Ballet and Fashion: Perfect Partners

Famous photography by Andy Warhol

While it’s said that ballet originated as a form of dance in the 15th century, it has long been seen as more than just performance art – ballet’s stylistic elements have gone on to contribute to societal trends in both fashion and beauty.  After Audrey Hepburn slipped on her shoes for the classic film Funny Face, we became hooked on the heelless ballet flat.  Iconic polish empire, Essie, has made their perfect shade of “ballet slipper” pink near legendary, and the “ballerina bun” tutorial may be more common in the blogosphere than it is in the studio. Whether you’re grabbing inspiration from tulle, wrap sweaters or the genre’s soft color palette, ballet continues to influence our self-expression. This collection illustrates how far ballet has come in popular culture and the impact it has on our personal style.



Ask Question
Which aspect of ballet has influenced your style the most? The flirty, tulle skirts, classic colors, elegant flats or conservative updos?
Two dancers of the Ballets Russes in costumes by Coco Chanel, from 1928.

"Chanel designed costumes for four productions, notably Le Train Bleu in 1924 and Apollon Musagete (Apollo, Leader of the Muses) in 1929. According to Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel's current creative director, she, "…helped Diaghilev to stage (his ballet) again after World War I in 1919". Designing costumes for dancers was perfect for a designer whose clothes liberated women and allowed them to move more freely. She once said that, “I have always tried to give women a feeling of being at ease with their time.” Read more at Suite101: Fashion History – The Influence of the Ballets Russes on Fashion

Some of Chanel's costumes for Le Train Bleu, 1924


The allure of the ballet bun

"Although the bun hairstyle is synonymous with ballet, it owes its origins to the women of Ancient Greece, who created a hairstyle now known as the Greek knot. A simple, low-lying bun knotted at the back of the neck, it was typically adorned with jewellery as a status symbol for wealthy Greek women."

"The bun’s crowning moment came in the Victorian period. The 19th century saw many variations of the bun. “Apollo’s knot” was popular during the 1820s and 1830s, and consisted of a middle-parted, high-sitting bun, complimented with corkscrew curls around the face and ears.


The Lure of Perfection

THE LURE OF PERFECTION: FASHION AND BALLET, 1780-1830 offers a unique look at how ballet influenced contemporary fashion and women's body image, and how street fashions in turn were reflected by the costumes worn by ballet dancers. Through years of research, the author has traced the interplay between fashion, social trends, and the development of dance. During the 18th century, women literally took up twice as much space as men; their billowing dresses ballooned out from their figures, sometimes a full 55 inches, to display costly jewelry and fine brocade work; similar costumes appeared on stage. But clothing also limited her movement; it literally disabled them, making the dances themselves little more than tableaux. Movement was further inhibited by high shoes and tight corsets; thus the image of the rigidly straight, long-lined dancer is as much a product of clothing as aesthetics. However, with changing times came new trends. An increased interest in natural movement and the common folk led to less-restrictive clothing. As viewers demanded more virtuosic dancers, women literally danced their way to freedom.

THE LURE OF PERFECTION will interest students of dance and cultural history, and women's studies. It is a fascinating, well-researched look at the interplay of fashion, dance, and culture-still very much a part of our world today.

Valentino designs costumes for 3 ballets

"Valentino Garavani…emerged from retirement to design and create costumes for three upcoming ballets." "Sarah Jessica Parker, a former dancer herself, helped plan the event and knew Valentino's airy design aesthetic was a no-brainer match for the demanding requirements of performance-ready costumes."

The Ballerina Project

The Ballerina Project grew from the idea of New York City as a magnet for creativity; each photograph is a collaborative work of dance, fashion design and photography played out against the city's landscape. Dane Shitagi is the both the creator and photographer of the Ballerina Project.

2010 was a big year for fashion & ballet

Chanel sent dance-inspired looks down their spring runway, and Black Swan rocked the silver screen.

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This Weeknd: 12/14
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Make: DIY Gift Tags
Though I might be in the minority, I find the annual task of purchasing holiday cards to be one of the most enjoyable parts of the season. I could spend hours in the local Papyrus piling boxes upon boxes of cards onto the checkout counter. Needless to say, I’m left with an awkward amount of leftovers each season. The solution? Trim your favorite designs into gift tags! If you’re like me you’re constantly running low, and finding (cute) gift tags don’t come cheap – so start snippin’!

Snack: Peppermint Bark Popcorn 
In need of a healthy(ier) snack to dole out during the holidays? Look no further. Cookie and Kate has whipped up a batch of treats that are a little lighter than your average christmas cookie. Salty, sweet and everything in between, this snack will quench your craving for chocolate without giving you a stomachache.

I love a good party dress as much as anyone, but why not try spicing up a pair of pants for your weekend shindig? These satin haram-esque trousers will have heads turning, especially when paired with art deco accessories and a sultry smokey eye. Lest we not forget to channel Miu Miu with a sparkly shoe – because nothing gets you going like a little glitter. Click the collage above for info on picking up these gorgeous pieces.

Watch: The Family Stone
There’s a tradition in my house when it comes to festive films. While we all have an appreciation for classics like It’s a Wonderful Life, when the snow starts falling I prefer a more contemporary take on the holidays. If you have yet to see The Family Stone, all I can say is: you’re in for a treat. Starring Diane Keaton, Luke Wilson, Rachel McAdams and SJP herself, Family Stone will make you laugh, cry, and most of all – it will make you thankful for what you’ve got.

Weekend: 12/7
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Make: Grilled Asparagus Tartines with Fresh Ricotta, Pesto & Scallions
Whether or not your an avid host, once the snow starts falling and the lights start glittering it’s tempting to throw your own soiree. The first and most obvious question – what to serve? All I have to say is thank god for these magical asparagus tartines. So fresh. So creamy. And most importantly, so easy to assemble. So light a fire, put on some music and bring out a tray of these suckers. Your guests will hardly know what hit ‘um.

Paint: Holiday Nail Art
Since it’s the season of giving and all, OTY has decided to get in on the action with our first ever(!) beauty giveaway. It’s simple – send your most festive nail art creations to our Instagram account, @OTYgrams, with the hastag #OTYnailed it. Once you’ve submitted your photo, you will be entered to win our fabulous prize: a Sephora by OPI, Tinsel Town Collector’s Set. Check our collection to see how OTY’s very own Experts are stacking up to the challenge.

I’ll be frank – finding a holiday frock when you’ve got an impending deadline can be less than fun. The annual office party, meeting his or her parents, entertaining your crazy (god love them) family – the events this month are endless. So before you’re caught without something fabulous in your closet, why not start shopping? I love love love thisilk green number with a pair of black leather ankle boots. It’s perfect for mingling with your coworkers, and throw on a red lip and some sparkly shoes and BAM – you’re ready for the mistletoe . Plus, what screams “cheer” louder than Kate Spade? Her fragrance, Twirl, is equally as bubbly as the champagne you will (hopefully) be sipping. Click on the collage above for more details.

Watch: Playing for Keeps
When I head to the theater this holiday season, I’m looking for award-winning performances, mind-blowing special effects…and a little eye candy. While I can’t see Gerard Butler’s newest flick, Playing for Keeps, sweeping the Oscars, I will admit to enjoying watching this undeniable hunk kick around a soccer ball. What’s wrong with a little light-hearted fun at the movies, anyway? They can’t all be Lincoln – and hey, we wouldn’t want them to be.

New York City during the holidays is my absolute favorite. There’s something about walking down fifth avenue in December that is just so cliche but also equally magical. This month, I will definitely be doing the must-see’s, like the NYC Ballet’s Nutcracker and the holiday shops at Columbus Circle. On top of that I’ll be hitting up my favorite LES resto and staying in to watch a few indie flicks during the cold city nights. Read on for more and don’t forget to check out my local’s guide to NYC on Oh That’s You.

December Guide: NYC
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kmullinsSHOP: The shops at Columbus Circle are great for finding unique gifts.
kmullinsWEAR: I’m obsessed with this emerald bracelet that I ordered from JewelMint. It’s the perfect statement piece for the holidays.
kmullinsEAT: Sauce in the LES is a delicious Italian restaurant for holiday dinners.
kmullinsPARTAKE: The NYC Ballet’s Nutcracker is a must-see in December. You can score $30 tickets if you order early enough…
kmullinsINSPIRED: Just watched the indie movie Electrick Children the other day. A refreshing, youthful storyline for a cold night in!

This month is an exciting time to be in Kuala Lumpur and I’m so happy to be home this year for the holidays. On Dec 8, I’ll be heading to Heineken Thirst 2012 held at Sepang International Circuit (yes, that’s where Formula 1 races are held too!) to witness headlining acts Avicii and Above & Beyond. Since it’s also my first tropical Christmas in three years, I’ll be taking in all the Christmas decoration this city has to offer. For the festivities as well as my birthday, I’ll be shopping at Zalora.com for their amazing holiday sales, so I can bring on the bling with various sequined dresses. Finally, apart from the usual Christmas-themed food, I’ll be tucking into my favorite meal of all time: soft shell crab pasta cooked with butter and a hint of curry. Nothing like a yummy fusion meal to kick-start the holidays! For more, keep up with my “When Fashion and Food Collide” collection on OTY.

December Local Guide
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lilianchan89PARTAKE – Head on over to Heineken Thirst 2012 on Dec 8 where headliner Avicii will be playing live in Sepang Circuit.
lilianchan89SHOP – Grab Christmas gifts for all your friends at the year- end sale at Zalora.com. Sale items range from women’s clothes to beauty and swimwear. Don’t miss out!
lilianchan89INSPIRED – Take in all the beautiful Christmas decor scattered all over KL city. It may not be a white Christmas, but this tropical Christmas’ tree surely doesn’t disappoint.
lilianchan89WEAR – The holiday season calls for sparkle, sparkle and more sparkle. Bring on the bling by wearing an unconventional sequined dress like the six dresses shown here.
lilianchan89TASTE – Satisfy your taste buds with this fusion dish. Soft shell crab pasta cooked with butter and a hint of curry, this dish is one of the best seller’s in the popular Plan B outlets.

This time of year everything seems to be sprinkled with at least a touch of holiday magic. Whether you’re celebrating a religious festival or just enjoying some time off from work, ’tis the season to do those special things you don’t make time or space for during the rest of the year. Thingss like wearing red lame to the symphony!

Whether you’re an Atlanta resident or just passing through, here are a few tips on how to enjoy December in ATL. And don’t worry – not everything here is laden with jingle bells.

December Guide: Atlanta
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eightyjaneINSPIRED: Get into the holiday spirit with an Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Christmas performance.
eightyjaneWEAR: Christmas cocktails and holiday shindigs abound in December. Time to get out the red and sparkles! Top them off with winter white to keep ensembles fresh and festive.
eightyjaneSHOP: After 15 years of playing a leading role in Atlanta’s emerging art scene, Young Blood gallery is closing it’s doors. The final show, up through December, is comprised of prints from Instagram photos tagged #weloveatl. Take advantage of the boutique to do some holiday shopping before they close up shop for good.
eightyjaneTASTE: CamiCakes makes some of Atlanta’s best cupcakes. Their classic red velvet is delicious and adorable – a perfect contribution for holiday entertaining.
eightyjanePARTAKE: The Carlos museaum at Emory University is hosting an exhibit featuring ancient pottery and artifacts that depict shamanic traditions in pre-history cultures. It’s not your average holiday season outing, but an interesting one, nonetheless. You can always stop by the bookstore, too, to get a gift for history & archeology-lovers.

This month there are many things to love about Westchester, a county just outside of NYC. Whether you’re after unique gifts, fun flicks or an intimate music hall, the Hudson Valley offers something for everyone. This December, I’m looking forward to seeing Ingrid Michaelson at a nearby venue after enjoying some delicious local eats. Check out my full December collection for more details on the best of Westchester, NY.

December: Westchester Guide
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EmilyBeeSHOP: This month I’m all about grabbing gifts from The Glass Onion. Stocked with one-of-a-kind jewelry and pottery, this little boutique is perfect for picking up hostess gifts.
EmilyBeeWEAR: Stackable rings are all over my December radar. Cute shop Catbird in NYC is chock full of tiny gold bands that are great for layering in all sorts of combinations.
EmilyBeeTASTE: Sweet Grass Grill is fresh, locally sourced food right in the center of Terrytown, New York. Their menu is crafted from farms all over the area, making it a great option for a healthy dinner out.
EmilyBeePARTAKE: I can’t wait to see Ingrid Michaelson at Terrytown Music Hall this December. The venue has been alive and well for 125 years, making it a cozy spot to catch an astounding number of impressive acts.
EmilyBeeINSPIRED: Jacob Burns Film Lab is my favorite place to see movies that don’t make it to the big(ger) screen. This December their doing a rundown of all the flicks they missed out on throughout the year, including Moonrise Kingdom & Holy Motors.

December has arrived! This month I’m focusing on my hometown, Long Beach, California and all of the wonders it has to offer. Located in Los Angeles County, Long Beach has grown over the years into a town full of adorable boutiques, seriously delicious restaurants and local markets filled with fresh produce. During December the town lights up from store front holiday displays to lit up christmas trees floating in the Alamitos Bay. All more the reason why I am happy to be home for the holidays this year!

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CalliperezSHOP: Francesca’s in Long Beach is one of my favorite boutiques in the area. Albeit a tiny shop, there are a plethora of jewelry, accessories and must have clothes packed in there. It is my go-to when I am looking to give any look that extra something.
CalliperezPARTAKE: The farmer’s market in Long Beach at Marine Stadium is every Sunday. I can walk there from my house, so I love to get some exercise and some fresh produce and treats each week’s end. It is always great to support local vendors.
CalliperezINSPIRED: Maybe it was my winter white nails this past week, but I have been playing the Beatles White album a lot lately, and will most likely carry the trend through all of December.
CalliperezThe White Album is definitely one of my all time favorite albums and deserves another listen or two this holiday month.
CalliperezWEAR: I put together this outfit for a holiday party. I love this idea of the modern LBD with killer accessories like a turban and burnt mustard colored shoes and jewels. Of course, a soft smoky eye and red nails to make the outfit POP.
CalliperezTASTE: Le Creperie is hands down my favorite restaurant in Long Beach. From their balsamic dressed salads to their garlic fries and french onion soup (with cheese overflowing the rim), to their savory crepes (French Riveria is my favorite)
Calliperezto their dessert crepes (nutella, berries, cream, oh my) and finally their decadent cappuccinos, Le Creperie never misses a beat.
Give in This Weekend:11/30
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Munch: Red Velvet Black and White Cookies
Now that we’ve all recuperated from last week’s turkey overdose, I say it’s time to jump right back on the holiday treat bandwagon – starting with these mind blowing red velvet black and white cookies. Considering these babies are essentially my two favorite cookies rolled into one, I am powerless against their cakey consistency and cream cheese frosting. If you’re hesitant to whip up these bad boys, consider this: has Joy the Baker ever let us down before?

Enjoy: Time in the Tub
This week during my usual 2am Pinterest binge, I came across this absolutely stunning, yet minimalist bathroom. Those hardwood floors, that fabulous light fixture – the list goes on. To no one’s surprise, this elegant bath belongs to none other than Jenna Lyons,  Creative Director for J.Crew. Though we don’t all have bathtubs that could double as Olympic swimming pools, we might have the more modest version. With November quickly becoming December, I suggest you get some alone time in while you still can. Don’t forget to pick these up for some added decadence.

I’m not usually one to gravitate towards florals, but I would be lying if I said these patterned trousers didn’t elicit some appeal. Paired with a silk tank & statement necklace, they become surprisingly sophisticated. I’ve added stackable rings (my new obsession) and a sequin jacket if you’re feeling fierce. Oh, and can we talk about that bag? Forget it, I’m adding this entire ensemble to my wish list. Check out my OTY collection for details.

Read: Grace: A Memoir
Considering the slew of Instagram photos this book has starred in lately, I can safely say I’m not alone in my mention. Former model and current Creative Director at Vogue, Grace Coddington has quite a story to tell. Her inspiring photographs transport us to a different world each month, helping to make at least a taste of fashion affordable for all. The memoir makes a great gift for that fashion forward friend on your list – that is, if she hasn’t already snagged it for herself.

Recoup This Weekend:11/23
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Sip: Mint Rooibos Dextox Tea
Whether or not you spent most of the recent holiday in the kitchen, you’re probably still feeling the effects of that pumpkin pie and cornbread stuffing. To ease the pain, try brewing this simple tea to settle the stomach. Since it’s high in antioxidants and flavonoids, your skin will reap the benefits as well. So, when you wake up glowing tomorrow morning, feel free to thank me (or Elizabeth, author of favorite blog: Beauty Bets).

Listen: Celeste and Jesse Forever Soundtrack
If you missed this gem of a film when it hit theaters, you can still grab a piece of the magic via its excellent soundtrack. A combination of funk, hip hop and indie soul, this mix will have you tapping your feet all the way through. If you’re looking for an easy (and free) way to enjoy it, check out 8tracks for a simple way to stream.

Though the peplum can be tricky, it’s hard to go wrong with this flattering forest green number. Put on your dancing shoes this weekend (or at least some striking mustard pumps) and head out with a leopard handbag and a statement lip. After spending Friday night in your PJs with post turkey fatigue, it’s time to turn off your TiVo and re-enter the world in style.

I can’t seem to get enough of Daniel Day Lewis (and neither can the Oscars), so I’m a purchasing a ticket to Lincoln ASAP. If you’re looking for a few hours of peace, cart the family along to this educational flick and enjoy two hours and 30 minutes of DDL’s  most impressive role yet.

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