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!

snow day sweat

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Talk to anyone living in New England right now and I guarantee they will air some sort of grievance regarding the blizzard-a-weekend stint Mother Nature has been pulling for the past month.  Records are being broken this winter, and all the parking bans and icy roads have made for a disturbing amount of time spent locked up in my apartment Netflix binging on the couch doing highly productive, culturally enriching activities like vacuuming and reading.  Intellectual and sanitational enlightenment aside, Juno & Gang have made the short trip to my gym rather inconvenient, hindering my recently launched cross training regime like that tall guy with the big head who always ends up sitting directly in front of you at the theater.  But!  Today I decided not to let the snow interfere, by conducting my own little at home work out (#goals).  Sure, I wanted to burn some calories and show that snowfall who’s boss, but the real motivation to sweat came from my snazzy new K-DEER Haute Yoga shorts, aptly named “the bum bums”.  Cheeky?  Why, yes, yes they are…

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If you’re a yogi and an instagram user, you may have heard of K-DEER’s wildly popular feed that has earned the brand its cult following.  Famous for their vibrantly graphic prints and luxe fabrics, K-DEER boasts a host of celebrity fans including Naomi Campbell, Brooke Burke, and even NYCB principal Sara Mearns.  But the brand had quite a humble beginning;  The designer, Kristine Deer, who’s responsible for the line’s infamously funky patterned leggings, shorts, and tops, launched her company almost by accident.  Fueled by the frustration of her own ill-fitting yoga gear, Deer decided to sew up a few pairs of shorts (bum bums) to sell on her etsy shop.  The response was overwhelming and her stock quickly drained, prompting Ms. Deer to sew and sell over 800 pairs of the inaugural shorts from her childhood bedroom.  From there, with some slightly more time and cost effective manufacturing techniques and the help of social media-famous yogi friend, Laura Kasperzak, Deer’s designs have cultivated a massive fan club.

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Inspired by this photo, I decided to follow in Miss Mearns’ footsteps (bumprints?) and check out the cheeky little bum bums in Black Tie Affair.  As soon as I opened the package, the teensy shorts slipped out into my hands and I was actually surprised by just how thin they were.  These seem like they might be silkiest things to ever hug my hips, were my exact thoughts in that moment.  In the middle of my living room, I slipped them on and my premonitions turned out to be absolutely true; these are the smoothest, most comfortable booty shorts ever.  Seriously.  I know this sounds cliché, but the elastic and seam-free nature of the bum bums (and the entire K-DEER collection, for that matter) makes it feel like you aren’t wearing anything at all, which I consider to be an incredibly attractive attribute in a pair of shorts, personally.  I mean, am I the only lady who has trouble holding 3-legged dog with a contentious seam creeping up into places it doesn’t belong?  I didn’t think so!  The au natural feel and fit of the bum bums is probably my favorite feature (yoga and nap appropriate, 3 cheers for multitasking), but this special eco-friendly fabric continues to deliver, with the claim of remaining pill-free and vivid through all kinds of conditions- sweat, sun, chlorine, saltwater- you name it, they endure it, and they do it in style.  As you may remember from my Modern Classic obsession, I am a big fan of ruching and bows, and these saucy little hot pants deliver both.  Much like the gwenythbrand tank I can’t seem to stop talking about, the K-EER bum bums exhibit a beautiful harmony of fashion and function, proving that when it comes to active wear, you don’t have to sacrifice style for sweat.

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workout-tested, tea time-approved.

Shop the whole collection here.

NYCB x The Coveteur

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As a long time fan of The Coveteur, a website that takes you inside the closets of today’s tastemakers and publishes the scoop on all of the latest designer collaborations, I practically jumped out of my dress when I noticed their feature on New York City Ballet‘s annual Fall Gala, which happens to be tonight.  Because I stalk several NYCB dancers on instagram, of course I had already heard about the company’s collaboration with Thom Browne, Carolina Hererra, Mary Katrantzou, and Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen (coordinated by NYCB board member and resident fashion insider, Sarah Jessica Parker).  But, being the stalker that I am, the idea of sneaking a peek behind-the-scenes before the costumes even hit the stage was impossible to resist!  Imagine how fun it would be to don an exclusively NYCB designer costume for the night?  Swoon.

Check out the designs for yourself here!

Read more about the project here.

All photos via The Coveteur

the modern classic

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An infusion of romantic, vintage-inspired elegance with synergistic comfort and functionality, The Modern Classic top by up and coming fitness brand, gwenyth, is a breath of fresh air.

When the line’s creator, Michele Cheowtirakul Braxton, reached out to me about reviewing the inaugural piece from her new brand, I immediately checked out their start up video, and was completely hooked.  I love the way Michele compares her designs to dance, describing both as a marriage of beauty and precision which come together to create a “sublime combination of art and science”.  Genius.  And she’s not making this stuff up; Not only is this the most visually beautiful workout top I’ve ever worn, it’s also extremely flattering and supportive.  Fashion meets function.

When I opened up the little gwenyth package, the first thing I noticed was how incredibly soft the fabric was.  I’m not kidding, guys.  I want to cuddle with this top.  Sweat-whisking, shape-shifting components leave most fitness tops slightly stiff and scratchy, but the Modern Classic is different.  It’s flexible, adjustable, absorbent and soft.  Activewear sorcery!

Perhaps the most exciting aspect of this top, in my case, is the built-in sling bra.  First of all, it comes with two different types of removable pads, depending on your needs: shape & support or just coverage.  Options?  Yes please!  Secondly, the straps on this thing are what I would like to call “super adjusters”.  Of course they alter the way normal camisoles do, but the addition of adjustable trianglular straps at the sides plus an optional back strap boost this built-in bra from average to exceptional.  As a self-proclaimed busty ballerina, this feature has me absolutely sold, and frankly reluctant to put on any of my old workout shirts.

The cinch-able ties on either side are a fun bonus, allowing the Modern Classic to grow and shrink in length, seamlessly transitioning from tank to tunic, studio to real world, day to night.  If you feel like hiding those little ties on the side, no problem- tuck them up into the convenient little loops on the inside of the top.  These designers have thought of EVERYTHING.  Plus, if you choose not to use the back strap in your bra, it doubles as a headband.  So you know how sometimes you leave the studio and your hair looks like 80’s SJP but you promised an old friend you’d meet them for a drink?  Pop a cute head band in that rat’s nest and suddenly you’re a little less impulse-perm and a little more I-woke-up-like-this-flawless.  Win-win. (win, win, win, win.)

Clearly I’m a believer, are you?  Read more and get your gwenyth here.

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photos of me by Jenay Evans for STB

birthday {wish}list

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With my 22nd birthday less than a month away (when did I get so old?!), I can’t help but daydream of beautiful goodies I would kill to unwrap come February.  Today’s snowy day off from work has gifted me a slow morning filled with homemade oatmeal (thanks, T), cozy pj’s past noon, and ample couch time to….do….well….what else is there to do but compile a wishlist (emphasis on the WISH) of gorgeous things on a snow day anyway?

clockwise from top left: 2014 calendar, cashmere beanie, ballerina earrings, pj set, gucci bag, rayban sunnies, mulberry bag, marc jacobs watch

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!

ballet bag

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From that baby-sized bright pink plastic duffle with the pointe shoes embroidered on the front to the stinky, ratty old sack you drag your warm-ups to rehearsal in, the ballet bag is a staple in every dancer’s life.  This is why when I found out about Nina Ricci’s new line of ballet-inspired leather totes, I knew I had to post about it.  I admit it has taken me a little while, buuuut voila!  I now present to you the magnificent collection of Nina Ricci “ballet bags”:

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Glorious, aren’t they?  I’m totally coveting the soft pink one.  And I know it’s obvious, given their title and inspiration, but these things just scream sophisticated ballerina on her way to the theater to me.  There’s just something about the thin handles and long, sensual lines…j’adore.  Spot on, Nina Ricci.  You nailed it.

For more beautiful bag goodness, check out this little video created for the collection’s release by Paris-based artist duo “I Could Never Be A Dancer”:

october first

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Today is the first day of October!  Of course, I celebrated yesterday (my day off from work) by fighting the unseasonably warm temperatures with a thin black sweater and my orange beanie.  I can’t wait for the weather to start cooperating with the season…

I had a lovely “faux” first day of October yesterday, shopping with friends and visiting my dad at his kingdom of chemistry office.  The crazy brilliant engineer stuff that man does like it’s no big deal will never cease to amaze me.

Today the first few guest artists arrived for FBP’s annual Together We Dance gala this Thursday, and ohmygod, they are gorgeous.  More on that in an upcoming post…stay tuned…

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

ladylike

Lately I’ve been finding myself surrounded by ultra-girly things…and loving it…

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On my dresser: A framed drawing of my favorite flower (a pink peony) done by my Valentine, making friends with a colorful new necklace.

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By my window: A set of Parisian Rifle Paper Co. cards I’ve been eyeing for quite some time- gifted to me by the roommie for my birthday.  I plan to frame and hang those bad boys as soon as I get some free time…

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In the porcelain dish: My current daytime ring collection (that teeny Catbird memory ring is a new addition!).

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On my nightstand: A stack of stylish books, two of them birthday gifts from friends who know me oh so well.

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On my fingers:  Last week’s funky manicure.  Hashtag confused ring finger.

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On my dining room table: A pretty bouquet of pale pink birthday roses from the boyfriend.  I’m a lucky girl :)

On deck for tomorrow: The return of Sandra Jennings to the FBP studios and some major Agon work.  Oh, and more of Viktor Plotnikov’s Orchis. Happy Weekend! xx