Monday, 22 June 2015

♡ The story behind La Ballerine


La Petite Fille has just released our second dress with an original print inspired by one of the greatest ballerina from Romanticism era. At first, I knew about her from one of the art projects that I had to do when I was still at school, the theme was to choose an interesting story from the past to get inspired and recreate the scene in a box. Clara Webster, the only British ballet dancer during the romantic era, was performing on stage but unfortunately her costume caught fire from stage light and died three days later. 

From then on I began to read and research about Marie Taglioni, a master ballerina who changed the world of ballet forever during romantic era. 

~Marie Taglioni~

During the Romantic ballet period (mid 19th century), talented ballerinas were celebrated by their performance and skills on stage. Taglioni started ballet at a very young age and was trained by her choreographer father, Fillippo Taglioni. Debuted at the age of 23, Taglioni received her fame in 1832 with La Sylphide, a play in which Marie played a fairy . Marie Taglioni was also the first ballerina to wear en pointe to perform and this was a revolutionary act in the ballet world. 

It is also rumoured that one pair of her pointe shoes were sold, cooked in sauce and eaten by a group of ballet students.

Here are some original La Sylphide images used for inspiration in La Ballerine:


From early to mid 19th century, the romantic movement began in Europe and had a huge impact on visual arts, music and more. The idea of romanticism developed a deep connection with love and nature. The whole movement was illusional and mysterious, artists viewed it as an escape route to the past that they loved; folklore, fairytales, middle age songs and dreams etc. 

In terms of ballet, it is also the beginning of a new length of ballet tutu, where dancers are allowed to wear pointe shoes to show their movements and allow them to move more freely. 
This also clarify the length of La Ballerine dress, it was a representation of the ballet dress from romantic era. 

Anna Pavlova wearing romantic tutu in Giselle 

~Combine with Lolita fashion~ 

Ever since I was into lolita fashion I was always interested in ballet themed dresses, therefore having the chance of making my own ballet print felt like a dream come true. 
In order to start the print I researched three illustrations that had represented Marie Taglioni in three different styles. 

~First print~

This was the first print of La Ballerine, with three of my own drawing of Marie Taglioni placed in different scenery and floral background. 
However after a while before I began the printing of the fabric, I realised there are too much going on and it looked boring to me. At a second thought I decided to create a new one with only one drawing involved. 

~Final Print~

The final print is a much more soft pink coloured ballerina with blue ribbon bows to match. The whole print looks much more clearer and the theme of romantic ballet with the pointe shoes and Marie Taglioni in her La Sylphide costume. 

~Making of~ 

Due to my study at university, La Ballerine was postponed to almost a year. The fabric was printed and ready but I just never got the time to make them. 
Up until this year in June, when I finally got time to get my hands on making them I realise that I now have the time to make more dresses and offer more sizes as La Petite Fille have been receiving requests from customers. 

It has been a long journey finding a supplier who offers the quality of print that I desire, and now I have! I will continue to handmake the dresses, and I also have some machinists ready to go if the orders quantities are very large. In any case for now, and the future of La Petite Fille, I will continue to design, cut, and oversee all sewing of the products.

All fabric and other materials are sourced in England. 

The benefit of all this running around is that I can now, at the request of some of our amazing fans, sell the dress in 3 sizes and for a lower price of £160. Hopefully this helps those who found previous dresses too expensive or the wrong size. 


The final dress looked better than I could imagine. 

On the bodice there are also 4 boning to hold the shape of upper body as well as representing the ballet costume. 

The length of the dress is slightly longer than normal lolita dresses but I like how it resembles the tutu length of romantic ballet. 

I also did two other coordination to experiment with the possibility of making this dress into a more otome/casual lolita look. 

With the black jacket I think it's a good look for a dinner or going to work and it doesn't need  a huge petticoat to match with.

A more casual pink look with cardigan and glitter shoes, and I reckon this is the best look for going on a date or meet up with lolitas. 

La Ballerine is on sale for pre-order during 19th June to 3rd of July:

La Petite Fille ships worldwide.

I am also very exciting to announce a kids version of the dress very soon, here is the illustration:

After the pre-order period there will not be any stock left, a part from events that I plan to attend, so if anyone is interested to twin with the little one in the family this is your chance :) 

Thank you so much for all of your support, I hope to continue my dream of making dresses for you all, hopefully La Ballerine can be the start of something special! x


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  2. Owwwwww you are very cute *-*
    Ballet <3