Ballet Beauty 101

2011 has been the year of the ballerina, and this former ballet dancer couldn’t be happier. With Black Swan mania, the ballet flat still firmly a fashion staple and the presence of ballet inspired looks on the runways of Paris and New York, there is no escaping the ballerina and her soft feminine look. Who better to talk about this trend then a ballerina herself. Meet my favorite fashionable ballerina, Barette Vance. She’s a soloist for the world renowned Pennsylvania Ballet and has some seriously killer style.

A bit about Barette, she is one fearless dancer and dresser, striking on stage and off. Barette is one blond bombshell ballerina who always looks amazing running around Philladelphia or on stage in a tutu and tiara. Fun Barette fact…she was in Black Swan as one of the dancers in the corps. When I took Darling Boyfriend and another good friend of ours to see the move, I would get so excited every time her head would pop into a shot that I would poke them and say “Look its Bar!!! Pay attention!!!” I also did the exact same thing to my mother when we first saw the movie right before I moved. While the boys might have been a little shell shocked after the movie, it made me want to run out, take class and throw on a pair of pointe shoes again. Now on to Barette and her style 101 guide to the ballerina trend…

Tell us a little bit about yourself, how did you become such a fashionable ballerina?
I am soloist with the Pennsylvania ballet. I’m originally from California and moved to New York City when I was 14 to study and further my dance training at the school of American ballet . I think that’s where I truly fell in love with fashion. I used to walk down 5th ave on my days off and window shop. I was so amused by all the women who would shop at the stores and how they would put themselves together. It was like going to a night club when they were shopping. All done up in their best hair, makeup, and outfits. Living in California I wore surf clothes, but when I moved to NYC I discovered the major brands in fashion. I changed my wardrobe very quickly after moving and started to define who I was going to be through my clothes.

Where do you get your fashion inspiration?
Honestly, I get most of my inspiration from magazines and TV. I will look through magazines all day and cut pictures out of things I like to post on the wall of my closet for inspiration.

Favorite designers?
Wow, so many amazing ones out there but my all time favorite is BGBC. I love how their stuff fits me, especially the runway collection. I think I have worn something of theirs at every event I have been too/ all my wedding events. Other favorites of mine are Chloe, Gucci, and Chanel.

What’s your go-to look?
My go-to look is comfort with a splash of sexiness and class. I love wearing leggings with boots and flowy tops and hats.

What are your Spring 2011 fashion obsessions?
My Monique Lhuillier wedding dress hehe. I also love the 1920’s hats right now!! I love mixing them with a more modern look . I have always had a thing for that old Hollywood look

Favorite looks on stage and off?
I think the look of confidence is the best for on and off stage . When you see someone who’s performing or walking on the street and just has that confidence about them, your eye immediately is attracted to that! Its the best look that you can have and it’s all natural!

Any suggestion for translating what your wear on stage, in class and in rehearsal into every day looks?
We as you know the movie black swan was a huge hit and since that a ton of designers have had ballet as their inspiration for their lines. BCBG is a huge one right now . They have all the tulle skirts and ballet flats. Leggings and tights are huge right now, and defiantly in the winter. One of my fav looks is the full tulle skirt with a tight leotard type top underneath. Hair also is very ballet inspired right now. Tons of different types of ballet buns and french twists.I think the fashion world has always been inspired by ballet and ballerinas, but now even more so because of the movie.

What do you think about the tutus that were created for Black Swan?
I was in love with all the costumes that were made for the movie. The detail to every tutu and hair piece that Natalie wore was so thought out ! The way it all translate on film I think just made the dance scenes even that more intense.

So there you have it from one of the premiere ballerinas in the United States, with a few staple items you can translate her professional look into your own wardrobe. Think tights, tulle skirts, chic little ballet flats, leotards as tops, and a ballet bun to top it all off with and you’ve nailed the ballet trend!


  1. Bubbers

    April 13, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    I’m fascinated by the ballerina trend so I have been visiting American Apparel quite often lately.
    A few months ago I started seeing the frilly socks worn with sandals/pumps all over Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. I really liked the trend but I wasn’t mentally ready for it yet (considering where I live).
    This past Saturday though I decided it was time! Paired with an adorable Topshop dress I got in London, and my tan-ish Fendi sandals, I went for it! Let me tell you, I got many compliments that evening (from girls that is).

    1. jessica

      April 13, 2011 at 4:37 pm

      You’re totally on point with the visits to American Apparel, they do great basic tights, leggings, leotards and skirts in lots of fun colors that work perfectly to get that ballet inspired look. Proud of you for breaking out of the Philly fashion doldrums! Post a pic to the westmountfashionista facebook page if you get a chance, I’d love to see the outfit!

  2. Eugenia

    April 14, 2011 at 2:18 am

    Kudos for the fabulous interview! What a unique angle; a fashionable ballerina….she not only gets to wear the super hot ballet trend on a daily basis, but manages to indulge in mainstream fashion as well! The photos were so beautiful! Bravissima! xox

  3. Carly

    April 16, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    Those images of her are RIDIC! Loved this feature….what a unique perspective on fashion…she is beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

    1. jessica

      April 19, 2011 at 5:03 pm

      Glad you enjoyed!

Leave a Reply