In the world of dance performance, costume is just as important as movement. Ballet specifically has had a notable impact on fashion; constructed bodices and flowing gowns reflect the graceful current of dance. A less traditional collaboration, however, was shown in Paris, when Rick Owens collaborated with a step team to dance in his spring/summer 2014 collection as his runway presentation. This fall, The Museum at FIT will present Dance and Fashion, an impressive collection featuring works by Christian Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Yves Saint Laurent. Also included in the exhibition are never before exhibited pieces worn by world-class dancers such as Martha Graham, Margot Fonteyn, and Mikhail Baryshnikov.
Dance and Fashion is composed of costumes and designs ranging from the 19th century to present. Many names in fashion have designed for ballet companies (Yves Saint Laurent and Riccardo Tischi of Givenchy for the Paris Opera Ballet, and Christian Lacroix and Jean Paul Gaultier for New York City Ballet), and ballet costumes and silhouettes have inspired even more. One piece in particular that will be on display is Christian Dior’s Black Swan ball gown, made in 1950 and composed of silk satin and velvet with panels of integral silk velvet that give the illusion of a large bow. FIT says the piece “epitomizes ballet’s influence on fashion design” in its online description of the exhibit. In addition to ballet and contemporary styles of dance, there is also a selection of flamenco inspired dresses by designers such as Cristobal Balenciaga, Oscar de la Renta, and Ralph Lauren.
Alongside the costumes and gowns will be historical photographs, pointe shoes (and high fashion footwear inspired by ballet shoes), and artwork by David Michelek featuring ballerina Wendy Whelan. There will also be a photo and video exhibition by Anne Deniau, otherwise known as Ann Ray, in collaboration with the Paris Opera Ballet. The exhibition will open September 13th and run until January 3rd, 2015.

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