Chiffons, ruffles, skater skirts, and feather dresses. They lept off the Rodarte costume racks of the Black Swan set and onto the catwalks this year. Designers including Celine, J. Mendel, The Blonds, Oscar de la Renta, and Ruffian, have all embraced characteristics of ballet fashion into their recent collections. Even exiled designer John Galliano channeled the great Tatar ballerino Rudolf Nureyev for his FW11 Men’s Collection. Canadian Calgary-based fashion designer, jewellery designer, and World Vision humanitarian Paul Hardy’s Women’s FW11 Collection is no exception.
Fashion Television’s Jeanne Beker once compared Paul’s talent to that of Marc Jacob’s or Stella McCartney. He’s also been on the receiving end of praise by celebrity stylist Philip Bloch, The New York Post, Elle Canada, and Flare Magazine. It’s All Style To Me was lucky enough to be invited to see Hardy’s latest collection at the National Ballet School of Canada and speak to the designer after the show.
“The inspiration for the collection was really based on dancers during their training and their off hours – when people don’t really see them on stage,” explained Hardy. “The quirky combination of clothes that they put together from whatever they pulled out of the laundry that day.” In parallel, Hardy was also inspired by the style of 1980s Canadian documentary Flamenco At 5:15 by Cynthia Scott. This Oscar-winning short film is an impressionistic record of a flamenco dance class given to senior students of the National Ballet School of Canada after regular class hours, hence 5:15, which was also when the doors opened for the fashion show.
The FW11 collection featured mainly metallic grey pieces accessorized in hosiery and numbered bowling shoes from the local Ballroom Bowlerama. The bowling shoes paired with the young, sporty, ponytailed models, created a very cool casual feel to the collection. The black on grey metallic prints were beautiful, as was the window-pane suit and check dress. Hardy’s low-cut blouses draped over the models with a welcomed dose of sexiness. The lightweight silk feather dresses, feather pencil skirts, and feather hoodies were simply out of this world. Surprised to see him shy on the fur and shearling and sadly, he left us poor boys out in the cold this season. Hardy’s take on the ballet/dance fashion trend has taken a refreshing direction. The result is an innovative, wearable, and nowhere near as formal or costume-like collection as some of his contemporaries. Something that will prove to work in his favour. For fashion show photos, please visit the It’s All Style To Me Facebook Page. For more information on Paul Hardy, please visit www.paulhardydesign.com.
By Spiro Mandylor / www.itsallstyletome.com