What woman hasn’t felt the pull of ballet at some stage in her life? The music, the stage, the exquisite combination of femininity and strength; all pulled together with pretty French names, blush pinks and feathery layers of tulle.
I first watched Swan Lake on Easter Sunday when I was five or six. High on chocolate eggs and inspired by the bird-like skill of the dancers, I took to my parents’ bed and promptly catapulted myself into unconsciousness against the corner of a window sill. A picture of elegance. This season, thanks in huge part to Valentino and Zara (as always), the more athletically challenged have a shot at being a Prima Fashionista, if nothing else.
Spring/Summer fashion has been saturated with pieces hinting at the ballet trend. Oft neglected body parts have been launched into the spotlight with ankle details, spaghetti straps and ruffled crop tops being demure appetisers for the trend to come. Prepare yourself for velvet and satin by day; ballet flats worn with laces and beige tones rosily flushed then veiled with shimmering pleats.
Get the Look:
L-R: Miu Miu Flats, Browns; Jane Flats, Urban Outfitters; Tulle Skirt, Zara; Tulle Dress, Zara; Gingham Dress, Warehouse.
It’s a heady injection of femininity to be sure—but don’t be put off just yet. Choose from the three clear ballet trend troupes: the hyper-fem, the sporty and the rebellious. For the latter, think Mila Kunis in Black Swan. Look back on Miu Miu’s subversive ballet references, and pair fawn and coffee coloured slippers with slogan tees, rigid denim and a sheer layer of rustling tulle from Zara. Clash Urban Outfitters girlish Jane flats with a splash of black gingham from Warehouse, then top it off with a pugnaciously battered leather jacket.
For a dose of the authentic, turn to the workout Mecca of Victoria’s Secret models—Ballet Beautiful. Known for lengthening and toning the body, barre workouts are the peak of elegant athleisure, and faithful attendees have inspired wrap skirts, bodysuits and suede-soled pumps at Zara, Topshop and ASOS. Wear an all-business athletic body with leggings or denim shorts, then add a tender touch in the form of a velvet choker, pink rucksack or a pair of Pedro Garcia satin trainers.
The ultra-feminine style is ideal for dates and parties. Play up collarbones, wrists and ankles with thin straps, fragile jewellery and floaty lengths. For a grown up take on the tutu, try a pleated midi skirt, or consider layering Dorothy Perkins’ peach toned slip dress over a roll neck before finishing with touches of rose gold and a heeled pump.
Prime your skin with Guerlain’s cult L’or for 24 carat radiance, then add a drop of Nars Illuminator to your foundation for a lit-from-within finish. Ballerinas are all sharp cheekbones and healthy glow, so highlight well, flush the apples of your cheeks and gloss with a spritz of Pixi Glow Mist setting spray.
A sleek Loewe-style bun or ponytail is a must. Condition hair with a richly moisturising treatment like The Body Shop’s Banana conditioner, then style with Liz Earle’s Botanical Shine. Go for two low, twisted buns; a high and sleek knot or a low centre-part pony, and tame flyaways with hairspray and a soft-bristle brush.
Stick to the theme of youth and freshness for your final touches. Apply Clarins Be Long mascara to upper and lower lashes after curling, then moisturise your décolletage with Chloe Love Story lotion for vibrant orange blossom and jasmine notes. Chanel’s nail colour in Precious Beige is an ideal shade that will add a demure twinkle to the congratulatory applause you’ll deserve before your plié out into the late summer light.
Team Blush x