The culture/ How Mary Katrantzou saved the ballet

In case you haven’t heard, classical arts are having a tough time dealing with slashed budgets and an ever continuing battle to fill seats for the past couple of years. But one storied arts institution is riding a hell of a wave of popularity with the help of a rather flamboyant ally. Oh, yes. I am talking about fashion. The New York City Ballet is currently enjoying its status as the most glamorous hot spot in the Big Apple just four years after a a $6 million deficit. By embracing high fashion in the form of designer collaborations, the company which started in 1948 by Lincoln Kirstein and George Balanchine received an onslaught of publicity both from outlets that are reviewing ballet regularly and more fashionable oriented and rather mainstream publications such as Vogue. Featuring four new performances with costumes designed by Carolina Herrera, Thom Browne, Mary Katrantzou and Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen this year’s ballet gala drew more than 800 guests and raised $2.3 million for the institution through an event that managed to bring ballet closer to an audience that is more interested in what the Greek designer is doing rather than the company itself. Thanx to Sarah Jessica Parker, who approached the ballet in 2012 about collaborating with designers, the A-listers of style are allies to New York City Ballet and this year our own Mary Katrantzou impressed the younger more fashion-forward audience and SJP herself with “second skin” lace-appliquéd leotards inspired by her Resort ’15 collection. I guess, style saved the day once again.

Images via, NYCB and New York Times

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