Ballet Haute Couture

New York Fashion Week may have come and gone, but Lincoln Center continues to be a go-to venue for major fashion happenings. On Tuesday night, the work of top designers again returned to the iconic performing arts venue, and not to be paraded down the runway. Instead, it was at the New York City Ballet’s Fall Gala 2014, for the unveiling of this years NYCB designer costume collaboration.


The unique choreographer-designer partnership was started by Sarah Jessica Parker (who else?), a member of the ballet’s board of directors and fashion icon to boot. Many an esteemed designer has been chosen to participate in years past, including Rodarte and Olivier Theyskens. This year, however, is perhaps the most impressive line-up yet, with Mary Katrantzou, Thom Brown, Carolina Herrera, and Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen all creating costumes. Each designer was given one ballet to work with, and was tasked with responsibility of interpreting the varied movements and music of each, designing costumes that would enhance the mood of each performance.

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From the picture released exclusively through, it is obvious the five designers did just that, but did not loose their artisan touch. Sarah Burton created embroidered jackets that were slightly reminiscent of Dior’s latest couture collection (above), while Katrantzou favorited barely-there lace appliquéd leotards done in lavender, burgundy, and yellow (also above). Browne, on the other, hand toyed with his signature suiting, creating a delightfully school-girl-esque look. Herrera went the more traditional route, and churned out a series of airy chiffon numbers (both seen below).

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I personally feel that the success of events like the NYCB designer costume collaboration are essential in maintaining the relevance of the fashion industry. Fashion is all too often observed as something in and of itself, something that is entirely unattainable to all but a select few. That being said, fashion merging with other fields, like dance or art, help to prove that it is none of those things. Fashion is the ultimate chameleon, it can take the shape of wherever it happens to be, be that on stage at Lincoln Center or on the runway in Paris.

What are your thoughts on the NYBC designer costume collaboration? Who would you like to see make some costumes in the future? Be sure to comment below!


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