flying high in taglia basilica

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One of the most rewarding (and unexpected) results of sharing my inner monologue on this forum has without a doubt been the introduction to dance-loving people all over the world.  When Antonis Loupos, co-creater of the haute couture dancewear brand, Taglia Basilica (based in Greece, a place which I’ve always dreamed of visiting), reached out to me about sampling a few pieces from the line, I jumped at the opportunity.

Family owned and operated since 1999, Taglia Basilica was born from the Loupos Family’s multi-generational love of ballet: Anoints’ wife and mother are both active choreographers, instructors, and artists themselves.  With local dance shops lacking professional services, the Loupos decided to take matters into their own hands, creating a business to cater the needs of serious ballet students and professionals alike.  The Loupos family began providing pointe shoes fittings, basic dancewear and a multitude of shoes in their new, wildly popular shop, but noticed an interest in fashion-conscious leotards and decided to take their business one step further.  They dabbled in the supplying of big brand products, but soon realized many of these pieces were constructed using subpar materials and less-than-flattering cuts.  The Loupos family longed for dancewear that spoke the language of the dancer.  They understood the importance of a varied collection, one that allowed for the unbridled expression of an artist through their ever-evolving shades.  Mr. Loupos dreamed of a line of rehearsal ready dancewear “for dancers who want to wear something different every day, depending on their moods and needs”.  And so, Taglia Basilica Dancewear was born.

Each piece is designed and manufactured by the close-knit Basilica team, where uniqueness of style and excellence of fit are key.  I can attest to the softness and elegance of each article I had the pleasure of sampling, and their online store certainly exhibits that wide variety the Loupos’ so fervently sought after.  In a see of Yumikelevepezio’s, if you are looking for an affordable leotard that is completely your own or the softest onesie in the world, shop Taglia Basilica.

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Shout out to A for being my legs and always lifting me up, Jenay Evans for her enthusiasm and photography skills, to Evans Capacitor Company for the use of their lovely space and of course, Taglia Basilica for their beautiful products c/o.  To see other Taglia Basilia styles, follow @settingthebarre on Instagram, where more of their designs will be making surprise appearance in the next few weeks!

surprise!

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I am so excited to announce Setting The Barre‘s first ever giveaway!

I’ve teamed up with the lovely creators of some of my favorite dance/activewear apparel brands to create a fun, fresh outfit (valued over $200!) that can take you to the barre and beyond…

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danseuse balletwear

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I firmly believe that ballet is for everyone.  Physically invigorating, emotionally empowering, and creatively freeing, ballet feeds every portion of a person.  From the proper management of bodily stress to the discipline of repetition, there is always something to be learned.  Regardless of age, body type, and experience, the benefits of a ballet class are universally attainable- the “ballerina body”, however, is not quite so easily acquired.  Enter Danseuse Balletwear.  Created by style blogger/recreational ballet dancer, Michelle Haswell, and her fashion designer friend, Aleksandra “Dust” Stojadinov of the label Disturbance, Danseuse is a collection of luxe warm-ups designed to flatter all body types, from the lithe young ballerina to the one-class-a-week mother of 3, and every dancer in between.  The line was born from Ms. Haswell’s struggles with the common insecurities that seem to spawn from most balletwear, and her unique vision of a truly beautiful,

“universal and luxurious collection, which is kind to all bodies and ages.”

Each piece reflects the graceful world from which it was inspired, incorporating sweet tulle hems, delicate wrapped fabrics, and soft feminine cuts to create elegant garments fit for a prima- and a pupil.

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I had the pleasure of testing out two pieces from the Danseuse collection, made to order in The Netherlands by the talented Miss Dust herself.  The darling Lana romper (pictured above) is the barre equivalent of your favorite onesie: soft, snuggly, effortless and a magnet for compliments.  Even FBP’s artistic director stopped me in the hallway to check out the romper and let me know just how much he liked it!  The coziest warmup in my arsenal, by far, and I’m loving this neutral pastel pallet- perfect for spring.

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Also fluttering their way into the FBP studios, the breezy Wendy shorts feature a loose fit and curved hem, with high cut sides that resemble a longer style of the infamously flattering “SAB skirt“.  These are perfect for keeping your hips warm without the restriction of any tight, clingy fabrics restricting your movement.  All of the perks of a skirt, in shorts form…kind of like the ballerina version of that beloved skort from your childhood…see, dreams do come true!  And with a name like Wendy, you know these are sure to be my new favorite shorts…

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Both pieces are made to have a looser fit and feature adjustable drawstring waists, so you can easily tailor the garment precisely to your preference- grand battements to the gods, who’s with me?!

PS- Check out this post from Danseuse Balletwear co-founder, Michelle Haswell’s “pointers” (heh heh) for preparing for your first pointe class.  I must admit, in my first pointe class I was guilty of that dreaded ribbon faux pas!

PPS- Leg warmers in the first photo by Rubiawear.

PPPS- Stay tuned for an exclusive chance to get your hands on some of my favorite brands, coming later this week!

let the sunshine in

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“Good things always happen when artists come together to shake off the winter blues” -there’s no better way to describe my Sunday afternoon with Andrew Mariner.  I had been anxious for another collaboration with Andrew ever since our downtown photoshoot back in November, so of course jumped at the first non-freezing Sunday of this new season to get together.  He is just so talented and down-to-earth, a genuinely cool guy.  The above photo is a behind-the-scenes snap by my friend Brenna (who also got in on the photoshoot action), but I can’t wait to share some of Andy’s gorgeous photos here soon, along with a few more details about our day. photo 1

Also, the lovely creators of Danseuse Balletwear (more info on them coming soon), featured me and the contents of my dance bag on their blog today…head over here to check it out, if you’d like…

For now, I’m off for a slow walk around the East Side to soak in some of this gorgeous sunshine.  Happy Wednesday!

nice to meet you, miss jones

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Today’s big announcement pertains to a project I’ve been anxiously waiting to share for weeks now, so here goes:  Ladies and gents, I would like to formally introduce you to the exclusive Setting The Barre leotard (!!!!!!!).  I’ll admit that I was a bit trepidatious in agreeing to collaborate with a young dancer living across the globe on a leotard to represent something so near and dear to my heart.  But in the spirit of 2015 and embracing all opportunities, I decided to encourage the industrious Miss Jones to indulge in this adventure, and boy was that a rewarding decision.  I immediately fell in love with her creation, examining every detail, but in turn realized that my pool of knowledge regarding the designer herself was rather shallow.  So before I get down to my review of the leotard (stay tuned for the third post of this installment), I’d like to give you all a chance to get to know Miss Sarah Jonesphoto 2

First can you tell us a bit about yourself and your dance background? 
I started ballet when I was 3 at  the Valerie Jenkins Academy of Ballet in Sydney [Australia] and I’m now 15 and studying for my Cecchetti Advanced 2 exam (eek!) I also take jazz, hip hop, character and contemporary. I probably won’t go the super classical route in the future, but I would love to be part of a contemporary company and maybe do some commercial work. I dance mostly because I have absolutely no idea what kind of person I would be without it, or what I would do with all that free time :) I also love the constant challenge and the discipline it has taught me.

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What inspired you to start designing and sewing your own leotards?
I started to make my own leotards because I felt consistently uninspired by the designs at my local dance store; they were always just the same few colors and cuts shuffled around a bit, plus they’re always super expensive! The fist thing I made was a simple wrap skirt and I got so many positive comments from other people at my studio that I just decided to take it a little further and make leotards.

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Do you build your own patterns?  
I make all my own patterns, mostly through trial and error and sometimes basing them off things I already have. By now I’ve built up a good range of existing pieces I can mix and match to create almost anything. Leotards have the bonus that they’re made of stretchy fabric so you can get away with not having insanely complicated patterns.

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How do you come up with the silhouettes and styles for each new leotard?
I take inspiration for leotards from everywhere! If I see someone wearing a really great dress, I think about if it could be translated into leotard form. Another great source of inspiration is swimwear because the designs are often much more elaborate than your traditional leo but the construction is still quite similar. I love anything that is not really conventional, if it’s a bit dramatic and catches your eye from across the room that’s ideal!

photo 1What makes the STB leotard special?I would have to say the main distinguishing features of the STB leotard would be the tulip shaped cutouts around the neckline. I was inspired by an amazing dress I saw in the window of a Pucci store which had a row of cutouts around the waist. It got me thinking about how cutouts could be used in leotard form. I think it’s important thing is that a design has some element of symmetry and that the lines created are streamlined and flowing (just like in ballet!) so I really tried to keep that in mind when designing the leotard.photo 3

Now- just for fun- choose 3 words to describe your own “studio style”…

If I had to choose the words to describe my aesthetic they would probably be fun, flirtatious and unexpected. That’s a difficult question!

Stay tuned for my thoughts on this gorgeous design, and for information on how you can get an STB leotard for yourself, with a special readers-only discount code!

For more peeks at this pretty leo, click here.

photos by Jenay Evans

rehearsal chic

NYC Ballet Ballerina Style

After reading this article on HuffPo about the style of NYCB’s ballerinas, I started considering; how exactly does one’s in-studio style develop?  Everyone has their preferred dancewear flavor, from the guy who sports a wrestling singlet every Saturday to the girl who never starts class without her fluffy knit shawl.  We’ve all seen (and worn) some version of the sheer black wrap skirt and we revel in the magic of the tights-turned-bra-top trick.  We’ve certainly all experienced the softness, warmth, and fat-day-concealing power of the baggy cotton overalls that are somehow deemed acceptable garb within the half circle of wooden barres.  A company-wide rumor of unclaimed “trashbag” anything (shorts, pants, jumpsuits) in the lost and found excites us beyond belief.  But what exactly determines which odd ballet trend we go for?  Why do some of us reach for a sleek black camisole while others relish the chance to don a bright purple Yumiko in the morning?

Personally, I think it has something to do with our sartorial choices outside the studio.  Par example, one of my best friends is a true earrings girl.  From big studs to pearls to danglies (made that word up), she has a big jewelry box stuffed full of them…it’s like the Whole Foods bulk section in there.  She never leaves the house without some kind of ear decor, and she’s even been known to coordinate her earring/leotard combos quite painstakingly.  The brilliance in her dressing?  Without many other options for accessorizing your rehearsal-wear (shoes don’t deviate much from pink satin and necklaces/bracelets/scarves can be cumbersome), earrings are a really smart way to jazz up your ballet gear.  So bravo, T!

As for me, I’m getting pretty excited about a custom-made pair of leg warmers currently being knitted for me by the lovely Vilia Putrius.  Her stuff is seriously amazing…can’t wait to see how these turn out!

Happy Monday!