Often I find myself obsessed specifically with the curves of the body—shoulder blades, collarbones, or arches of the foot. Despite relinquishing the ambition of becoming a prima ballerina assoluta many years ago, I still appreciate the speechless storytelling and enviable flexibility of the ballet and its dancers.
I learned from reading the interviews of the Victoria’s Secret Angels that their bodies were achieved with the help of professional ballerina and Founder of Ballet Beautiful, Mary Helen Bowers. While her exercises are targeted at developing the graceful aesthetic of the ballerina’s form, this article will merely suggest styles apt for those who recognize the beauty of ballet.
When I discovered Steven Alan (stevenalan.com), I was immediately enthralled. It gilds modern minimalism with an effortless class that makes it (paradoxically) vividly pastel. The site hosts items designed by Steven Alan and other brands, like the currently adored Grace Lee. One of my bucket list entries is to attend a showcase by The Royal Ballet, perhaps in Alice McCall’s Oceanography Playsuit ($278 CAD at alicemccall.com) and Repetto’s Sophia ballerina shoes, with a Miansai cuff (also at stevenalan.com) and Grace Lee’s Moonstone Crown Bezel Necklace ($385) delicately resting on my sternum. The necklace, handmade in Los Angeles, cradles a multifaceted moonstone in a 14K rose gold crown bezel. Other styles include sapphires, emeralds, or simply elemental metal.
The Repetto Sophia ballerinas are street-friendly versions of the demi-pointe shoe because they have rubber sole inserts in lieu of the full leather sole. You can find these French made ballet-esque shoes at repetto.com, along with genuine ballet attire for men, women and children.
If, however, you’re looking for even more exquisite jewels, you definitely need to be an admirer of Anna Sheffield. The Classics of her fine jewelry consist of perfectly cut opulent gems framed by just enough metal to keep attention on the jewel. My favorite pieces are the Emma Droplet Necklace with White Topaz and the Eleonore Cocktail Ring with Champagne Quartz and Diamonds ($500 and $725 respectively, at annasheffield.com). She also designs bands for grooms and ring sets for brides, where additional rings frame the main jewel, but, to be honest, each of her riveting rings would be worthy of engagement.
The only tiny hiccup I have with Sheffield is that she doesn’t have a collection of pearls, but I get my fix with Sophie Bille Brahe. Her most recent collection consistently evokes the word “perfect” for me. It’s comprised of 14K gold styles embellished only by perfectly spheric, lustrous Akoya pearls. (It’s one of my birthstones; I have the right to obsess.) They’re back in stock at net-a-porter.com.
Some think of the ballet as a privileged, cultured form of entertainment with an acquired taste, but I fancy the idea that they only have that perspective because they haven’t seen a real one. It’s a dialogue without words; a graceful dance with such alluring movement and spellbinding arches and lifts, complemented by gossamer chiffon or layers of tulle. En pointe, they literally carry themselves on their toes! You have to wonder how the dancers can love it so much despite the pain and sacrifice. Though I suppose when things get difficult, there’s nothing like going back to basics. While others go back to square one, they return to first position.