Dance can be considered one of the more bohemian and free flowing, open to people of all nationalities, genders, sexualities and identities.
An alliance born from a fascination of high society and the human form, the fashionability of dance dates back to the Renaissance period where social dancing was a reflection of value and standing within society. Contemporary society now views high fashion and dance as two separate, but equally relevant, mediums of art, distinguishably having large amounts of reference and influence over each other. Contemporary fashion houses are more regularly being asked to design costume for dancers, and designers are collecting influence from the mediums of dance; including the inspiring Valentino Autumn/Winter 2016 collection that projected the beautiful romanticism of ballet. With both art forms born from the human urge to communicate creativity, wealth, class and culture, diversity within fashion and movement has become key as the two forms of art move closer together.
Holding a bursting back catalogue full of previous collaborations, Valentino’s designs and fashion house embody the gentle beauty of balletic movement through the medium of fashion design. After designing for the New York City Ballet’s Autumn Gala in 2012, Valentino has been heavily influenced by dancewear and the dreamily feminine aesthetic of ballet. Creating bespoke and couture garments incorporating the gentle fabrics and intricate embellishment often found on ballet garments with the passionate colours of the classic Valentino palette, he created a breathtaking collection of garments to be worn by the dancers at the Gala. Following this, the fashion house has taken regular influence from the softness and dreamy aesthetics of ballet, basing many collections around the feminine silhouette of the tutu and using gentle tulle to produce stunning pieces.
Many dancers within contemporary society have also followed the flow of fashion, collaborating with selected brands and magazines to solidify their standing on social media and within the world of couture fashion. The prestigious Misty Copeland has a backlog of collaborations including shoots for Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue along with an ongoing contract with sportswear giant Under Armour. Copeland has broken many diversity barriers within the ballet world, becoming the first African-American female to be nominated Principal Dancer at the American Ballet Theatre and is a spokesperson for the #strongnotskinny movement. A late bloomer in the eyes of the ballet world, Copeland has smashed through any doors that have been shut in her face to become one of the most successful and sought-after ballerinas today. Inspiring a generation of dancers to fight for their dreams, Copeland has become a leader of diversity within contemporary ballet society, igniting the challenge for borders to be lifted and barriers to be crossed.
Dance can be considered one of the more bohemian and freeflowing, open to people of all nationalities, genders, sexualities and identities. With a chiselled, strong and fierce silhouette in the contemporary age, dancers are becoming more popular as a choice for editorial fashion spreads. Moving away from the heroin-chic wasted aesthetic of the 1990s, modern beauty standards are more positive in encouraging a stronger look. With lean muscles, a keen body awareness and strong capability of movement, a dancer is now the prime choice for editorials that explore movement and the physicality of the human body. With a more positive and diverse approach to beauty standards, the worlds of fashion and dance are ever combining via the mix of beautiful garments, fashion stories and imagery, knotted together in a bundle of glimmering sequins.
Photographer: Niklas Haze
Models: Fleur & Genevieve Randall
Production: Lilian Buechner
Stylist: Kirubel Belay
Hair and Makeup: Reve Taku Zen Ryu
Tutus, Plain Leotards, Ballet Shoes: Capezio London | Patterened & Mesh Leotards: The Bees Sneeze