Watch the Met Museum Make Degas' "Little Dancer" Sculpture a New Tutu

April 11, 2018

We always love it when dance costumes get the high-fashion treatment. But here’s a next-level ballet makeover story: Curators at NYC’s Metropolitan Museum of Art recently decided that Edgar Degas’ iconic The Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer sculpture needed a bit of a style refresh—and tasked the museum’s Costume Institute conservator, Glenn Petersen, with making her a new tutu.

Interestingly, though the sculpture’s old skirt—which had been replaced at least twice before—looked pretty beat up, “from a conservation standpoint, [it] was in very good condition,” Petersen told New York Magazine‘s The Cut. “It had been meticulously constructed to look very dirty and tattered.” But that wasn’t what Degas necessarily intended, which gave Petersen “a sense of freedom” to reimagine what the Little Dancer’s original tutu may have looked like. After lots of research, he crafted a longer, larger, more historically accurate skirt.

Check out this fascinating behind-the-scenes video following Petersen’s creative process: