A Fusion Of Fashion, Tradition & Dance

Like Humans, but more graceful

Like Humans, but more graceful

LONDON, United Kingdom  — In January this year, the fashion and arts fascinating worlds came together once again when the English National Ballet (ENB), under the new Artistic Direction of Tamara Rojo, launched a complete re-brand and teamed-up with Vivienne Westwood for its first new campaign. The ballet company wants to show the vibrancy, passion, drama and creativity of its approach, and what better way to start this off than a collaboration with Vivienne Westwood, doyenne of non-conventional yet classic British fashion?

Looks like a doll dances like a demon

Looks like a doll dances like a demon

This is not the first time that haute couture and dance meet: Valentino created costumes for the Vienna State Ballet in 2009 and for the New York City Ballet in September 2012, and Karl Lagerfeld designed costumes for the English National Ballet in 2009. The synergy between ballet and fashion is even being celebrated in a new exhibition, Ballet & Fashion, a joint effort by the Australian Ballet and the National Gallery of Victoria.

This time, however, there is a remarkable difference: the Westwood-ENB collaboration is not simply about designers making a foray into the world of costume making, it is about forging a completely new image for a ballet company that wants to communicate to the world that classical need not mean stuffy or boring. And remarkably, it uses the power of fashion to say it.

Rojo is keen to show us that dance is about tradition as much as it is about innovation, and that classical ballet can draw us into wonderful and unexplored new worlds. The campaign uses a mixture of Westwood designs from her Spring/Summer Collection 2013 as well as clothes from the archives to create a unique, strong union of tradition and modernity, with dramatic garments for those who spend their lives expressing every emotion with the movement of their bodies –

Her designs capture the creativity and ambition of our dancers who, in turn, add drama and movement to the clothes”, explained the Artistic Director.

Fashion is about expressing yourself through the clothes, and that is exactly what the dancers are doing in these images – this is yet another stage and they not only inhabit the clothes, they use them to tell us stories and emotions. Vivienne Westwood’s designs, with their unique mixture of daring and tradition, are the perfect means to convey this message. It is the fusion of two art forms.

This is about the dancers as much as it is about the clothes, and the photo shoot was their occasion to experience life as a fashion model: starring in the image ‘Looks Like A Doll Dances Like A Demon’, Kerry Kirkett, one of the ENB’s dancers said, “I felt fabulous … like a million dollars!”.

Pretty Intense

Pretty Intense

Courtesy of: Press Office – English National Bellet  |  Photography by: Guy Farrow  |  Edited by: Elizabeth Deheza
Emma De Angelis About the author

A historian by training and editor by profession, reviews the glittering lights of the West End, unsuspected ballet classes in shabby Whitechapel and edgy shows in disused railway tunnels. With a PhD from LSE, she lives and breathes the London stage.

Thoughts?

*