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a ballerina at heart.

5 January 2009

Every little girl, at one point or another, has dreamt of being a prima ballerina. She would go to bed at night in her little tutu, unwilling and a bit stubborn when her mother told her that it would get wrinkled. Dreams of pirouettes and perfect buns, pretty pointe shoes and the Nutcracker would appear each night. A waltz would be played ever so gently by the pianist in the orchestra pit as she would be whisked away, on her toes, of course, by a handsome dancer. 

And she would wake up in that tiny tutu, a bit frumpled, but still much loved. Years later she may have forgotten the dreams, as most girls do, and replace it with a black pencil skirt or a pair of J Brand skinnies. Yet the photographs from recitals and open houses at the studio would always be with her.

So it would be safe to assume and to conclude that ballet itself could be considered the epitome of all things feminine. Almost every little girl idolized the elegance a ballerina possessed, and the endless layers of pink tulle and satin ribbons she could wear. Because preparing for her first recital was when a girl fell in love with makeup: the lipstick, the blush, the colorful eyeshadows. Ballet is where it all began. 

At least for me it did. Ballet had been my life when I was oh, three or four, and onwards until my mother refused to let me transition to point, fearing for my feet’s state of health. And so, in all my pre-teen headstrong angst, I quit altogether. It’s the one thing I truly regret, but have come to accept; at least dance is still a part of my life. I do believe rather strongly that it was at my first ballet class where I truly fell in love with the elegant, streamlined silhouettes. I think it has influenced my taste and personal style; what else could possibly explain my obsession for tights and bows, and a color palette of black, white, pink, and neutrals? I blame it on the black leotard and soft pink tights. With great reason, too.

And fashion had taken upon itself to draw inspiration from the very icon of femininity into everyday wear. Ballet flats emulate the comfort of the slippers worn; cardigans were much like the fitted wraps worn during the colder months in the studio; tights, well, obviously; stretchy, jersey fabrics from the soft leotards; etc. The list goes on and on. Sometimes the influence of ballet would be quite obvious (Michael Kors Spring 07 – it was actually this collection that made me fall in love with Michael Kors!); sometimes it would be an implicit hint, hidden amongst trends. 

One of my favorite collections, by Michael Kors, oh way back then. You really can see that simplicity and femininity have been made one seamlessly (both figuratively and literally). The collection is gorgeous, proof that a limited color palette still offers a myriad of varieties. I love the soft knits; how it hangs loosely, yet drapes about a woman’s best features. The chiffon is breathtaking: light, ethereal, how a woman and a dancer should feel. The layers were done in a languid, light manner; I can picture a ballerina changing quickly out of her leotard and tights into a simple, hassle (and wrinkle!) free outfit. She would run out, in little boots or flats and a thick scarf and a favorite bag draped loosely over her shoulder, leaving her perfect bun in place. Perhaps she would throw on her all-purpose cardigan. I’ve always loved that particular look; clean, sophisticated, minimalist, with tiny details in the ribbon or rhinestone. Everything is soft, even the makeup: there, but rather natural. Please do excuse my rather inept collages; I’ve managed to put together my favorite looks (which happened to be a great majority of the entire show!)




Emulating this look is rather easy; look for soft knits, in a neutral or beige color. Avoid bulkiness to channel that streamlined silhouette. A loose, off the shoulder top paired with a flowy skirt, cinched at the waist and worn with a pair of flats would work perfectly. Butterfly sleeved tops (my absolute favorite!) work impeccably; let one side fall off your shoulder for that demurely sexy yet utterly classy feel. Floor length maxidresses, in jersey or chiffon, achieve that elongating and ethereal quality. Pull your hair back in a neat chignon – but little bits of loose ends are allowed, after all, ballerinas work quite hard dancing away in the studio. Makeup should be very neutral and almost natural; healthy skin is a must, so a bit of bronzer should be used after applying liquid foundation. Nude lips, in a semi-matte shine, and smudged brown liner (with a touch of beige shadow, the universal shade) would finish the ensemble. 

In short, it explains my obsession with this tutu-inspired dress from Etsy. Impractical, yes. But I would overjoyed to own this & find the perfect occasion to wear this! It’s so gorgeous; the exposed back with criss crosses is utterly sexy with a touch of sweetness by way of the little flowers.
La C.
P.S.: Thank you so much – to all – for leaving such positive and encouraging feedback. It really has made my weekend, reading each and every one of your sweet comments: I cannot thank you enough!
60 Comments leave one →
  1. 5 January 2009 8:15 pm

    loving that fourth dress, the jersey. ugh. divine.

  2. 5 January 2009 8:42 pm

    Hold up.

    You’re a dancer too? And you love ballet too?
    We are going to be very good friends, my dear! 🙂

    And speaking of that collection, it was Rachel who had in fact pointed that dancey, ballet-inspired Michael Kors show. She loved it, I loved it, and you have summarised it perfectly. What I also love was your analysis of the look itself – explaining to us via a touch of your ‘petite novella’ style and also in breaking it down in terms of shape, material and movement.

    Fantastic, La C. Fantastic. ♥

    Your fan (and fellow bearer of a sad-ballet-story :/),
    SEAH :p

  3. 5 January 2009 8:43 pm

    Sorry, I think I typed too fast.

    I wanted to say: “And speaking of that collection, it was Rachel who had in fact pointed that dancey, ballet-inspired Michael Kors show to me.”

    Left out the “to me” part. The sentence looked so strange. Haha. :p

  4. thebaglady permalink
    5 January 2009 8:47 pm

    love love love this post La C. yet another talent of yours exposed. i’d expect you to be a prima ballerina or some amazing dancer of some sort! lol!

  5. 5 January 2009 8:51 pm

    Ooh that dress is adorable!

  6. 5 January 2009 9:13 pm

    I can understand how nostalgic you must feel – sometimes the wistful desire for things from your childhood are triggered by the simplest things 🙂

    Oh I never realised until you pointed it out that ballet is such an influential force on the runway!

  7. 5 January 2009 9:22 pm

    That little girl you described sounded eerily similar to me. I quit a few years back, after lots of serious training, and recently started up again for fun!

    I agree with you that ballet has an impact on the fashion industry and, by the way, I love how you have a lace up ribbon on your old ballet slippers!


  8. 5 January 2009 9:23 pm

    Oh yes, I was one of those little girls too!

    I just watched The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; Cate Blanchett plays a ballerina and it made me fall in love with the clean lines and floaty fabrics all over again!

  9. 5 January 2009 9:24 pm

    OMG. The first photo is really inspiring!! Good job! 🙂

  10. 5 January 2009 9:32 pm

    The collections is beautiful. My little niece wants to be a ballerina

  11. 5 January 2009 9:57 pm

    youre just a ball of joy arnt you? hahahah i loved your being fabulous post. very inspiring. you are what every girl should aspire to be like. no doubt.

  12. 5 January 2009 10:12 pm

    thank you for the sweet note too..when I think of the pink tutu dress reminds me of my attempt to string together a wedding dress I’d found while thrifting.(I took the back out of it and thought I could just lace it up…ahahahahaa).needless to say..don’t try to make something work like this a couple hours before prom. I’m a big procrasinator..naturally, and well, I kept falling out of it. Always, thankful to the little black dress hanging out in the closet. You just knew know when you’ll need it.

  13. kristine permalink
    5 January 2009 10:49 pm

    oh fabulous. haha if i was the designer i think i’d send you the dress 😉

  14. 5 January 2009 10:56 pm

    beautiful. i love feminine clothes especially ballerina flats… i can’t stop myself from buying them when i see a really pretty pair. i love this post:)

  15. 5 January 2009 11:02 pm

    Wow, good to know more about you!
    I love this ballet theme post!
    i remember seeing bjork’s ballet dress to the oscars or the academy awards, and thought it was beautiful despite the negative comments she got for that dress.
    i can’t wait till the weather gets warmer to start wearing flats instead ofboots and let my inner femininity out. haha
    happy new year gorgeous!

  16. 5 January 2009 11:16 pm

    What a fantastic post – I definitely also wish I had kept up with ballet!
    The collections and pictures you chose are absolutely perfect – I love the flowing dresses – they look so beautiful and comfortable too! 🙂
    I love ballet inspired fashion – and I always loved Carrie Bradshaw’s infamous tutu, though I couldn’t pull off something so bold!

    Keep up the great posts La C., and thank you for your sweet posts on my blog, darling.

  17. 5 January 2009 11:18 pm

    Hui, darling! yes!! haha we are going to get along so well then!! 🙂 so wait you dance too?!

    this is so cool.
    La C.

  18. 5 January 2009 11:19 pm

    gorgeous photos! i especially love the top one. it’s really cool. lovely lovely lovely post.

  19. 5 January 2009 11:36 pm


    lovely entry..i also adore ur writing style.
    i agree with you about ballet is the epitome of all things feminine which goes hand in hand with fashion. great way to put it. I too am inspired by the grace of ballerinas and took ballet classes for a couple of months when i was a little little girl!

    anyways i adore ur blog and going to add u to my list. thanks for the lovely comment/compliment..u are a doll! hope u had a great start to 2009!


  20. 6 January 2009 1:35 am

    i love the tutu’s!

  21. 6 January 2009 2:43 am

    ok, your recent comment on my site made me gape…then burst out laughing. you don’t hold back…and i love it! thank you so SO much for your kind words. your comment really made my day. i’m flattered that you like my style. 🙂

  22. 6 January 2009 3:37 am

    Hi there-Yes, such a lovely chic, sexy and timeless look. This etsy dress is sooo gorgeous! A great post, as usual my dear!

  23. 6 January 2009 3:56 am

    I simply love your blog! Every post is interesting and inspiring.

    I learnt Ballet when I was 4 and then I moved to Australia. I really wish that I kept on learning though because it’s such a beautiful and elegant thing. Whenever I walk past a ballet store, I’d glance in from the windows and admire all the pointe shoes and tutus!

    I’m the type of girl who has replaced pretty skirts with J Brand Skinnies and American Apparel leggings, but after reading this post, I’ve decided on a new look….not the off-duty ballerina but the on-stage ballerina!

  24. 6 January 2009 7:30 am

    Oh I love the ballerina style.
    It’s sooo cute!

  25. 6 January 2009 8:49 am

    Love the pink, love the style and the messenger bag! Gorgeous!! Really enjoy reading your blog! “)

  26. 6 January 2009 10:33 am

    Ooo I love that tutu dress from Etsy!

  27. 6 January 2009 12:09 pm

    Such lovely writing! I went to ballet when I was little and I remember it was so much fun! Little paper bits (snow<333) was dancing down at me while I wore my amazing pink tutu!:DD

    And the dress is beyond adorable!

  28. 6 January 2009 1:43 pm

    What a gorgeous, well-written post!


  29. carolyn permalink
    6 January 2009 1:52 pm

    ooOOO! i was waiting for your dance-related-and-inspired post…loooooove it!

    i wish i took ballet when i was little…but i’m still a big fan of anything ballet =]

  30. 6 January 2009 2:24 pm

    Love the first pic.
    Great post.

  31. 6 January 2009 4:40 pm

    oh well i hardly check out michael kor’s collections.. love that spring 07 collection though.. and deary you ARE FABULOUS!

  32. 6 January 2009 5:04 pm

    Always keep ballet close to your heart! It represents girlishness and innocence which are indeed things we see on the runways today, as you’ve shown us so perfectly.
    I have similar experience and memories with figure skating. I remember when AA came out with their figure skating dress..
    I have always loved even the cheesy sequinced skating outfits!!

  33. 6 January 2009 5:59 pm

    my niece is a littel ballerina now. i am always on the lookout for cute little outfits for her. i don’t know who is having more fun, me or her…

  34. 6 January 2009 7:11 pm

    Super post once again, and you’ve picked out some great runway looks + its nice to see a bit on menswear too, I would totally wear that look + I could do with that jumper right now!

  35. 6 January 2009 7:12 pm

    Great post, gorgeous pictures


  36. 6 January 2009 10:10 pm

    gorgeous, love all the looks you chose. I always love the ballerina look but don’t think I am thin enough to pull it off!

  37. 6 January 2009 10:11 pm

    awww love this post! ok i admit, i still have dreams of being a ballerina even now 🙂 i’m hoping to take up some ballet classes soon hehe! i’ve always been so fascinated by the graceful moves and plus, i think it would be a great exercise, too! anyways, this is such a lovely post and i love the 07 michael kors look!

  38. 6 January 2009 10:16 pm

    oh and YOU and your blog are my style inspiration 🙂

  39. 6 January 2009 10:56 pm

    That top photo is just amazing.
    Love your blog, by the way.

  40. 6 January 2009 11:35 pm

    j’adore…I love everything balletic, you’ve inspired my next outfit!! 😛

  41. 7 January 2009 12:45 am

    The ballerina look im aspiring too is a skirt like carrie’s opening scene in s&tc… xx I neeeed the perfect ballerina skirt!

  42. 7 January 2009 2:37 am

    aww, all of this is adorable. makes me miss my ballet dancing days.

  43. 7 January 2009 2:59 am

    I love this! Lately I have become more and more influenced by ballet dancers when I am choosing an outfit, as I have always been bewitched by their elegance, gracefulness and femininity.

    Neutral makeup and dusky tones = Happiness!

    Perfect perfect timing of this post, to inspire me for yet another ballet look 🙂

    Have a beautiful, happy wednesday! xxx

  44. 7 January 2009 3:38 am

    I’ve always found the image of a ballerina to be so striking – she is the epitome of poise and grace with a touch of innocence and a hidden strength. The pictures here are wonderful – I love all the pieces and I always secretly dream of being a dancer 🙂

  45. 7 January 2009 6:53 am

    oh my GOSH, i want that dress too! it is too too too pretty to be true. you must buy it immediately, who cares how much it is!

    i also have such a soft spot for ballet inspired looks, neutrals and knits and tutus. and i even own a totally impractical tutu skirt from h&m that i’ve managed to wear on many inappropriate occasions. sometimes there is nothing more fun than showing up somewhere scandalously dressed!


  46. 7 January 2009 7:49 am

    It’s almost scary that you’ve written this ballet inspired post when just last week I’ve finished a magazine article on ballet influences in next summer’s fashion… I wish I could have read your post before, it would have truly inspired me!

    I share your fascination with all things ballet, and for the same reasons, I guess. It’s just so sweet, so innocent, so girly. It allows you to express all of your romantic and feminine feelings and thoughts, without having to say a word.

    Be sure to check out the Erin Fetherston SS09 collection for some beautiful ballet-inspired dresses, Jill Stuart just has the most amazing sandals/legwarmer combination ever, and Stella McCartney also has a couple of dance outfits in her spring collection (I love the seagreen mini-tutu-skirt). I think it’s time for a serious ballet revival, don’t you agree? 🙂

    Though I think I’ll have to resort to more affordable solutions, so I’m eyeing a pair of Repetto ballet flats, and I’ve just scored an awesome full mini-skirt at Urban Outfitters… Let me know if you find anything ballet-y in the near future!

  47. 7 January 2009 9:36 am

    Ah yes, I have learnt ballet when I was young! This post brings back many memories..

  48. 7 January 2009 11:14 am

    it is amazing that season after season at least one collection is inspired by the ballerina.its so sweet,all the bows,tutus etc
    so very feminine and girly.
    muah x

  49. 7 January 2009 11:22 am

    i am in love with the back of that dress!

  50. 7 January 2009 11:42 am

    I absolutely love a basis neutral palette surrounded by strong statement colors like black white and red. Love it! I have to force myself to buy prints because I’m drawn to solids. I love soft flowly fabrics but I feel like — if you are not super tone, they can show body flaws, so I try to pick my pieces carefully.

  51. 7 January 2009 12:09 pm

    Love that Michael Kors collection – promptly filed in my inspiration bank.

    I’ve never had the prima ballerina fantasy actually. I was pretty honest with myself and new from an early age that I wasn’t going to be a dancer in any capacity.

  52. 7 January 2009 12:46 pm

    hi! seems most of us studied ballet once in our lives…well, it really didn’t help me a bit for i’m still as ungraceful when it comes to dancing as ever. 😦
    Nevertheless, I didn’t need ballet for posture, according to my Mom. I love Michael Kor’s ss 07 collection, as well, and I’m eyeing for pairs of nude sandals and pumps.

  53. 7 January 2009 2:21 pm

    this entry makes me want to be a ballerina. the color palette is so soft and perfect. it makes me want to live in a minimalist condo with lots of windows and open space and lounge around in tauep, pink, brown, beige and black jerseys and swish my hair around.

  54. 7 January 2009 2:25 pm

    I think I dreamt about being a ballerina at a very young age, but it was for a very short time, and it never came true. But I do like the gracefulness and elegance that every ballerina seem to have 🙂

    I have a question for you; Would you like to exchange links?

  55. 7 January 2009 2:47 pm

    I love ballet related things. My mother was once a professional ballet dancer, and I attempted to follow in her footsteps when I was little, sadly I wasn’t blessed with her grace and took up Judo instead!

  56. 7 January 2009 3:14 pm

    The dress you want is gorgeous! I love dancing, never did ballet, but i’ve been considering going to adult ballet classes…

  57. 8 January 2009 6:28 am

    If you took away everything people do not actually own, many aspects of life would undergo drastic changes. Weddings would certainly never be the same. Brides would probably wear leotards, grooms would dress in faded jeans, and wedding guests would wear shorts. Rock stars would ride around on stretch-bicycles.

  58. 8 January 2009 9:59 am

    Fantastic dress


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