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CELESTE RATAZZI - FROM COSPLAY TO CLASSICAL SEAMSTRESS

Celeste Ratazzi - Cosplay ClassicHello. My name is Celeste Ratazzi, I’m 29 years old, and I have been working as a theatre costume technician for approximately 6 years. I was first introduced to this line of work by my grandmother, my father’s mother, who was a self-employed dressmaker that had the patience to teach me the fascinating process of transforming a piece of raw material into a fully idealized dress. Somehow, I always thought there was something magical behind this process, which is why I eventually enrolled and graduated from the 'Accademia Teatro alla Scala' in Milan.





Even though I currently live in London, I originally come from Italy, which is generally renowned for both a deeply rooted Carnival tradition and a sizable amount of luxurious handwork sewing techniques, known only by old tailors, seamstresses, and not many others. As a teenager, I was spellbound by Victoria Francés’ gothic illustrations and wished I could one day dress up like her flawless corseted heroines (along with my fascination for fantasy, graphic novels, and manga). As a matter of fact, I can say that the very first dress I made (all by myself) was a medieval peasant outfit for a 1200s reenactment event, and it did so well, afterwards, I dressed up as a Chii cosplay (from Clamp’s Chobits). Even if I don’t cosplay any longer, comic conventions have helped me develop my passion for design and learn various sewing techniques.


Giuseppe Verdi’s 'Falstaff'


My very first experience working for a theatrical production took place in Rome (at the prestigious 'Tirelli' costume house), where I spent two mind-blowing months making and stitching 19th century dresses for the 'Penny Dreadful' TV series and Luca Ronconi's production of Giuseppe Verdi’s 'Falstaff'.


RAI TV


In Italy, I was hired as a maker by two well-renowned theatre workshops ('Casa d’Arte Fiore' and 'Atelier Brancato'), where I made and embellished costumes for various opera and ballet recitals. I was also hired several times by the Italian TV broadcasting station, RAI, where I became a dresser and a costume maker for performers and artists alike. On those occasions, I had the chance to meet many well-known people, such as Cristina Scabbia (from 'Lacuna Coil') and Dita Von Teese (the famous burlesque artist).


Ingrid Kraftchenko


In London, I made clothing for Ingrid Kraftchenko’s 2019 collection; I created a sculptured corset dress designed by Gianluca Gasparini for a Royal Costume Exhibition held at Lancaster House; and I collaborated with 'Aliens with Extraordinary Abilities', who are a theatre company which I designed and made dresses for.


Gaetano Donizetti’s 'L’Ange de Nisida'


I spent last autumn in Italy, which is where I cut and made the patterns of costumes for the world premiere of Gaetano Donizetti’s 'L’Ange de Nisida', whose innovative direction (along with paper and fabric dresses designed by Margherita Baldoni) was praised by critics worldwide. This September I will be returning to Italy and submitting seven of my costumes for a fantasy art exhibition that's going to be held inside an Italian Renaissance castle.


Celeste Ratazzi - At Work


Nowadays, I make period dresses, corsetry, and fantasy costumes, both for my own intellectual property and on a commission basis (for sale and for rent). But if you're curious to find out more, then please feel free to follow me on Instagram and Etsy.

CELESTE RATAZZI - FROM COSPLAY TO CLASSICAL SEAMSTRESS CELESTE RATAZZI - FROM COSPLAY TO CLASSICAL SEAMSTRESS Reviewed by David Andrews on March 11, 2020 Rating: 5

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