Above is a selection of costumes from the National Gallery of Australia’s 2010-2011 exhibition of the Ballets Russes - the art of costume.

From top down: Léon Bakst’s Costume for a Syrian woman (1909) featured in the Ballets Russes production of Cleopatra. 

Léon Bakst’s Costume for a slave or dancing girl (c. 1918 or 1936) also from the 1908 production of Cleopatra.

Aleksander Golvin and Léon Bakst, Costume for an attendant of the Immortal Köstchei  (1910) from the L’Oiseau de Feu or Firebird ballet. This costume belongs to the villain of the piece who is eventually defeated by Prince Ivan with the help of the firebird. I think I was read a book with a very similar story to this when I was a kid. 

Natalia Goncharova, Costume for a Squid (c. 1916) from the production Sadko. “The full opera version of this ballet is taken from an epic Russian folk poem set in Novgorod, Russia, where Sadko, an impoverished musician, leaves his wife in search of his fortune.” (NGA website)

Léon Bakst, Costume for a Nymph (c. 1912), from the production of L’Après-midi d’un Faune or The Afternoon of a Faun, which featured classical inspired poses, like Greek statues.

Léon Bakst, Costume for a Bluebird (c. 1921) from the production of The Sleeping Princess.

About the Collection:

The National Gallery of Australia has a renowned collection of costumes from the Ballets Russes (the Russian Ballet), which was founded by the flamboyant Russian arts producer Serge Diaghilev (1872–1929). By integrating design, music and dance, and encouraging the artistic experimentation and collaboration of painters, choreographers and composers, Diaghilev created the new art of modern ballet. From 1909 to 1929, his company Les Ballets Russes de Serge Diaghilev performed in Paris, throughout Europe (although never in Russia) and in North and South America. (NGA website)