En Pointe: Ballet Style Inspires Designers at Paris Fashion Week

Balletomane PENNY McCORMICK assumes first position at the barre …

Dior SS19

“Dance speaks about the body and freedom and fashion speaks about the same things,” said Maria Grazia Chiuri at Paris Fashion Week, after a modern dance troupe, choreographed by Israeli Sharon Eyal, mingled with models at the Dior SS19 show, performing movements which were part classical ballet, part salsa and hip hop. Christian Dior, of course, loved ballet and designed Dame Margot Fonteyn’s wedding dress. He was not the only designer enamoured by dance. Coco Chanel, Jacques Fath, Yves Saint Laurent, Alberta Ferretti, Romeo Gigli, Rodarte and Stella McCartney have all designed costumes and used ballet tropes in their collections. This season, midi corps-de-ballet gowns, legwarmers, leotards and universally flattering blush tones are referenced from the high street to haute couture, (hopefully) giving the wearer the look of an off-duty ballerina dashing between rehearsals. 

Irish ballerina Zoë Ashe models Zoe Jordan’s Knitlab.

On screen and on stage there is plenty more inspiration. Two films celebrate Rudolf Nureyev this autumn. The White Crow directed by Ralph Fiennes (who plays Nureyev’s teacher Alexander Pushkin) is matched by Nureyev, a documentary by Jacqui and David Morris which takes a grand jeté through his life from wartime survival and partnership with Fonteyn to death from AIDS in 1993. Closer to home, Ballet Ireland’s 20th anniversary is celebrated in a national tour of The Nutcracker. Some say the fairytale, set to Tchaikovsky’s sumptuous score, is the only way to start the festive season … 

The Nutcracker, Ballet Ireland.
The Nutcracker, Ballet Ireland.

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