Words Edel Cassidy
The beauty of style and fashion meet the elegance of dance and movement
Deborah Ory and Ken Browar, the very talented husband-and-wife team behind the NYC Dance Project, have recently released a new dance photography book, The Style of Movement: Fashion and Dance. This book is a follow-up to their exquisite award-winning book The Art of Movement and is packed with magnificent images of today’s greatest dancers in dynamic poses and dressed by celebrated designers. It explores the synergy between fashion, dance and photography, as the dancers bring the pages to life wearing visually stunning creations as they express their art.
Whether in couture gowns from Dior, Valentino or Oscar de la Renta, vintage Halston, or in costumes designed by modern dance legend, Martha Graham, the stars of the dance world featured in these pages bring style to movement.
High fashion can sometimes be conceived to be physically restrictive and uncomfortable, but what is striking about these images is, while aesthetically pleasing, the garments worn allow the dancers such freedom of movement that they almost become one with what they are wearing – a perfect ‘pas de deux’ of couture and choreography.
In the foreword written by Valentino, one of the world’s most influential haute couture designers, he touches on the importance of the body’s movement and how it interacts with garments. ‘I have always designed thinking about the movement of the woman wearing the dress – where would she wear it, how would she move in it, and what does it mean to her. A dress should never be designed just to be viewed from just one angle; movement must be considered in an entire 360-degree point of view. Wearing clothing is about expressing emotion – just the way dance is. Dancers have remarkable elegance with the way they hold their bodies; they truly carry a dress with the gentlest touch; a way that allows the dress to have freedom to move and be and carry the emotion of the movement.’
This stunningly beautiful celebration of dance and fashion contains 175 photographs over 304 pages. Throughout the book, the focus is firmly kept on the subjects and the garments they are wearing by using a uniform neutral background with no distracting elements.
The clothing featured is a mix of hot-off-the-runway couture gowns, costumes pulled from the archives of the Martha Graham Dance Company and vintage Valentino dresses loaned from a museum – one of which is featured on the front cover, worn by Tiler Peck.
The Style of Movement: Fashion and Dance, by Ken Browar and Deborah Ory, is published by Rizzoli, New York, with a foreword by Valentino and introduction by fashion historian, Pamela Golbin.