Coppélia, the lovers' wedding is attended by some supernatural beauties, including Dawn, who brings the first light to shine on the happy couple. Designer Kristian Fredrikson gives her a frothy frou-frou of cream and gold plumes, like clouds gilded by a rising sun.

600 x 800 TAB CINDERELLA 3767 min

Dumpy and Skinny, Cinderella

The mean stepsisters in Alexei Ratmansky's Cinderella just won't give up on the Prince... but their feet just won't fit in that shoe! Perhaps if it had been the size of their Jérôme Kaplan-designed hats, based on Elsa Schiaparelli's Surrealist original, they would have been in with a chance.

600 x 800 Grand Pas Classique reh syd Photo Kate Longley 0 G4 A12562016 38 min

Grand pas Classique

Tiaras... they're as essential to ballerinas as pointe shoes and tutus. Victor Gsovsky's Grand pas classique shows the classical ballerina at the height of her regal powers - poised, haughty and glittering with icy radiance. She's topped off by a fabulous halo of jewelled flowers, its shape evoking Russian royalty. Tsarina, but make it fouetté-ready.

600x 800 KL 534 merry widow 0 G4 A2990 min

Can-can Girl

As you'd expect, Desmond Heeley's design for Ronald Hynd's The Merry Widow is full of the swooping picture hats that were popular in the Edwardian era. The seductive can-can girls that add to the simmering atmosphere at Chez Maxime's have a flirty, abbreviated version in a colour that could be called Adrenaline Orange.

600 x 800 Sleeping Beauty side stage Bemet Jackson kate Longley 348 min

Courtier, The Sleeping Beauty

Every detail of David McAllister's The Sleeping Beauty glows and gleams. For Princess Aurora's wedding, designer Gabriela Tylesova creates a lavish festival that references the heady days of Louis the Sun King. And it's not only the royal couple that get the resplendent outfits. Every courtier has their own unique costume and headpiece. We love this Louis-reminiscent blaze of gold.

600 x 800 KL 315 nutcracker 0 G4 A6760 min

Snow Fairy, The Nutcracker

Our traditional version of The Nutcracker, by Peter Wright, has designs by John F Macfarlane, who studied Edwardian style to perfect the early scenes in Clara's home. But when Clara's dream begins, he lets his imagination loose into the natural world, and costumes blossom with leaves, petals and snowflakes. With Winter coming, we think now's a good time to admire the Snow Fairy's perfect coronet of icicles.

600 x 800 KL 324 Alice 0 G4 A4937 min

The Duchess, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland©

If you've got to the stage of playing flamingo croquet with the vacuum cleaner, this one's for you. The Duchess in Christopher Wheeldon's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland©, dressed by Bob Crowley, is a majestically flouncy force of nature, and this hat is her triumph. She is fabulous, and she cares for no one. Be like the Duchess!

TAB The Merry Widow Sydney Photo Kate Longley 2018 209 1