Cleopatra: Queen of style

Northern Ballet dancers model Cleopatra fashions

Northern Ballet dancers model Cleopatra fashions

Northern Ballet has teamed up with LK Bennett to celebrate Cleopatra’s eternal appeal. Stephanie Smith reports.

As style icons go, Cleopatra reigns supreme. From “the barge she sat in, like a burnish’d throne” of Shakespeare to the winged eyeliner of Elizabeth Taylor’s 1960s interpretation, the charisma and magnificence of the Queen of the Nile has been underlined by opulence, splendour and seductiveness.

Age cannot dim the appeal of glistening gold and sumptuously bold pattern. This spring is no exception, channelling the decorative luxuriousness of Cleopatra with collections infused with metallics, exotic print and embellishment, for a gorgeously decadent and yet wearable look.

Channelling classical opulence, LK Bennett’s Black Ribbon footwear collection is an explosion of luxe texture, in shapes and colours that are clean, graphic and distilled. Meanwhile, the Rombo collection features styles with sophisticated weave detail on the heels and gold highlights.

To celebrate its latest production of Cleopatra, Northern Ballet has teamed up with LK Bennett in the Victoria Quarter Leeds as Pippa Moore, who dances the role, models two contemporary Cleopatra looks – metallic and monochrome – to inspire modern-day queens.

Cleopatra premiered in February 2011 and has toured throughout the UK, so far seen by more than 54,000 people and generating more than £1m. Choreographed by artistic director David Nixon to a score by Claude-Michel Schönberg, the ballet charts Cleopatra’s sensational rise to power, her romances and her downfall.

David Nixon says: “She held in her grasp two of the most powerful men in history. She was in some ways beautiful and unbelievably sensual for the almost barbaric Romans but she was also a woman, mother and, above all, a queen.”

An enigma she remains, but her style lives on. Long may she continue to inspire.

All clothes and accessories from LK Bennett, Victoria Quarter Leeds, and at

Cleopatra is at Leeds Grand Theatre tonight (March 15) and Sheffield, Lyceum Theatre from Tuesday, March 25- Saturday, March 29. Box office: 0114 249 6000 and

Twitter: @yorkshirefashQ




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