Dreaming in Dance

Ballet.  With a swish of tulle and a tiptoed flourish en pointe, the theatrical fantasy world of the dramatic, dream-like dance is set to sashay back into the fringes of fashion.  Designers right, left and centre are utilising shimmering embellishment, flounces and feathers; fixing their fashion focus upon the starry otherworld arenas of costume and ceremony. 

Paris catwalks of SS/11 twinkled with fronds and fairytale fabrics; the very life-stuff of the magical creations adorning characters of traditional ballets such as Swan Lake and The Nutcracker.  Ostrich feathers at Chanel.  Towers of tulle at Alexander McQueen.  In London, Erdem invoked the spirit of the ballet russes in a sweetly romantic and somehow sartorially very European collection.  Milan, too, was not all sophisticated Italian hauteur; some girlishness emerged in the form of debutante coyness and light, pretty palettes.  The rash of minimalism and monochrome across many fashion houses’ spring ouevres has been combated and offset by some enchanting forays into romance and decadence.

Chanel S/S 11

Alexander McQueen S/S 11

Tutus at Felder Felder, S/S 11

Sugar-plum sweetness at Giles, S/S 11

Frou-frou at Mark Fast, S/S 11

Ethereal and doll-like at Dolce & Gabbana, S/S 11

Dramatic gilt plumage at Gucci, S/S 11

  The approaching party season is the perfect excuse to team lavishly decorated ballerina pumps with a sleek cigarette pant or fabulous frock for all-out impact. 

Tory Burch, £255

 

Carvela. £65

Timely ads for Repetto, the historic French ballet shoe company, are currently spashed, in glossy finery, across a raft of fashion magazines.

Diane von Furstenburg has even been coaxed from her trademark territory of the womanly wrap dress to deliver enchanting party dresses in new, lissome shapes.  Anna Sui has woven fairy gowns of organza and tulle.

Diane von Furstenburg 'Talea' dress, £730

Diane von Furstenburg 'Yadira' dress, £545

Anna Sui silk tulle and sequin dress, £870

 Ladies, the sumptuous stage is set.  Throughout the glittering snows of winter and the beauty of swan-like spring, indulge in an elegant celebration of that dream-world-without-limit; the dazzling brilliance and bravura of the ballet…

David Koma: Single-handedly putting the fizz into fashion…

There is a certain night in November (I shan’t go into specifics) when fireworks are very much on the agenda.  With this in mind, I present a couple of the A/W offerings from David Koma – and proper firecrackers they are too…

David Koma one shoulder dress

 

David Koma zig-zag dress, £2780

Oh my!  These imaginative pieces completely re-work the common fashion motifs of stripes and monochrome; Koma has created something more akin to the land of cartoons and comic book strips.  You half expect to see a BAM! or POW! pouffing in a cloud of exclamation marks, just parallel to the shoulder. 

I am utterly enamoured by the crackle and energy these dresses give off.  There is something futuristically modern and yet fundamentally obvious about the designs, as if they have been brought to life, Penny Crayon style, by the power of a felt-tip marker.  Forget amulets, capes and thigh-high boots.   I’ve just found the perfect uniform for a modern day super-woman…

La-la-la-Lanvin!

Today is the day!  Thousands of fashion lovers all over the country have been poring, surreptitiously at work or unapologetically lolling on the sofa in a full-on fashion coma, over their computer screens, hearts-a-flutter, to admire and absorb the preview images of the forthcoming Lanvin for H & M collection.  And it is fair to say that very few of us have been disappointed.  Lanvin is a label built on craftsmanship and desire, and Elbaz specialises in imbuing killer dresses and accessories with a tantalising fairytale factor that no would-be princess could willingly pass up.

Regal, ruby-red ribbon choker

It’s a super-feminine, uber-covetable range of pretty pieces; beribboned, bejewelled and perfect for the party season, and full of Lanvin trademarks like romantic ruffles and stunning fabrics.  Think modern Marie Antoinette.  The sheer diversity of what is on offer is applaudable; everything from frocks to heels, jewellery, bags, coats and even menswear.  I highly recommend that you acquaint yourself with each and every lust-inducing item, so that come November 23rd, you can make an educated lunge for whatever takes your fancy most.  But here are my highlights, so steer clear!

Asymmetric acid-tone ruffle dress

 

Ruby gobstopper-stone earrings

 

Sheer ribbon blouse

 

Chain and flower-detail bag

 

Double-breasted satin coat

 

Pointed floral slippers edged with duck-egg bows

 

High-neck paper-chain-effect LBD

 

Ruched bow-detail skirt

 

Strappy floral tiered cocktail dress

 

Black leather ribbon-tie gloves

 

Bubblegum pink flounce dress

 

Tulle and ribbon tee

 

Lanvin faux fur jacket

 

Coral jewel-collared dress

 

Full-skirted tulle layer dress

OK, so the above wish-list isn’t so much select highlights as practically the whole collection! But I couldn’t resist showcasing all of these Lanvin lovelies: ladies, see you at the checkout!