Six Ballroom Trends That Are Influencing Fashion Catwalks

Design Exploits Fashion Fashion Week Shopping & Acquisitions

The Ballroom Dance industry has experienced an explosive rise in popularity as a result of hit reality television shows including “So You think You Can Dance,” “Dancing with the Stars“ and “America’s Best Dance Crew,” which have reinforced dance as not just an art form but also as a means of self-improvement. With every major network having jumped on the dance reality television bandwagon, Ballroom dance has become an accessible and enjoyable art for both dance fanatics and non-dance audiences.

Dore Designs, a top international dance apparel brand, can be seen on the amazing young dancers of the reality show, “So You Think You Can Dance,” and on the global stage in national and international dance competitions. With the largest international ballroom competition coming up this next week in Blackpool England, we decided to ask Dore Designs CEO and head designer Dawn Smart about the top Fashion Trends in Dance and which ones are influencing the global fashion markets. Here are her pics:

Bright Color Combinations

Professional dancer Maria-Khristina Shurupova in Dore Designs
CrOp by David Peck Spring 12

Nude and Lace

Anna Kovalova in Dore Designs with Roman Kutskyy
Marchesa NYFW 2012

Use of 3-D Elements and Texture

McQ at London FW 2012


Jenny Solosky and William Stansbury in Dore Designs
Zac Posen FW 2012

Hand Painted Prints

Costello Tagliapietra Fall 2011 Hand-Painted Dress

Beading and Crystals

Dore Designs 2012 Latin Rythms Couture
Bibhu Mohapatra Fall 2012

“In designing for Ballroom champions, I get to dress another world,” explains Smart. “Fashion in the ballroom world is about movement and telling a story as part of a duet.” Inspired by designers such as Valentino, Versace and Alexander McQueen, for their use of luxurious materials and impeccable, intricate construction, Dawn Smart characterizes her own creations as classic, form-fitting wears with a luxurious feel inside and out.

About Dore Designs:

Dore Designs is an industry leader in the United States for Ballroom fashion. The company sponsors 42 professional and amateur couples in the United States and Canada. Dore Designs can be seen across the globe on world champions, finalists and dance novices. The future success of Dore Designs will be expended by couture and ready-to-wear lines for evening, as well as practice wear that can be customized for dance studios to brand themselves. For more on Dawn Smart and Dore Designs visit and “like” them on Facebook to stay abreast of their latest designs

The Met Gala: A Magical Tribute to Alexander McQueen

Art Design Events Fashion Nightlife

By Carlos Aparicio

Ah, The Met Gala… Unless you live under a rock you probably heard about this event and how amazing it was. It was the opening night of the “Savage Beauty” Alexander McQueen exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and everyone was there.

“Savage Beauty” was organized by The Costume Institute as a tribute to late designer Alexander McQueen and his extraordinary contributions the worlds of art, fashion and beauty. Alexander McQueen defied all the rules of design creating not only clothes but magnificent pieces of art to adorn your body. His designs were a “conceptual expression of culture, politics, and identity”, according to the Met’s curatorial experts. Approximately a hundred looks will be on display and the exposition will be open to the public from May 4th through July 31st.

All the big names in fashion, film, television and music attended the opening event and honored the “dramatic look” dress code, some taking it more personally than others, as you are about to see…

Beyonce waddled as gracefully as she could, rushing through the red carpet causing the press to "boo" her out (come on guys, maybe she had to pee!). I still think she looked fantastic!
Blake Lively in Chanel couture, sporting her new ginger-chic look.
Ashley Olsen in a splendid vintage Christian Dior gown. A Women's Mafia favorite.
"The Addams Family" star Christina Ricci in an interesting Zac Posen gown. Not too sure I like this but I'm sure she caught a few looks.

Daphne Guinness in Alexander McQueen. Total goddess.
Tennis player Serena Williams in Oscar de la Renta couture and a Philip Treacy hat!

Photos from InStyle (C) Larry Busacca/Getty Images

Crashing Paris Fashion Week with Alex Geana

Design Events Fashion Fashion Week Featured Travel

By Alex Geana, Photographer & Writer

On the spur of the moment a trip was booked. Traveling with my friend Angelina, her Birkin Bag, GPS, wit, and a love for fashion, I’m now in Paris covering Fashion Week. I’m curious to see how I’m received at the last minute, what fashion and its people are like in the center of the style universe.

I’m writing this post in the Place Vendome, sitting on top of a parking garage. Where the cars enter and leave, I’m not sure – it’s one of the many mysteries of Paris I’m trying to unravel. In front of me is Chanel. Coco herself used to work there and live in the Ritz, conveniently located across the square. Although jewelry is now sold at the boutique, the main offices are just behind the hotel. There are small signs that say Valentino, Comme des Garcon – brass plaques that carry a century’s weight. Although landing in the City of Light, typing on Karl Lagerfled’s literal doorstep is a bit gauche, very American and maybe a bit brash. But this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Because of jetlag, I’m not quite sure if it’s today, tomorrow, or the day after. So I’m just going to jumble everything together into one big Paris experience. The people are stunning, dressed perfectly, taking casual chic to a whole new level. That H&M scarf on a Parisian girl with blown out hair and pouty lips looks like it cost a million bucks. I’m trying to figure out how to say, “Can I please take your picture so I can do a street style gallery?” I’m a bit scared of the fancy locals, armed only with a Bonjour, Merci and a D in college French. I’m also determined to kiss a cute French hipster before I fly away.

Keep reading below. Photos by Alex Geana.

I thought it would be fun to cover Zac Posen on his first Parisian excursion; yet, I’ve already been rejected. I don’t think Zac wants anything to do with the New York press. Then again, who needs flouncy dresses and ruffles when I have Dior, Barbara Bui and Rue de Mail. Dior was the first to make room for us on their seating chart, and I get to witness the talented Pedro Lourenco who created a collection based on decay – Chanel, Alexander McQueen and other big names are in my sights: must wrangle and plead. Seeing Vivienne Westwood show a new collection would also be thrilling.

We traveled to a presentation in what can only be called the Parisian version of the East Village. Peering through a window, I saw a cute artist show off his work to a group of friends, while others hung out on balconies and smoked. There’s sushi and Ramen noodles: I catch a big pot of stock brewing in a window. At E. Goyard there’s a custom 2,200 Euro trash can for sale. Angelina tells me the only place you can buy the line in America is at Barney’s. I wonder, with so many European currency issues and political upheaval, how can they do it? Even though the wealthy might not be buying five of everything at a time, they’re at least buying two. Quality very much is the mantra of fashion, and the French live by it.

I’m staying at the Park Hyatt with some of the fashion folk. They’re scattered between The Ritz, Westin and other small hotels. Anna Wintour stays at The Ritz. Last night I hung out with Denning Rodriguez, a powerful fashion attorney at the hotel bar, and I had to say hi to Heidi Klum who looked stunning. I said I loved watching her walk. Leonardo Dicaprio was hanging out with a friend. Some famous guy I couldn’t recognize was in the corner.

The French Fashion Week Accreditation Office

There are fewer shows in Paris, or at least that I can find – probably because it’s my first time. Yet, the shows themselves are powerful and cause waves in the way we think about our look and feel, the way we perceive ourselves. My first stop was at the accreditation office to see if I could plead my way into a press pass (we had missed the deadline by a month). The surly kid, according to my friend with a better understanding of the language, breathed “idiot” under his breath and balked at the thought of a website getting access to the shows. Yet invitations are slowly trickling in, and even his coworker, when she saw the small commotion, came over – she’d heard of The Huffington Post, so now I can say the site’s reach is truly global. She sighed, “We’d love to consider and accommodate you with a press pass next time,” and then encouraged me to meet the deadline. After all the accreditation process is governed by a 1940s law, far before the birth of the online press and unruly bloggers.

We saw our first presentation at the Palais-Royal. Arzu Kaprol showed great dresses with mirrored straps. They served some great nibbly things and real champers. The really cool pictures are in the gallery, and I’d be able to describe the clothes better if I didn’t feel like I was in a time sucking vortex. We couldn’t stay long, unfortunately, because of a conflict. The French aren’t into sponsors and fashion – that whole mix – but then again, the French government pays for everything. Mercedes-Benz still has a presence, though, with private cars for very fancy people. Also Canon provides support from the accreditation tent.

To walk streets and alleys steeped in history, to think of the many lovers, kisses and duels, the protests and the blood; the kings and queens, walking on the cobblestone streets; all this nearly blew me away on arrival. Jet leg almost caused me a bit of a cry. It’s like walking around in a movie. The biggest difference between New York and Paris is that the scaffolding is less abundant, if not non-existent. You can see the city as you stroll. Food is taken just as seriously as Fashion and we’re hoping to get one good meal in, but right now I’ve just discovered the sustaining power of butter.