In an exclusive shoot for The Yorkshire Post, Northern Ballet dancers showcase Harvey Nichols’ new collections and celebrate the return of Dracula. Stephanie Smith steps into the shadows. Pictures by Simon Hulme.
Embrace your dark side for there’s a deeply seductive, wonderfully rich and mysterious fashion story emerging as the days shorten and the nights draw in.
Designers have plundered folklore and ancient aristocracy, creating luxurious night-time and evening looks that combine a deep palette of black, charcoal and blood red with dripping jewel and bead embellishment, flashes of glinting gold and heirloom, folkish lacework and embroidery.
This is a look that pulsates with sensuality and enigmatic charm. What better way to tell the story than by teaming up with Northern Ballet as it prepares to restore its acclaimed production of Dracula to the stage, dressing two of its young dancers in the luxuriously intriguing new eveningwear making its way into that enticing lair of lust-worthy fashion that is Harvey Nichols Leeds?
“Imagine a world where you can only go out after dark, where you feel a constant hunger for human blood but where for all eternity you will appear young and beautiful. Welcome to the world of Dracula.”
So Northern Ballet describes the dark and sinister ballet it last performed in 2009, adapted from Bram Stoker’s legendary novel first published in 1897. The ballet reveals the tormented world of the immortal Count, a creature who should inspire repulse but has instead seduces with his mesmerising sensuality. Two of Northern Ballet’s newest dancers, Alice Bayston, 20, from Hull, and Isabelle Clough, 19, from Cheltenham, turned model for the day to become modern night-roamers for our shoot at the Dark Arches, the subterranean complex of tunnels at Granary Wharf beneath Leeds railway station.
Built in the 1800s to redirect and channel the River Aire, these grand but eerie Victorian engineering tunnels echo with the sound of flowing water below and rumbling trains overhead. Dracula and this vampires could hide here with ease.
Harvey Nichols head of personal shopping and Style Clinic columnist David Rowley created these beautiful looks from the latest autumn/winter collections, bringing together luxurious pieces in black, white and blood red, in smokey grey jersey and sensuous mohair, in rich red and billowing shell chiffon, teamed with lust-worthy shoes, boots and bags by Alexander McQueen, Jimmy Choo and Casadei.
Yves Saint Laurent make-up artist Brittany Dawson created the moodily seductive make-up looks for Alice and Isabelle, while hair stylist Kelly Sharp dug out the crimpers to create a striking ponytail for Isabelle, binding the top with ribbon, and an all-over crimped look for Alice, with a knot plait through the front.
Northern Ballet is appearing exclusively at the West Yorkshire Playhouse with Dracula from September 5-13. Tickets online at wyp.org.uk or box office 0113 213 7700. Age guidance for Dracula is 12+.
Alice and Isabelle can also be seen in Northern Ballet’s autumn tour of The Great Gatsby (Bradford Alhambra, November 11-15), Cinderella (Sheffield Lyceum, November 18-22) and Peter Pan (Leeds Grand Theatre, December 11-20).
All clothes and accessories from Harvey Nichols Leeds.
Location: The Dark Arches, Granary Wharf, Leeds. Thanks to the Doubletree by Hilton Leeds City Centre, Granary Wharf, Wharf Approach, for providing rooms for changing.
Models: Alice Bayston and Isabelle Clough, dancers with Northern Ballet. Thanks to Lauren Godfrey and Catherine Worthington.
Styling: David Rowley of Harvey Nichols Leeds. Thanks to Susanna Bain.
Hair: Kelly Sharp of Cheney Square in Cleckheaton. Check out www.cheneysquare.co.uk. Assistant: Chloe Rushworth
Make-up: Brittany Dawson for Yves Saint Laurent at Harvey Nichols Leeds.