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The M Dash

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Ballet Dancers Test-drive Our Summer Collection

April 07, 2017 | Filed in: Your Closet

Mark your calendars: This week brings the launch of our summer collection, The Light Fantastic. In the spirit of its namesake, a turn-of-the-century expression that means “to dance nimbly or lightly,” we asked three ballet dancers—Unity Phelan, Alexa Maxwell, and Georgina Pazcoguin, all of the New York City Ballet—to take our new pieces for a spin. “When I saw these clothes, I immediately knew it would be fun to play with them,” said choreographer Claudia Schreier. “The fluidity and movement of the fabric was perfect for beautiful backbends and spinning and turns.” So, it’s official: This collection is dance-floor approved! See for yourself, and learn more about the women behind the video, below.

Unity Phelan
The Zulma dress in viridian (available here)

The dress: For our jobs, we wear many costumes that are actually quite hard to dance in—unlike this dress, which feels like a second skin. It moves with you, it’s breathable, and it doesn’t fight you in any way. It also has no zipper or fastenings, which makes it easy to jump around in—there’s a lot of give.
Work uniform: My friends got me a pair of cashmere leg warmers for my birthday that I wear all the time. I love cashmere—I only wear soft things. I also have a pair of trash bag shorts that I wear at the beginning of each day; the material looks like a trash bag, and it helps keep your hip area insulated.
Off-duty outfit: Comfort is key. I wear Puma sneakers everywhere, and a lot of jeans and blazers. When I want to look nice, I put on an easy dress like this one. I’d wear it
 for meetings with sponsors or corporate partners, and also to dinner or to hang out with my friends—maybe with a pair of cute velvet Pumas, or boots.

Alexa Maxwell
The Samantha dress in true olive (available here)

The dress: This fabric has some weight to it, so when we’re moving, it swishes and builds momentum. It allows you to move freely, and the skirt has room to do high-kicks and turns.
Work uniform: A leotard and tights, or maybe shorts. Sometimes a sweatshirt. And pointe shoes, of course.
Off-duty outfit: I’m more of a jeans and sneakers person. It’s rare that I’ll wear my warm-ups or dance clothes on the street, outside of practice.

Georgina Pazcoguin
The Femi dress in persimmon (available here)

The dress: I’m quite muscular, so I love a V-neck, because it makes my proportions look less boxy. I like clothes that trail after you when you move, and this fabric has that quality—it also allowed me to do big split-leaps.
Work uniform: When I’m practicing, I often ditch the leotard altogether. I’ve been really into men’s tights lately, because they’re higher-waisted. I’ll wear them with a sports bra and a loose tank top.
Off-duty outfit: Whenever I’m getting dressed for a special event, I always keep in mind that I need to be able to move in what I’m wearing, because it’s inevitable that I’ll wind up on a dance floor. Also, I try to keep a dress stashed with me at all times. Sometimes I’ll go to work and not know that a friend is coming to watch me perform, and then I’ll get a text at 5:00 p.m., so it’s good to have a just-in-case option if someone wants to grab a drink afterwards and we go someplace fancier.


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