Dance fans will be happy to hear that the ballet references are continuing on the Parisian runways. Among the various ballet-inspired garments on Dior's runway there was the luxury version of a cheap staple in any dancer's wardrobe, the basic top made by recycling a pair of tights.
This piece also reappeared on Courrèges's runway that took place at the Avenue François 1er flagship: current Creative Director Yolanda Zobel came up with a youthful collection inspired by club kids and included in it some references to the founder, such as snap-front jackets and trousers, rectangular hats and white kid open-toe flat shoes. These Courrèges classics seem to perfectly fit with the ballet trend.
Among the other garments pointing at a ballet inspiration in this collection in which Zobel tried to use more natural-looking fabrics, there were also see-through synthetic body stockings and tops embellished with sparking appliqued elements and daisy nipple pasties (one of the tops was matched with a wearable architectural beige poncho). Entitled "The Future Is Behind You", the collection had some highlights - the trench coats - but was otherwise fragmented, disordered and unconvincing.
This was Zobel's first collection after Sébastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant (previously of design duo Coperni Femme) tried to revamp the house through rigorously architectural lines (that sadly didn't translate into sales).
The brand, currently owned by Jacques Bungert and Frédéric Torloting with a 40 percent stake held by Artémis SA, the family holding company of French billionaire François Pinault, is currently undergoing a restructuring that started from the logo, redesigned by Peter Saville (now widely considered as the man to turn to in the fashion industry to rescue your brand from graphic failure...).
As part of the restructuring plan, Zobel pledged the house will soon go plastic free and designed a limited collection (called "Fin de Plastique") of numbered items (clothes, but also small accessories such as a drawstring bag and bow hairbands) made from 6,000 meters of vinyl leftovers from the house archives (a way to say good-bye to the past and highlight the fact that plastic based materials deteriorate and decay).
Time will tell if things will commercially work out for Courrèges, in the meantime, if you want to follow the crop top trend, get an old pair of tights, cut them and embellish them as much as you like.
While this may be a fun way to create something very quickly, this exercise will also make you think: while even barre work in ballet has changed considerably over the last 200 years since it was first established in the 19th century by the influential teacher and dancer Carlo Blasis, fashion only pretends to be looking at the future but then, by reproducing something as basic as tights transformed into crop tops, confirms us that it hasn't changed much after all. Oh well, at least now we know what fashionistas may want to wear when they pretend to be engaged in an intensive work out à la barre.