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The Best & Worst of Ballet-Inspired Fashion: Part 1

Ballet has always made its mark on the fashion world. Ballerina flats, flowing gowns, soft wrap-up sweaters, lace up pumps, and tutu-like skirts are seen on runways, magazines, the red carpet, and even pop music videos. It can be done well…or not. Choreographers and fashion designers have been teaming up for years, one such famous collaboration being George Balanchine and Coco Chanel for Apollo in 1928. More recent collaborations include William Forsythe/Gianni Versace and Christopher Wheeldon/Narcisco Rodriguez, Isabel and Ruben Toledo, and Calvin Klein’s Francisco Costa. Here are a few examples of costumes designed by fashion designers, and some of my hand-picked favorites in ballet fashion. Tomorrow you’ll get Part 2: The worst of ballet fashion!

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Post by Drew Jacoby

Drew Jacoby, contemporary ballerina, has worked with Alonzo King, Complexions, Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company, Sylvie Guillem, Desmond Richardson, Lightfoot Leon, Mia Michaels, Dutch National Ballet, Lar Lubovitch, and Christopher Wheeldon. She is the founder of DancePulp. She joined Nederlands Dans Theater 1 in August 2012.

Comments (4)

  1. The Ballet Bag September 2, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    Great post Drew! One of our favorite fashion/dance collaborations of recent times was Alexander McQueen with choreographer Russell Maliphant & Sylvie
    Guillem in the 2009 piece Eonnagata – we hope that one is not going into tomorrow’s list ; )

  2. Daniil Simkin September 2, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    Great Article :)!

    Another addition: Issey Miyake created ballet costumes for the Frankfurt Ballet under the direction of William Forsythe in ’91 !

    Hope all is well and cheers from Frankfurt itself,

    -Daniil

  3. Drew Jacoby September 9, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    Thanks everyone! Glad you liked the post. @Daniil and @The Ballet Bag, I need to research those collaborations. They sound great! It’s fun to see what such creative minds come up with! Thanks for reading.

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