Valentino to create New York City Ballet's fall gala costumes

In case ballet isn't beautiful enough, legendary designer Valentino is creating what will undoubtedly be stunning costumes for New York City Ballet's fall gala.

That performance, on September 20 at Lincoln Center's David H. Koch Theater, will also be a Valentino celebration, with all events a nod to the great master.

The costumes will be worn for three works by Peter Martins, City Ballet's ballet master. One set is for selections from Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin. The other two are for rarely performed pieces d'occasion created in 1988: Sophisticated Lady, set to music by Duke Ellington, and Not My Girl, a pas de deux inspired - and set to music - by Fred Astaire.

Valentino costumes will also been worn in a new pas de deux by choreographer Christopher Wheeldon.

Finally, as a nod to "Valentino red," City Ballet will perform the Rubies section from George Balanchine's gorgeous Jewels, set to music by Stravinsky.

That will feature the traditional costumes by Karinska, Balanchine's designer. But she was no shlock in the fashion department either. A courturier in Russia, she creatied tutus with the same luxury, sophistication and detail she used in fashion - French silks and satins, rich colors, jewels, cuts carefully designed with the movement in mind.

Gala tickets, which include pre- and post-performance events, are expensive (call 212-870-5585). But if you just want to gaze at the lovely dance and dresses, tickets for the performance alone are $29-$89 at or 212-496-0600.