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Dance and Fashion

Valerie Steele (Editor), Patricia Mears (Contributions by), Mary Davis (Contributions by), Colleen Hill (Contributions by), Melissa Marra (Contributions by), Masafumi Monden (Contributions by), Elizabeth Way (Contributions by), Anna Winestein (Contributions by), Emma McClendon (Contributions by), Adelheid Rasche (Contributions by)


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The first book to explore the synergy between dance and fashion, featuring a wide range of dance-fashion collaborations and inspirations

Dress and adornment have long played an important role in the visual allure of dance, and fashion designers have often been inspired by the way dancers look. The tutus and pointe shoes of the Romantic ballerina, for example, have influenced designers from Christian Dior to Christian Louboutin. Cristóbal Balenciaga was inspired by the drama of flamenco, Yves Saint Laurent by the Orientalism of the Ballet Russes, and Rick Owens by the dynamism of African-American steppers. Fashion designers  are also increasingly collaborating with choreographers to create stylish new dance costumes—from the “bump” dresses by Comme des Garçons for Merce Cunningham  to Valentino’s “Bal de Couture” designs for New York City Ballet.
Lavishly illustrated with both contemporary and historical images, the book features essays by ten  fashion experts, who explore various aspects of the reciprocal relationship between dance and fashion, from the liberating effects of the tango to the influence of ballet on Japanese girl culture. Designers featured include Leon Bakst, Cristóbal Balenciaga, Comme des Garçons, Christian Dior, John Galliano, Jean Paul Gaultier, Halston, Barbara Karinka, Isaac Mizrahi, Rodarte, Yves Saint Laurent, Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy, Valentino, and Iris Van Herpen.   
This beautiful book explores for the first time the synergy between dance and fashion, and is an original and inspired contribution to the study of both art forms. 

Praise For Dance and Fashion

“The scholarship presented spans dimensions of time and culture, providing the reader with an impressive level of breadth. . . .The text includes a considerable number of illustrations that enhance and support the contents of the work. . . . A useful resource for any student or practitioner who is following either of these disciplines . . . Recommended. All levels of students through researchers/faculty; dance or fashion professionals.”—Library Journal

"I was delighted . . . The book reflects scholarly seriousness, offers fascinating detail, and is illustrated with unfamiliar photographs including a priceless one of Martha Graham sewing up the waistband of Eric Hawkins’ trousers."—Debra Cash, ArtsFuse

Yale University Press, 9780300208856, 368pp.

Publication Date: December 2, 2014

About the Author

Valerie Steele is director and chief curator of The Museum at FIT.