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Who Cares?
Who Cares?

Who Cares?

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"...dressed in costumes by François-Noël Cherpin that cleverly suggest the 1920s while allowing full neoclassical ballet movement," - Who Cares?

Susan Pond, Dance Europe, October, 2019

"Mata Hari is a timeless production and very strong in atmosphere. Everything from the costumes to the set designs to the music is harmonious and the modern and the traditional come together in a tasteful way. The stage sets are minimalistic, often just an empty spacious ballroom converted to different locations by adding a few classic pieces of Indonesian or Parisian furniture. The same goes for 
the costume designs: Mata Hari’s dresses are made of classic white lace and red silk amongst others, but have a modern day cut…”

“Mata Hari is an enterprise of epic proportions: a commisioned score from Tarik O’Regan (his first for a ballet), hundreds of stylish costumes by François-Noël Cherpin and a set designed by Clement and Sanôu that morphs from provincial Holland via Indonesia to the Paris of the belle époque and, finally, to war-torn battlefields. The scope is breathtaking…”

The Dancing Times, 2016

"The costumes designed by François-Noël Cherpin – from the strict black outfits of Magaretha Zelle’s aunts and uncles…, the light clothing in 
the warm climate of the Dutch East Indies to the frivolous, intensely colorful costumes of Parisian night life – also accentuate the mood of 
each scene…”

Theaterkrant, 2016

“…This production (Paquita) is alive, with movement bringing freshness to every detail, qualities complemented in François-Noël Cherpin’s filigree set designs reminiscent of Moorish Spain.”

Dance Europe 2012

“On the plus side were attractive designs from François-Noël Cherpin, whose colorful tutus stood out against the white Alhambra-inspired 

Dancing Times, October 2012

“…They are indeed magnificent costumes: the intensely colorful bodices  on white tutus transforming the ballerinas into butterflies…

Het Parool, 2012

“In new designs from François-Noël Cherpin – with a look at the  Alhambra and colorful, opulent tutus…” 

De Volkskrant, 2012

"Paquita is exquisitely designed.” 

Trouw- October, 2012

“…Who Cares? gets flattering costumes from François-Noël Cherpin…”

NRC, 2004

“…The black and white chic, highlighted by Coppelia’s trademark cerise pink, is celebrated in François-Noël Cherpin’s costumes. There is an 
explosion of 60s excess and style icons in the huge beehives of brassy blonde hair and the assistants in A-line tents and thigh high leggings, with a touch of hippy rebellion sneaking in with ethnic scarves and bell-bottoms to counter the haute couture…”


François-Noël Cherpin

François-Noël Cherpin is a costume designer based in Amsterdam whose imaginative costumes have received critical acclaim both in the Netherlands and internationally. His distinctive style is rooted in the aesthetic of ballet, reflecting a great sense of refinement and sophistication. Freedom of movement, figure enhancement and a bold use of colour are key elements in François-Noël’s creations. His visual vocabulary ranges from historical to contemporary adapting to the director or choreographer’s vision and to the nature of each production. 


Before working as a designer, François-Noël started his career as a professional dancer. Born in Roanne, France, he took his first ballet lessons at the age of seven. When he was 13, he left home to study at the Conservatoire National in Paris and four years later moved to Belgium to complete his training at Mudra International - the school of Maurice Béjart. Subsequently he joined the Dutch National Ballet (Het Nationale Ballet). There, he performed and created roles in the entire classical, neo-classical and contemporary repertoires and worked with internationally renowned choreographers Maurice Béjart, Rudi van Dantzig, William Forsythe and Hans van Manen amongst others.


On retiring from the stage, François-Noël studied fashion design at ArtEZ, the Arnhem Institute for the Arts (The Netherlands) and in Paris, at  the École de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne. In 2002, he was awarded the first prize at the Paris Concours du Salon International de la Lingerie.


Whilst still a dancer, François-Noël created his first costumes for choreographer and Dutch National Ballet Artistic Director Ted Brandsen. To this day they maintain a long-standing collaboration with François-Noël designing costumes for amongst others Carmen, Pulcinella, Firebird, Coppelia and most recently the grand scale production of Mata Hari


For Dutch National Ballet he has also created the costumes for new production of Balanchine’s Who Cares? as well as Rachel Beaujean’s new version of Paquita for which he also created the set design. Beyond François-Noël’s extensive work for Dutch National Ballet, he has also designed costumes for numerous companies including West Australian Ballet, National Ballet of Portugal, Royal Ballet of Flanders, Semperoper Dresden and Théâtre National de Bordeaux. 


In addition to his work for theatre, François-Noël has also presented several couture collections. From his atelier in Amsterdam he has worked as a couturier for an elite clientèle, specializing in bridal and evening wear. A versatile designer who enjoys creative collaborations he has worked on several projects across fashion and the performing arts such as Nochera, a high-end dance wear label inspired by the world of Tango and produced in Paris.


In 2019, François-Noël designed the costumes for Dutch National Ballet’s production of Balanchine’s Ballet Imperial which premiered in Amsterdam in September and for the live action/animation film of Coppelia which was released in cinemas around the globe in 2021. In 2021 he has also designed the costumes for Dutch National Ballet Young Creative, Milena Sidorova’s Rose, which was premiered online in May.

Projects in 2022 include the costume design for Milena Sidorova’s newest creation by Dutch National Ballet in September.  François-Noël will also be creating the costumes for Astana Opera’s new production of Cinderella with choreography by Raimondo Rebeck and which will premiere in Nur Sultan in October. In 2023, he will design a new work to Beethoven choreographed by Ted Brandsen for Polish National Ballet.


Assis Carreiro

 Artist Management 
International Arts & Cultural Projects

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