From Coco Chanel’s work on costumes for Bronislava Nijinska (the only female choreographer of the Ballets Russes) to Miuccia Prada’s 2010 costumes for Verdi’s Atilla at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, fashion has long had an affiliation with dance. As well as stage based collaborations many designers have used dance as part of, or alongside their collections to add impact and movement to this usually stiff format. Here is our top 5 (in no particular order).
1. Lanvin AW11: the catwalk may have been a traditional presentation but the fabulously tongue in cheek campaign video featuring Raquel Zimmermann and Karen Elson was both visually stunning and super fun. Despite the (deliberately?) goofy dancing and cheesy tune Elbaz’s creations still manage to look utterly chic and elegant.
2. McQueen SS04: The ultimate fashion showman, Alexander McQueen’s SS04 collection was more performance than runway. An over the top version of Sydney Pollack’s Depression-era film ‘They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?’ choreographed my Michael Clark, the show featured both dancers and models dressed in slinky 1930s inspired fashions
3 . Ossie Clark & Alison Pollock 1968: Clark & Pollock’s groundbreaking show at super cool London club Revolution perfectly captured the spirit of freedom and sexual exuberance in the late 1960s. Models in low cut and see through dresses danced around in front of an audience which included John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
4. Comme Des Garcons SS97: A doyenne of mixing art with fashion Rei Kawakubo’s SS97 collection, often referred to as ‘lumps and bumps’’, featured in a collaboration between Kawakubo and New York based choreographer Merce Cunningham. The piece was called ‘Scenario’ and all the dancers wore clothing from the collection.
5 Viktor & Rolf SS07: Already fans of mixing musical entertainment with fashion the dutch duo’s SS07 cabaret inspired collection had Rufus Wainwright singing “Over the Rainbow,” a showtime orchestra and ballroom dancers. The show ended with tuxedo clad boys dancing cheek to cheek.