For many, hearing Nutcracker music on Christmas commercials marks the beginning of the holiday season. For dancers across the world, it means you have no life, no sleep, no energy until Christmas (some dancers have been hearing Nutcracker music since the summer...).
The Nutcracker Suite, composed by Tchaikovsky, is a holiday tradition that people cherish every year. And although I do complain about it being the most stressful performance/time of the year, I love every bit of it.
If you do not know the story of the Nutcracker, click here (for trusty Wikipedia).
Because Nutcracker is taking over my life right now and opening night is in a week, I thought I would bring a little bit of it over to my blog! I have created several outfits inspired by characters from the ballet. I tried to incorporate casual, night-out, and party looks within all of the outfits. Enjoy!
Clara is the wide-eyed, innocent girl that has no idea that she's about to experience one of the most magical nights of her life. She comes from a pretty wealthy family, so make sure to wear classic and sophisticated jewelry. The hair bow adds a playfulness to the effortlessly sexy combination of the dress and tights.
The Nutcracker doubles up as a soldier and fights off the mouse king. Pair a double breasted military coat with a cap for an overall military feel; a bullet shell necklace can also be a contributing piece. Accent the white pants with a gold belt, and to avoid looking like an actual toy soldier, find some wedged boots to complete the look.
Drosselmeyer brings his life-size dolls to the Christmas party for entertainment - one of which is a columbine doll. Many columbine doll costumes have the diamond pattern to match the harlequin doll. This one-shouldered diamond pattern top with leather leggings are perfect for a fun night out in the city. Don't forget some fake lashes and bright pink lipstick to be completely dolled up!
After the Nutcracker defeats the Rat King, he transforms into a handsome prince. He leads Clara through a forest where they are greeted by the Snow Queen and King. They perform a beautiful pas de deux, and the snowflakes dance around Clara and the Prince as they continue through the forest. The Snow Queen is elegant and regal, and she deserves to be covered in ice. And so do you! I think this outfit would be perfect for a New Year's Eve party. Don't be afraid to end the year with a lot of glitter!
Act II begins with Clara and the Prince arriving in the Land of Sweets. They are greeted by angels and the court of the Sugar Plum Fairy. In celebrating their guest, sweets from around the world dance for Clara and the Prince. This outfit is inspired by the chocolate from Spain. Layer some necklaces and add a ring to create more dimension to the simple top and skirt.
Next to dance is the sultry Arabian coffee. The Arabian soloist is sexy without even trying, and this outfit does just that. A crop top and some harem pants are sexy and casual at the same time. The flats make this outfit perfect for a date or running some errands.
Tea from China dance with so much energy. Their costumes are always colorful and fun to reflect the high energy dance. Try colorblocking with some fun colors for more pop this winter. This is another great New Year's Eve or cocktail party outfit. Add some hair sticks for an Asian flair!
Marzipan from France dance with their reed flutes. My favorite Marzipan costumes I have ever seen are the ones used in Southwest Virginia Ballet's Nutcracker (I got to wear one back in 2009!). I love the colors and the lace; they're just so pretty! I used those colors and design as inspiration for this outfit. And a French girl isn't complete without some Chanel.
The Russians perform a Trepak dance with impressive jumps and mesmerizing moves. This outfit is for those mid to late winter days with freezing temperatures. Layer up a sweater and a leather jacket and accessorize with a faux fur hat and some convertible mittens. And to battle dry winter skin, I love Clinique's Moisture Surge. It gives you the perfect amount of moisture without being oily.
A beautiful waltz is danced by a group of sugared flowers and a Dewdrop. Wear a summer floral dress during the winter! Add some tights and a cardigan to quickly make your summer dresses a part of your winter wardrobe too.
Finally, the queen of the Land of Sweets - the Sugar Plum Fairy - performs a grand pas de deux with her Cavalier. She has such a gentle and graceful character, and it is reflected in the pale pinks of this outfit. Add more glitter with some pumps and a clutch to make you feel more like a princess.
And in case you didn't notice, this pearl bracelet is the same one I used in the Clara outfit. In the version of Nutcracker that I have performed for several years, the Sugar Plum Fairy presents Clara with a tiara when she arrives in the Land of Sweets. When Clara all of a sudden finds herself back in her home with the Nutcracker, she still has the tiara on her head making it less of a dream and more real. I thought the bracelet could kind of represent the tiara.
I hope you liked this fashion inspiration post! Let me know what you think or what you'd like to see in some comments!
PS. As you know, I am a trainee with the Richmond Ballet, and I will be performing in their production of "The Nutcracker" starting next weekend. If you would like to experience the holiday tradition for yourself, you should come see the ballet! The show runs from December 16th through December 26th, and it will be performed at Centerstage. For more information about shows and purchasing tickets, please visit www.richmondballet.com!