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Ballet: A Look Back at How Designers Get Inspired by Dance

Ballet Mania was recently reinvigorated by Miu Miu and brought back into fashion – only this time it’s called Ballet. It’s not just about tutus. All of our barre workouts allow the practitioner to get used to the leotard and leg wraps. On and off the runway, the ODD look (off-duty dancer) gives the MOD (off-duty model) aesthetic a run for its money. With the viral dance craze running rampant, comfort (often translating into active-chic hybrids in fashion) is very important.

“Ballet’s influence on fashion, especially practice clothing, such as catsuits and leotards, can be traced to 1940 and 1940’s the rise of Ballet Mania,” Patricia Mears told me at FIT’s museum. “It had a strong resurgence in the 1940 disco era, long before the term athleisure entered our vocabulary,” she continued, so the recent resurgence of ODD may indeed be related to the current social A media-driven dance craze. “The use of social media platforms by classical dance companies and their star dancers helps make this art form more accessible.” The virtual output includes everything from costumes commissioned by leading designers to what ballet dancers wear in their everyday lives.

Whatever you like to call the trend, this ballet-crazy iteration speaks more fully of the dancer’s full-spectrum experience, from the street to the studio to the stage. The results include a line of clothing that fits not just fashion fantasies but everyday needs, which is a step in the right direction. Here, a look back at fashion’s ongoing fascination with dance.

Off-Duty Dancer



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