The costume for the final ballet performance I danced in consisted of a black leotard and pale pink skirt, tights and shoes. Far from fulfilling my Degas inspired fantasies of swirling around the stage in a rich and elaborate tutu, I ended up in an outfit nearly identical to the one I had worn in ballet class at the age of 7.
Admittedly, this unimaginative ensemble was a considerable improvement from the white curtain panels that we had pinned around our bodies for a barefoot 'experimental' performance several months earlier, but I was still hugely disappointed. To me, ballet is the ultimate work-for-clothes-tradeoff. The femmes who spend years training to contort their bodies and totter around on bandaged tiptoes are rewarded with a fantasy outfit to wear when they finally get to perform for a paying audience. My fantasy outfit involved a boned bodice, several yards of embellished tulle and red pointe shoes (similar to Lacroix couture), but I would certainly have settled for a costume specially designed by Marc Jacobs. Such is the fabric fate that awaits the lucky dancers of the Garnier Opera in Paris. French Vogue reports that MJ has been commissioned to create 42 short dresses for an upcoming performance entitled 'Amoveo'. From a practical perspective, this is even better than a lush tutu because each dancer can wear her costume to the afterparty with her MJ ballet flats!