Lady of the Lake



Mojca Gal


(click images to to enlarge)

Other Credits

Photos theatre: Susanna Drescher

Outline the story …

Back in 2018, I had an opportunity to create an opéra-ballet on the saga of the King Arthur. Costumes and scenery contribute to the magic of the theater, and I wished to have the costumes made after period costume sketches from the Jean Berain atelier. We could not afford to pay for a professional, and so I decided to create them all by myself. I was however, pretty much of a beginner in sewing at the point! I enrolled in a sewing workshop, where I could bring my own projects and got necessary help with making and adjusting patterns (18th century theatrical costumes only exist as a pretty drawing), as well as sewing technique, and during a year before the production I have shortened many a night working on the costumes. Needless to say, I had to learn in a high speed! I have created both the role and the costume for The Lady of the Lake for myself, as I was also choreographing and dancing. It was my favorite role ever…in my interpretation, she is a magical creature – appearing as human, but not being one entirely. A spirit of nature. A sorceress, beyond the laws of good or evil.

Outline the construction…

I took a costume sketch for a Goddess of water (Berain atelier) as a base, and developed it after my own vision of the role. The bodice if based on Janet Arnold’s pattern and the skirt and sleeves are developed from scratch, both with supervision of the workshop instructor. I chose a light-weight satin, as I wanted the skirt to float in waves. However, I had to improvise in order to get the same fabric straight on the bodice, as it easily creates balloons. Partly, I had to use some very modern theatrical stiffening materials inside the bodice, which could have been solved otherwise if I have had anticipated the problem. On the skirt, the algae leaves and hem are cut and sewn from fabric (not easy to get nice corners with the work that small) On the bodice, I have glued the algae plants on. I could have painted them, which would be a more historical solution, but I haven’t thought of it back then. Dance costumes bring challenges to consider. Mostly, they need to be practical in putting on and off, so that a very quick costume change is possible. Also, the costume must be a good fit in movement, not only in certain still poses. It has to dance with the choreography, help to make the magic happen. I am still learning how to make the right adjustments in order to fulfill all those needs.




  1. Constance MacKenzie Constance MacKenzie on May 10, 2023 at 8:05 am

    The Historical Ballet/theatre costume influence comes over so beautifully well done. I also really love the Leaf detail on the bodice and especially on the skirt.

  2. Avatar Steffi Wee on May 10, 2023 at 12:21 pm

    This is so well done!! The leaves are such a nice touch, can’t imagine how long that took 😢

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