Sunday, 25 January 2009

Les Ballerines

It was through the art of Edgar Degas that I fell in love with ballet. The grace and poise that a dancer must possess fascinates me, and I can only dream of acquiring such balletic talent.

The soft pastels used by Degas capture the ethereal prettiness of his subjects, and each piece is unashamedly beautiful. Over half of Degas' works feature ballerinas, and this speaks volumes about his obsession with their elegance and beauty of movement.

The pastel chiffon & tulle layers of the ballet skirts and tutus add to the delicacy of each scene, and fresh flowers cascade down dresses and are pinned in carefully curled hair.

Although white, ivory and cream are the prevailing colours, accents of lemon yellow and frou-frou pink are bold against the muted shades of the background.

The warm rose, coral and lilac in the piece on the left (by Joanna Bohoy) complement each other perfectly, and the crown of flowers adorning Degas' ballerina is uncannily like Alix's!

The paintings below are by artists Caroline Gold, Greg Collins and Andrew Atroshenko. The first piece is quite pensive and wistful, and although the same pose is struck in every one of the remaining 3 paintings, each artist has interpreted it in their own personal way so that the pieces are distinctly different.

Many designers utilise the shape and structure of the ballet skirt, generally shortening it by many inches so that it is a more wearable length, but retaining its innocence nonetheless.

At Charles Anastase, sheer voile skirts were worn over thigh-high stockings and bloomers. Geeky glasses and completely covered-up torsos provided a demure contrast to the peek-a-boo aspect of the lower half of the outfits.

Christophe Decarnin at Balmain showcased dresses with fitted embellished bodices and short skirts that poofed out at the waist. A constrast to the sharp tailored jackets and body-con fit of the majority of his Spring/Summer 2009 collection, these looks were airy, light and exuded freshness.

Luella Bartley revisits the tutu skirt in almost every collection. In the top row are looks from her Spring/Summer 2008 show, in which skirts were tiered and necklines "sweetheart"-shaped. In Autumn/Winter 2008 (the bottom row), the ballet skirt became darker & more Gothic, and was accessorized with crimped hair, pale skin and black lace:

At Luisa Beccaria, the aforementioned designer's daughters sprinkled flower petals across the catwalk before the show, a quirky but sweet twist that defined the label's identity.

Ruffles in all shapes and sizes were paired with softly curled hair and shades of blush and nude to create what was, in my opinion, the most inspiring collection of Spring/Summer 2009.

Rokit has an impressive stock of tutu-like skirts, but these petticoats are my favourites. They come in a range of hues and are edged with matching lace - the mint green and dusky pink are my picks!

The sale section at ASOS is full of ballerina-esque skirts in varying styles and lengths. I especially like the one with a pink mini printed on it, and the vibrant colour of the purple tutu.

This silk organza skirt by Bolongaro Trevor is handpainted, clearly chanelling Dolce & Gabbana S/S 08. The wide brush strokes of white stand out clearly against the tiers of black ruffles, and its high waist makes it even more covetable.

The rosette detailing along the hem of the first skirt is so unusual, and both the fit and the shape are just right.
Also, I adore the styling of the second skirt. The layers of scalloped black lace are complemented perfectly by the rosy blush hue of the top, the gold jewellery and gorgeous shoes.
Servane Gaxotte makes the most unique and beautiful pendants. Tiny silver girls and mice sport jewel-encrusted bodices and wear skirts crafted out of scraps of delicate lace. You can buy them here.

Using a palette of pinks, neutrals and gold, I created a couple of outfits inspired by "ballerina style" using clothes and accessories from Net-a-Porter:

I'm in love with this sequined skirt from Moschino Cheap & Chic! Paired with a simple cotton tank and cardi, it could even work for daytime.

This gold and agate necklace by Isharya = Amazing! The effect of light streaming through it would be so pretty, almost like a portable stained-glass window!

And finally, a cute little girl with an admirable collection of tutus. I'm afraid I just couldn't resist posting this picture after I stumbled across it, she is just too adorable!


erin meagan said...

i want all of those! haha :)
i especially like like D&G

Lilpixie said...

Your post was beautiful especially the Degas pictures! Fabulous

brooke said...

what a beautiful, girly post... the paintings are absolutely amaizng, i love soft artworks like that... I would buy all those rokit skirts if I could... they would be so fun to style!!

fantastic post..

thanks for dropping by my blog!!

<3 brooke

Milly-Lilly said...

L-O-V-E your blog!!!
We want to subscribe, how do we do it?
Check out our blog!
-Milly & Lilly :]

AnnA said...

i'm inlove with the ruffled skirts!!!

Tori said...

I love all the runways with the tutus! I have one of those designers as my banner on my blog. =D

in company with sparkles said...

Thank you once again =) It is indeed a colourful dress.
Degas is quite the standard for dance related a ballet dancer I excitedly went to see his collection when I lived in Detroit and it was there for a season. Some people have strung up colourful tutus on the ceiling in little girls' rooms...the effect is darling!

Ohlala Tres Belle said...

i totally loved this post! it was so feminine and pretty!
btw-thanks for checking out my blog!

Ohlala Tres Belle said...

i just loved this post! it was so feminine and pretty!
btw- thanks for checking out my blog.!

The Clothes Horse said...

Fantastic post, seriously so much to enjoy and inspire! I love ballerinas, I always regret quitting when I did. I got all the way to pointe shoes...

La Femme Chic said...

Oh my gosh. I love Degas. Love him. He was epic.

Mary said...

Uhm, this post is golden.
I'm short and young looking but this is fantastic. I could probably pull off a ballet inspired look in any of these that you posted... and I love your degas information! SO lovely! Good job!

Cory K. said...

thank you so much for this post!
so informative, and beautiful examples (;
i really learned a lot.
i'm infatuated by this ballerina look!

Gloria C. said...

Such a great post!
I love the sheer chiffon things coming in for Spring/Summer :)

Casey said...

I've always been so obsessed with tutus! Wearing anything that poofy never fails to make me happy. I'm actually learning how to make tutus right now, and my last post on my blog is of me wearing a giant fluffy skirt.
haha, so basically, fantastic post you've got here :]

giggleness said...

loved the Christophe Decarnin dresses. :)

Ophelia said...

What a lovely post! Very inspiring...I've been scouring Asos for the last twenty minutes.


v said...

love the tutus

Inside the Cabinet of Wonder said...

ah such a beautiful post!
i am in love with those Servane Gaxotte necklaces, and need one!! :)

Bianca said...

awwww what an adorable post
especially the last photo
i love tutus and ballet
i used to do it until i had to quit because gymnastics took over

fashion_designer said...

i love your blog - mies rubbish compared-

sarabin said...

im obsessed with ballet. one of the only things i wish i could change about my life was doing ballet instead of gymnastics, but oh well. i love degas' paintings and im excited for ballet to be more prominent in wardrobes.

bella said...

where is the pink skirt from the second to last photo from? i love it!

SarahwithanH said...

Amazing article. Looks like you really did some research! Haha the little girl is so cute! And the paintings you chose are fantastic :)

Goldswan said...

I love tutus ! That's sweet and soft ! I'd love to have one !