- Editorial column -

Ballet freaks or trendsetters

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- Why don’t you wear this leotard to class?

- Will the teacher allow me to?

It’s a chit-chat of two Bolshoi Academy graduates, who don’t even suspect the scale of changes. In three months they will start working in a theater, where not only will they be able to choose the leotard color but also set up their own style and fashion.

In anticipation of spring I decided to write this new column about ballet dancers who are able to express their individuality through their appearance in a ballet class. If it’s not in spring, when else can we talk about fashion?


Ballet school is a distinct regime with its own ballet features, a life, stuck to certain rules and culture. The traditional image of a ballerina includes a sleek hair bun, a strict leotard, a waist band in secondary school and a chiffon skirt in senior school. Everybody should look the same. If you want to stand out, let your professional success do it for you. In all other things there’s a total equality.

Theater changes everything. Here, those cloned ballet girls turn into individuals with their own views upon life, art and style. Someone adheres to conservatism or elegance, someone prefers sporty outfit, others choose the attire which makes them look slimmer.

The artists I chose are not just outrageous and epatage as they can seem on the face of it. They are more trendsetters of what is cool to wear in class.


Maria Kochetkova – Ballet freak


Maria Kochetkova is a ballet freak, hipster and fashionmonger. Nobody else is audacious enough to match a ballet tutu with oversized T-shirts, knitted scarves and legwarmers. She isn’t afraid to come to class wearing knee socks instead of tights, Massive Goods shorts with a freaky print and a high messy bun. And it’s this laid-back style that we love Masha for.


Token behind the curtains:

Huge red or orange headphones on top of a sparkling tiara.

Line of clothes


World of fashion

Julien David



Diana Vishneva – Diva


Diana Vishneva is a fashion icon both in high society events, where she appears in dresses by Tatyana Parfionova, and in rehearsal studios, never mind if it’s Mariinsky theater or Metropolitan Opera House. Once, specially for Diana, Louis Vuitton masters elaborated a wonder-suitcase Malle Ballerina for a safe transportation of valuable stage props. The suitcase can fit dozens of point shoes and even a full ballet outfit.

In class Diana is not as extravagant as in life. Her appearance shows that the diva is here to spend long working hours and the air of a social life is left behind the doors. No make-up, but with a special approach to the choice of clothes. Just like Ratmansky’s Cinderella, she masterfully combines chiffon and knitting and often puts on a leotard over a colorful top, or sticks to a classic color combination thinning the accents by a chopin tutu or tights of the same color with the leotard.


Token behind the curtains

A hoody with a print “Mariinsky” on the back.

Line of clothes

Grishko, limited dancewear colletion by Diana Vishneva

World of fashion

Tatyana Parfionova

Jaquet Droz



Misty Copeland – Power Woman


The main USA ballerina with a million of Instagram followers, she breaks the stereotypes in art, but remains decently conservative in class. In photoshoots Misty is portrayed in a very sexy manner, which is logical: the assumption is that the ballerina possesses the most sculptural body in a ballet world. In class, though, she prefers simple leotards with chiffon skirts or rehearsal tutus. For a contemporary dance class she mixes tights of different colors. I can’t but agree that such a body looks perfect even in an ordinary leotard!


Token behind the curtains

Confident step

Line of clothes

Egal Dance

World of fashion

Under Armour Women



Jorge Barani – Ballet top-scorer


Jorge Barani became famous thanks to his endless pirouettes and stunts on YouTube. Once you’ve started, you can’t stop watching his 10 pirouettes in a row – the technique is brilliant! He might as well turn out to be a football fan because he has recently posted a video where he takes of a Lionel Messi T-shirt while spinning a pirouette. All his videos are filled with kind humour, pure technique… and clothes! Jorge has often turned up wearing sports clothes or tight pants of different colors, be it pink or starry pattern.

Token behind the curtains

Like The Tasmanian devil, or “Tuz”, from the cartoon, he always spins like a vortex – you can hardly see him.

Line of clothes

World of fashion



Courtney Lavine – Elegance


The ABT dancer Courtney Lavine, who has recently been shot in a Chanel commercial, incarnates the words by Coco Chanel herself: ‘A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.’ Courtney really is both. Her appearance is always elegant. Classic monochromatic long-sleeve leotards in combination with light tutus make her a real Сoco Mademoiselle of a ballet world.


Token behind the curtains

Pink lipstick

Line of clothes

World of fashion