dizzy stripes

IMG_2115 IMG_2117 IMG_2116 IMG_2119IMG_2120IMG_2118I fell in love with these playful little petal shorts the moment they hit Instagram.

Then they landed on the Danseuse blog, and my heart skipped yet another beat.

For weeks, my legs longed for their sheer stripe-y goodness from all the way across the pond.  Then one very lucky Tuesday they arrived in a pretty little package at my doorstep.  Naturally, I immediately put them on and twirled around the house.

The modern, yet feminine shape features a deep front slit on either thigh, allowing for a complete range of motion.  And boy, do they move beautifully.  I’ve been wearing mine rolled to the hips, but they look just lovely up on your waist as well.  The contrast between that polished base fabric with a casual jersey drawstring elevates this already wonderfully unusual design to a whole new level of unique charm.  They are the special kind of shorts that will attract copycats but never truly be replicated or replaced.  No dancewear will ever out-cool them, that is, of course, until the Danseuse team inevitably strikes again and I’m left longing once more.  Sheer genius, ladies and gents.

Danseuse Balletwear Petal Sheer Shorts in Blue Stripe, c/o (and psssst, they come in blanc and a longer length indigo, too!)

photos by Jenay Evans.

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!

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!

ladylike

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I’ve never met a dancer who is not hyper specific about her taste in leotards.  Tight and supportive, soft and worn in, bright, dark, feminine, sporty, strappy, simple; There are a lot of options and even more opinions.  Of course, I am no exception to the rule, preferring my leotards supportive yet soft, and feminine but flattering.  Despite my mother’s insistence that my bust is fairly compact, my tendency for dramatics has me completely convinced otherwise, resulting in a certain inclination towards what I like to lovingly refer to as “boob-friendly leotards”, i.e. those which suit a slightly fuller chest.  I tend to favor dark colored (re: slimming) leo’s that cut high on the hip, dip low in the back, and offer some kind of unique feature to set it apart in a sea of basic black camisoles.

All details considered, you can imagine my apprehension in opening the package that contained a custom-designed leotard, made especially for my blog, by a young dancer (and I mean young!) whom I have never even met.  I held the package in my hands, waiting just long enough for my curiosity to swell into a tangible entity outside of myself.  A few nearby other dancers took note of my anxiousness and encouraged me to rip open the package.  When I did, we were all blown away.

It’s hard not to fall in love with this leotard instantly.  It collects little pieces of light from every beautiful balletic dream and weaves them all up into a fairytale of a garment.  But what surprised me about my experience receiving this leotard was the way in which every aspect that would normally send me running for cover actually became what I love most in this piece.  You know how sometimes when you try too hard to hide something, it actually becomes more glaringly obvious?  Well, there’s a widely revered characteristic in French women that I have always been envious of; They use their flaws and insecurities as defining features, promoting the effortless allure of unbrushed hair and a good run in your stockings.  In this leotard, I have finally reached an understanding of French female empowerment.  The light colors I habitually avoided now gracefully wrapped their way around my body, and feminine cut-outs along the neckline emphasized the bust I had always spitefully suppressed.  And you know what?  The change felt good.  I strutted my stuff through every rehearsal in the gorgeous creation, and I think my confidence showed; Almost every girl in the company approached me that day complimenting the new leo, and even asking where and how to get one for themselves.  If that doesn’t confirm a successful design, I don’t know what does.

With its soft, delicate, vintage-inspired front and a sporty, clasp-enclosed shrug style back, this leotard really does it all.  It’s so completely one-of-a-kind and like nothing I’ve ever had the pleasuring of dancing in before, and I am proud to know Setting The Barre is being represented so elegantly.  And because Miss Jones knows that no project is complete without a personal touch, she even embroidered my name into the hip.  Incredible.

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So readers, I invite you to experience the bliss that is classic femininity with a decidedly modern twist.  Get your hands on the limited-edition Setting The Barre leotard, with a special reader’s only discount.  Use the code DANCE13 for 10% off at check out.

view the rest of the Miss Jones Dance etsy shop here.

Special thank you to Sarah Jones for her stunning design and Jenay Evans for her brilliant photography.

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

playing model

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Today Brenna and I headed to the Hope Artiste’s Village in Pawtucket to model some clothes for a little boutique in downtown Providence called Shoppe Pioneer.  We were pretty nervous for our first ever modeling gig (unless you count the RISD fashion critique?), but today’s photoshoot pleasantly surprised us;  We both left smiling and feeling like we’d conquered a real fear.  Three cheers for moving out of your comfort zone!  Woo!

Soooo, these pictures are just a little sneak peek., but stay tuned for more awkward, hand-on-hip poses.  And try your best not to laugh at me, or we’re not friends anymore!  Just kidding we will always be friends.  But seriously, don’t laugh, kay?!  Happy Sunday, all. x

playing dress up

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I am not a model.  I repeat, I…am not a model.  But I thought I should still share a few photos from the RISD crit I did back in December.  I can’t believe I was wearing this costume so long ago (the weekend before Nutcracker to be exact!- wait is it weird that my time reference is in terms of performances?) and here we are the weekend before the opening of Little Red Riding Hood (yikes I did it again- that’s twice in one sentence…scary).  Anyway, this gorgeous “Mama Red Riding Hood” costume was designed and created by RISD student Alexa Foster, and I am so impressed by her work.  Honestly, I was begging her to make me one of these leotards so I could rock it for class all the time…I was so in love with it!  But I think my favorite part has got to be that giant pink satin bow.  I mean, it’s not every day you get to walk around with one of those on your waist…

If you are in the Providence area (or somewhere in New England, it’s all relatively close together even though we Rhode Islanders like to pretend that going anywhere out of the greater Providence area is considered a “day trip”), please grab some tickets and come out to see Little Red Riding Hood.  Whether you are 2 or 102, in diapers or depends, a child in kindergarten or just a child at heart, you will thoroughly enjoy this show.  Plus, the entire audience gets free cookies and milk after the show, compliments of Seven Stars Bakery…if that isn’t enough incentive I don’t know what is!  For tickets and more information, please click here.