In an exclusive shoot for The Yorkshire Post, Northern Ballet teams up with Harvey Nichols to show off festive fashion. Stephanie Smith sprinkles the fairy dust. Pictures by Simon Hulme.
If there is just one time of the year when we really ought to be allowed to indulge in a little fantasy and magic, surely it’s Christmas?
And, like the beautifully dressed Fairy Godmother that she is, fashion is waiting in the wings, ready to wiggle her magic wand and spread some very stylish fairy dust over the land,
Or maybe like Tinkerbell, more appropriately for our fantasy style theme this week, with this Harvey Nichols collection modelled by Abigail Prudames, from Harrogate, and Isaac Lee-Baker, from London, dancers with Northern Ballet, which is preparing to open its Christmas offering, Peter Pan, at Leeds Grand Theatre on December 11.
The enchanted world of fairy tales, folklore and magic provides a strong theme running through fashion for this autumn/winter, reaching its fantastical focus for Christmas and New Year, though don’t worry about it dating quickly, leaving you looking like the sad fairy that time forgot, because 2014 won’t see the finale for this the trend – we love it too much, and also it’s so morphable, blending into Russian princess, for example, or beautiful folk story peasant girl with ease. There’s lots more mileage here.
But for this Christmas, exquisite, glistening embellishment is what it’s all about. As she dressed Abigail for our shoot at the suitably stylish New Ellington Hotel in Leeds, Racheal Cornelius, head of womenswear at Harvey Nichols Leeds, pointed to the Valentino black dress with red leather embellished collar as a standout piece, and also a Dolce & Gabbana black glittering tunic dress. “This look is based around the fantasia theme of autumn/winter ‘14, which is a key trend for the season,” she said, adding that the heavily embroidered skull motif from Alexander McQueen was a strong look for men, to wear with a leather or shine jean.
For Christmas, Rachel said, stylish women are looking for dresses and bold statement pieces such as opulently embellished tunics, or “something more contemporary and pared down, like a leather legging and then concentrate on the shoes”.
The shoes are a welcome change for those Cinderellas who are tired of tripping over seven inch heels, because flat slippers (embellished, of course) are the best way to go. “The emphasis is on flat shoes for comfort in a glamorous and elegant way,” she confirmed.
Jack Tyson from Giorgio Armani created the make-up look for Abigail, with a deep, burnt orange tone for the eye and skin prepped to maximise the dewiness (it’s all about the dewy skin, you know). For the hair, Jodie Palmer, head stylist at Russell Eaton in Leeds, created a vintage look with brushed-out pin curls to create waves.
“Every year waves are always huge at Christmas because it’s synonymous with glamour,” she said. “And also lots of sleek hair in contrast to that, low, tight pony tails into the nape. Classy and glossy and chic.”
Which is how every fairy tale look should be.
All clothes from Harvey Nichols. Styling by David Rowley and Rachael Cornelius. Fashion assistant: Chloe Aristodemou.
Hair by Jodie Palmer at Russell Eaton salon in Leeds, www.russelleatonhair.com.
Make-up by Jack Tyson of Armani at Harvey Nichols Leeds.
Location: The New Ellington Hotel, York Place, Leeds, where The Gin Garden has more than 120 varieties of gin. See: www.thenewellington.com
Models: Abigail Prudames and Isaac Lee-Baker, dancers with Northern Ballet Theatre in Leeds.
Northern Ballet is appearing at Leeds Grand Theatre with Peter Pan on December 11-20. Tickets online at www.leedsgrandtheatre.com, box office: 0844 848 2700.
Abigail and Isaac can also be seen at Leeds Grand Theatre with the UK Première performances of Romeo and Juliet, from March 4-12, 2015. The NBT company can be seen at Leeds Grand Theatre on March 14, 2015, for the 45th Anniversary Sapphire Gala performing specially created work by leading choreographers alongside performances by international guest artists.