~Corps de ballet , Bella Harris
I’m not a dancer, but hauntingly beautiful ballet slippers inspire me.
And like a princess with a pistol, I dove into the notion wholeheartedly as one such hopeful ready to turn the requiem of dreams into a full-blown reality.
Much as my belief of styling isn’t about pigeonholing into one particular aesthetic, I employed the same approach when I learned I had one shot at bringing something amazing to the Jeffrey Campbell + Akira fashion table. Integrating the art of Junko Shimada and renowned 19th century Russian ballerina, Anna Pavolva’s captivating elegance in The Dying Swan, I restructured the platform skeleton into a translucent, gradient wedge and sought out a design that would defy the laws of gravity. Style is yet another extension of character. It’s about reinventing the myriad of ways to reclaim the dynamics of experimentation and individuality that are inevitably conveyed to the world about us.
Creativity, personal interest, confidence, classical ballet, minimalism, wearability, and versatility influenced every step of my design approach.
“Black Swan” Pas de Deux from Swan Lake are a bravura performance designed to express the strength and triumph of the character." Glossary of ballet, Wikipedia.
I get asked a lot of interesting questions concerning my slightly unapologetic shoe collection, so I spent an afternoon rummaging about the multicolored stacks of shoeboxes that shamelessly multiply within my closet. It’s categorically the one area of my wardrobe with no holds barred. I’m convinced it has a life of its own, with, or without me. The search for inspiration wasn’t difficult. I knew exactly what I wanted. But when the towers tumbled down on top of me, it was then that I realized I had some pretty big shoes to fill. After three diligent weeks and hours of closet musing over officers of style, I laid down the gauntlet and had finally transformed my unregretful homage to Imelda Marco’s 3000+ collection into a cognoscente piece of art.
Fully conceptualizing an idea alongside sketching the design led to the pursuit of broken jewelry, UK Vogue, Elle, and scraps of whimsical material as the many elements intended for my mood board rendezvoused for presentation. Our wardrobes are a universal changeover that parallels the varying seasons, so adaptability with the balance of stamina and a storybook twist was essential. Mimicking the stylistic movement of ballet, the nude satin and gossamer lacings become an extension of the female silhouette, creating a universally desired illusion that a woman’s legs elongate from here to infinity. Contrasting textures with an eccentric transparency of architecture makes creativity and self-expression essential to the empowering style. And when it comes to panache, we’ve certainly learned to familiarize ourselves amongst the ephemeral fads and trendsetting methods that, at times, pioneer our wanderlust for that perfect pair of shoes.
Melding the quintessential with avant-garde, I impart a design that I feel not only lends to Jeffrey Campbell’s innovative approach, but also maintains my own personality and voice into the concept. Jeffrey Campbell meets the New York City Ballet.
Thank you for your time and thoughtful consideration, as through this submission I hope to convey a level of quality Chictopia, Jeffrey Campbell, and Akira merits.
All submission content by Bella Harris