Dress and adornment have long played an important role in the visual allure of dance, and fashion designers have often been inspired by the way dancers look. The tutus and pointe shoes of the Romantic ballerina, for example, have influenced designers from Christian Dior to Christian Louboutin. Cristóbal Balenciaga was inspired by the drama of flamenco, Yves Saint Laurent by the Orientalism of the Ballet Russes, and Rick Owens by the dynamism of African-American steppers. Fashion designers are also ...
Dress and adornment have long played an important role in the visual allure of dance, and fashion designers have often been inspired by the way dancers look. The tutus and pointe shoes of the Romantic ballerina, for example, have influenced designers from Christian Dior to Christian Louboutin. Cristóbal Balenciaga was inspired by the drama of flamenco, Yves Saint Laurent by the Orientalism of the Ballet Russes, and Rick Owens by the dynamism of African-American steppers. Fashion designers are also increasingly collaborating with choreographers to create stylish new dance costumes—from the “bump” dresses by Comme des Garçons for Merce Cunningham to Valentino’s “Bal de Couture” designs for New York City Ballet.
Lavishly illustrated with both contemporary and historical images, the book features essays by ten fashion experts, who explore various aspects of the reciprocal relationship between dance and fashion, from the liberating effects of the tango to the influence of ballet on Japanese girl culture. Designers featured include Leon Bakst, Cristóbal Balenciaga, Comme des Garçons, Christian Dior, John Galliano, Jean Paul Gaultier, Halston, Barbara Karinka, Isaac Mizrahi, Rodarte, Yves Saint Laurent, Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy, Valentino, and Iris Van Herpen.
This beautiful book explores for the first time the synergy between dance and fashion, and is an original and inspired contribution to the study of both art forms.
The Museum at The Fashion Institute of Technology
- Paula Marantz Cohen
'Dance & Fashion, the volume produced to accompany the exhibition, is a beautiful artefact in itself, lavishly and evocatively illustrated.'—Paula Marantz Cohen, Times Literary Supplement
- Debra Cash
"I was delighted . . . The book reflects scholarly seriousness, offers fascinating detail, and is illustrated with unfamiliar photographs including a priceless one of Martha Graham sewing up the waistband of Eric Hawkins’ trousers."—Debra Cash, ArtsFuse
Dance is an art form that has been influenced by fashion, while fashion has also been inspired by dance. Designers have patterned styles for dance as well, being affected by adorned bodies in motion. These relationships are discussed in this accompaniment to an exhibition at New York's Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), organized by Steele (director, the Museum at FIT). The book contains a brief historical overview of the interplay of fashion and dance beginning with the traditional tutu of the 19th century, then moves on to describe the orientalism of the first decades of the 20th century, the rise of minimalist leotards and tights in the later part of the 20th century, and, lastly, the collaborations of clothing designers with choreographers and dance companies such as the New York City Ballet. Other chapters explore more specific aspects of this topic including ballet shoes as function and fashion, a history of Russian ballet and its connection to fashion, the symbiotic relationship between modern dance pioneer Martha Graham's costumes and choreography, and the intersection of African American dance and dress in the 20th century. VERDICT Highly recommended for anyone interested in either dance or fashion.