There is no question that fashion is an important part of Ballroom. The look, feel and entertainment value of Ballroom has a lot to do with the mix of the performance, music and costumes. Ballroom also offers some of the most innovative, glamorous and provocative designs in the fashion industry. All in all, ballroom fashion is fascinating and DanceSport Fashionista has the view.
In Standard, while we consistently see many traditional Standard gowns, with a full skirt and demure feel, we also see a fair number that appear to have been heavily influenced by Smooth’s latin-like bodice, with a flowing rather than full skirt. The trend of the Smooth look in Standard gowns has been developing for quite some time, but Standard now appears to be taking another turn. In several recent competitions, we are seeing many examples of shorter above the ankle hem-line in professional, amateur and pro-am dancers. This hem-line was also seen in some costumes at Blackpool. The same shorter length, with a less full skirt and a tunic-style bodice was worn by Edita Daniute with elegant perfection on the podium of the last competition of her career with Mirko Gozzoli. This length is loved by some and looked up cautiously by others. While we are seeing more of the shorter hem-line, the longer length continues to predominate right now.
The shorter length Ballroom skirt is not new. It was the norm in competitive ballroom several years ago. With this is not surprising that it has a vintage feel. It also has an unmistakable feel of simple elegance as opposed to glamour. Perhaps it is a response to the merging of Smooth and Standard styles, in an attempt to clarify Standard.
In Smooth the attention getting look is in hair not costumes. We are seeing a number of styles with hair flowing at or past shoulder length. The best of the look, however, is not the Dancing With The Stars, hair-everywhere look. Ballroom competition hair is still pulled very nicely back from the crown so the length and the flow is only clearly noticeable from the side and back. A trend? Not sure yet. But interesting to see.
In our view, the best costuming has a clear intent. Fun or dramatic. Vintage or modern. Edgy or soft. One great example of this was worn by a lady-dancer in a pro-am category, when dancing Standard at the Autumn Dance Classic. The body of the costume was perfectly form fitting to the upper thigh. This is not a new shape, but the material was very light and the beading was a perfect example of the look that many strive for. All one could see was twinkling rhinestones on her body, and nothing else, including skin, mesh or material. The skirt was entirely tulle. The real story here is how the light mint green color in the multiple layers of tulle enhanced the twinkling crystal bodice of the gown, to give a fresh and extraordinarily light feel.
The lady’s dark hair looked great with the gown, however, if she ever decided to dye her hair bright red or wear a wig in that color, the look would definitely get to the next level of stunning. When the theme of a costume is either continued or clearly accented with hair, make-up and attitude, the look can be completely enticing.
Until next time!
DanceSport Fashionista for Dance Comp Review