She Leads, You Follow: New York City Ballet Gala Edition

There is nothing better than a ballet performance and couture fashion, and those very things merged when the New York City Ballet hosted its fourth-consecutive Fall Gala at the David H. Koch Theater at the Lincoln Center on Sept. 30.

The gala, sponsored by Cartier, presented five different ballets, all “featuring original costumes by preeminent fashion designers,” including styles from the likes of Zuhair Murad and Peter Copping of Oscar de la Renta.

While the performers in the ballets wore designs from the fashion industry’s top designers, some of the gala attendees also showed up to the event in some top-notch fashion.

Take Sarah Jessica Parker, for example. Attending the gala in a show-stopping ballgown, InStyle reports the Sex and the City alum wore a deep blue tulle gown that was encrusted in sparkles and featured a sheer neckline and sleeves. Parker completed her look with an equally-sparkly maroon handbag and silver T-strap pumps from her own SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker collection.

Following Parker’s ballgown ensemble came an ethereal look courtesy of Jennifer Hudson. The singer attended the gala in a pale yellow satin chiffon gown by Atelier Prabal Gurung, says InStylePlaying off of the hand-embroidered crystals on her gown, Hudson completed her look with with Kwiat diamonds.

Rounding out our favorite looks from the gala was a black and white number from Vanessa Williams. Keeping it classic with the timeless color combination, Williams opted for a fun floral print in a modern silhouette to bring a fresh take on the black and white pairing.

Although these ladies were dressed up for a night at the ballet, there are certain things about their looks that we can apply to our everyday style:

  1. Sheer perfection – Sarah Jessica Parker’s gown shows not only how beautiful a sheer neckline can be, but also how useful in can be in creating depth in a outfit. The sheer neckline and sleeves of her gown provide some coverage for her upper body while also allowing for peeks of skin through the beading. If this dress had been done with an opaque neckline and sleeves, the gown would have looked much heavier and it would have stripped the gown of its playful nature. While this sheer neckline and sleeve combination keeps the gown light and airy, it also is the perfect vehicle upon which to cast the dozens of sparkles strewn about the bodice of the gown. The combination of the sheer and the sparkles makes it seems as though her skin is encrusted in jewels, which creates a depth in the outfit that could not have happened had there been a solid, opaque neckline/sleeve combination in the dress. So if you are in the market for a new dress or even a new top, try out something with a sheer neckline or sheer sleeves; it will add visual interest to your outfit, while also offering little peeks of skin to maintain an open-neckline feel.
  2. It’s all in the details — No matter what you’re shopping for, you always need to look at the finer details of the garment, and Jennifer Hudson’s gown shows us why. At first glance, we see a pretty beaded gown. However, when we examine the gown a bit further, we notice that the beading at the bodice is done in such a way that it creates shapes. The beading is sewn into a V-shape, with these fine lines of beading flanking more densely-beaded center, and all of the gown’s beading narrows at the natural waist. This serves to emphasize her narrow waist and make it appear even smaller than it is. Looking for details like this, whether it’s fancy beading or merely seaming, in a dress or shirt will ensure that your clothing works hard to make you look great so you don’t have to.
  3. Modernize a classic – Vanessa Williams’ black and white gown shows us how to successfully update a classic color combination and print. First, the gown features a modern-cut tank-style neckline. This flows into a solid black bodice that is cut off at the waist with a thick black sparkly band, which serves to draw attention to her narrow waist. Finally, the gown falls into a straight, pleated skirt with a lotus-blossom print, a choice that strays from traditional floral prints. What also adds another level of chic-ness to this look are the pockets cut into the pleats at the skirt. All of these elements combine to make a modern approach to a timeless color combination. So if you love black and white but are afraid of looking boring, take Williams’ lead and try the classic pairing in blouse with a modern floral, or in a skirt or dress with hidden pockets.
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