Costumer Barbara Karinska was one of countless emigrees flung westward from czarist Russia by the Bolsheviks in the 1920s. Costumes by Karinska chronicles the life and work of this remarkably talented woman, a consummate perfectionist who brought unprecedented quality, innovation, and beauty to costumes designed and executed for film, theater, opera, and dance. Working behind the scenes as one of Balanchine's closest and most important collaborators, Karinska made an enormous contribution to many of the great ballet masterpieces of this century, dressing over seventy-five of the choreographer's productions. This was, however, by no means her only professional association in a career spanning forty-five years. She worked with many other renowned choreographers, producers, and directors, such as Frederick Ashton, Agnes de Mille, Bronislava Nijinska, Jerome Robbins, Louis Jouvet, Franco Zeffirelli, Mike Todd, Victor Fleming, and George Cukor. She took sketches by such artists as Andre Derain, Marc Chagall, Isamu Noguchi, Balthus, and Salvador Dali and transformed them into tangible, wearable apparel. The lively text by Toni Bentley, a former dancer with the New York City Ballet, is full of anecdotes from those who knew the designer, revealing a sophisticated, independent woman with great style and aristocratic flair. Also included in the book is a foreword by artist and dance aficionado Edward Gorey; an essay by Lincoln Kirstein, co-founder of the New York City Ballet, about Balanchine's Firebird (for which Karinska designed costumes based on sketches by Chagall); correspondence between Karinska and French actor/director Louis Jouvet; and a complete chronology of Karinska's career.