Designers Want You to Chaînés Over to the Ballet Barre This Spring

Dance is trending.
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A look from Off-White's Spring 2019 collection. Photo: Kay-Paris Fernandes/Getty Images

A look from Off-White's Spring 2019 collection. Photo: Kay-Paris Fernandes/Getty Images

Dance has served as a consistent point of inspiration for fashion designers for, well, ever. Professional dancers routinely cross over into fashion darlings (Isadora Duncan, Martha Graham, Misty Copeland, Benjamin Millepied and Mikhail Barychnikov come to mind, for starters), while companies like the New York City Ballet routinely link up with fashion labels on costuming collaborations. (NYCB's most recent Fall Fashion Gala, held on Thursday, Sept. 27, teamed up with Gareth Pugh, Alberta Ferretti and Giles Deacon.)

The two art forms are kindred spirits in many ways, most obviously in that both rely on the human form as one's canvas. Some seasons, fashion is more fixated on dance than others. The obsession following "Black Swan," with its costumes created by Rodarte, was particularly rabid when the film premiered in 2010. 

A NYC Ballet bag from Acne Studio's Spring 2019 collection. Photo: Peter White/Getty Images

A NYC Ballet bag from Acne Studio's Spring 2019 collection. Photo: Peter White/Getty Images

With the Spring 2019 shows beginning to wrap up in Paris, we've seen a new surge of dance-inspired wares come down the runways. In Paris, the week opened with Maria Grazia Chiuri's latest for Dior: a tribute to contemporary dance and the clothes dancers wear off-duty in class or rehearsal and on-duty on stage. Off-White showed its now-signature brand of sporty tutus, including one powder blue concoction (pictured above) with a leotard bodice and razor-edged tulle skirt. At Rochas, Alessandro dell'Acqua showed exquisite silk dresses reminiscent of a Jazz Age uniform, and at Acne Studios, shown during Paris Couture Week in July, the Swedish label presented an entire ballet-centric collection that came complete with legwarmers, slipper flats and New York City Ballet-branded tees and bags (above). 

The traditional ballet trope is familiar to all of us, but this season, designers found new and inventive ways to have us yearning to dig out our leotards to get back on the barre. 

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