Lavish costuming has always been as much an underpinning of ballet as the graceful movements themselves, from Louis XIV’s extravagant dance robes to Coco Chanel’s designs for the Ballets Russes in the ’20s to Rodarte’s tutus for 2010’s Oscar-winning Black Swan. It’s a history that will be chronicled in the Dance & Fashion exhibition opening this month at The Museum at FIT in NYC—and one that continues to enchant.
For fall, Miuccia Prada cited late German choreographer Pina Bausch as an inspiration for her Prada collection. Backstage, slick chignons paired with imperfect strokes of blue eye shadow and red lipstick—the latter applied by each model herself for “realness”—mimicked a ballerina’s own post-show touch-up.
At Diane Von Furstenberg, makeup artist James Kaliardos also borrowed from the stage. “We’re contouring the face as you do in the theatre, but in a much subtler way,” he explained. With images from the Ballets Russes dancing through his head, he then painted mauve tones on eyelids and dabbed gloss overtop. “Often the ballet look is so theatrical with liner and lashes, but this is how a woman could do her makeup at home,” he added. As a new ballet season kicks off, the time is right to take the trend for a twirl.