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5 Jan

I tried to be cute and create my own portmanteau from ballet and inspiration…but it kind of didn’t work. Nevermind, let’s gloss over the name of the blogpost! Ballet seems to be having a bit of a moment in popular culture right now, inspiring designers and musicians alike. I’m sure everyone has heard of The Black Swan, buzz about the movie is reaching fever pitch. Everything from the plot, Natalie Portman’s performance and the Rodarte-designed costumes are whipping everyone up into a frenzy. I love Rodarte because the Mulleavy sisters just seem so starkly different to the rest of the fashion world and just seemed to stumble upon the formula for a brand which has enchanted the fashion world. The story behind how they got involved in the film is typical Rodarte – Natalie Portman is a huge fan and introduced the sisters to the film’s director Darren Aronofsky which led to a commission for 40 costumes. Most of these are in the Swan Lake performance but they also created knitwear, legwarmers, leotards and wrap over cardigans too. 

Many others are also being inspired by ballet, I posted last month about Kinder Aggugini’s collaboration with the English National Ballet which was utterly gorgeous and Kanye West has fused ballet with hiphop in his stunning video for Runaway. I used to love ballet as a child, I got up to grade 5 doing pointe work before giving it up and I’ve regretted it for a while. But seeing the trailers, costumes and music videos has really reignited my passion. So much so that I shall be resuming classes in a couple of weeks time…! Here’s the trailer to The Black Swan as well as sneak peeks of the outfits and sketches. Kanye’s video is at the end. 

Kinder Aggugini, the English National Ballet & Marie Claire

10 Dec

Whilst flicking through the January issue of Marie Claire, my jaw dropped and I stared in awe at some of the most stunning images I’ve seen in a while. The magazine has collaborated with the English National Ballet and Kinder Aggugini to create breathtaking, modern interpretations of three famous female characters to celebrate the 60th birthday of the ballet company. I studied ballet for 10 years so I was in my element pouring over these images. 

Kinder has created a luxe Cinderella, who’s rags are gorgeous ethereal wisps of navy and cream chiffon over floral embellishment and a smattering of tiny crystals while Sleeping Beauty wears a modern, fashion tutu complete with white mohair and a skirt of broderie anglaise. My absolute favourite is a super saccharine sweet Sugarplum Fairy, Kinder has created a bubble hemmed tutu adorned with ribbons and bows in sugary pastel chiffon. 

Kinder commented “This project came up when I was tearing my hair out preparing for London Fashion Week. But it was a dream come true. To have creative carte blanche was so exciting. I wanted to create something fresh for dancer’s costumes in these traditional roles, getting away from the traditional”.