Ballet academy

CSU students design and sew costumes for Colorado Ballet Academy’s ‘Giselle’

change of pace

Elise Hadjis, a sophomore from Denver who created the design for the winning girls, said the costume illustration and production was definitely a new challenge.

Claire Wang

“Usually the things we create are for our own use; I design a lot of outerwear for myself,” said Hadjis, who majors in biochemical engineering and pursues a career creating high-performance outerwear from sustainable sources. “Doing something for an actual production is so different. It’s such a great experience that I would never have had anywhere else.”

Julie Roth, a fourth-year student from Fort Collins, agreed.

“Everything I’ve done so far is in my closet, so it’s nice to do something that’s going somewhere,” she said. “It’s a new experience and a lot of fun.”

Kyle Paus, a fourth-year student from Rockford, Illinois, said producing youth clothes is a little easier than adult clothes because they’re smaller, and he said that was a nice change from the womenswear that was the focus of her draping course. “It’s kind of cool to do stuff that’s going to be worn by dancers,” he said. “And it’s pretty cool that CSU students designed them.”

Sewing studentCSU/Colorado Ballet Partnership

The effort was part of a partnership between CSU and Colorado Ballet that began about a year ago, according to Tiana Nelson, CSU’s director of public relations and outreach. The two organizations have identified mutually beneficial collaborative projects, she said.

“This is an example of CSU creating partnerships to give our students opportunities they might not otherwise have,” Nelson said. “We realized this was a good opportunity for our students to gain real-life experience, and it would benefit the Ballet.”

Adam Sexton, Colorado Ballet’s General Manager of Advancement, added that they are thrilled with the partnership between Colorado Ballet and CSU. “We believe both institutions have benefited greatly from their collaboration and look forward to continuing to develop this partnership in the future,” he said.

The Department of Design and Merchandising is part of CSU’s College of Health Sciences and Humanities.