On Our Shelves Now (Please contact store to confirm availability)
A gorgeously illustrated look at the profound influence that classical ballet and the ballerina have had on high fashion
Ballerina: Fashion’s Modern Muse is a revelatory, irresistible treat for dance aficionados and fashionistas alike. Couturiers such as Balmain, Balenciaga, Chanel, Schiaparelli, Charles James, Dior, and Yves Saint Laurent designed ballet-inspired dresses and gowns, many featuring the boned bodices and voluminous tulle skirts of classical tutus. And ready-to-wear designers such as Claire McCardell found inspiration in ballet leotards and other practice clothing, creating knitted separates, bathing suits, and wrap dresses. Written by fashion and ballet experts, the book is illustrated with archival photography by such masters as Richard Avedon, Edward Steichen, Irving Penn, Man Ray, and Cecil Beaton, along with newly commissioned photography of contemporary ballerinas wearing ballet-influenced couture.
About the Author
Patricia Mears is deputy director of The Museum at FIT. Laura Jacobs is a dance critic, fashion writer, and novelist. Jane Pritchard is curator of dance, theatre and performance at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Rosemary Harden is manager of the Fashion Museum in Bath, England. Joel Lobenthal is a dance critic and historian.
“The close relationship between ballet and fashion might today seem like a foregone conclusion, but this wasn’t always the case. In Ballerina, Patricia Mears, deputy director of The Museum at FIT, examines how the figure of the ballerina came to be a prominent influence on design.”
— Dance Magazine
“The ballerina occupies a unique place in Western high culture as a symbol of beauty and grace. . . . Her influence seeped into the world of fashion as the tutu became a source of inspiration for leading fashion designers. ‘Ballerina: Fashion’s Modern Muse’ pairs archival photographs of ballerinas with newly commissioned photos of modern ballerinas wearing ballet-influenced couture. The book’s text, written by leading dance and fashion critics, traces the relationship between ballet and fashion and between great ballerinas and designers.”
— Wall Street Journal
“Like two sisters sharing a closet, fashion and ballet have borrowed freely from each other for over a century. . . . It’s fun to document these parallels, as Ballerina: Fashion’s Modern Muse, by Patricia Mears, does in fastidious detail, with a rich assortment of photos.”