Sunday, 10 August 2014

Flamingo Pink Ballet Dress


When I was younger I did a lot of ballet.  I once got a pair of hand made and personally fitted pointe shoes from an old Russian pointe shoe maker who had ended up, of all places, in Perth Western Australia.  The idea being that shoes made to fit your own foot measurements would make the agony of pointe work less painful than off the shelf pointe shoes. I was a bit of a late comer to pointe work as a dancer and an old sprain injury in my right ankle made pointe work doubly difficult for me to master.  So I thought an investment in personally fitted shoes would help.

I must have looked a bit crestfallen after my fitting with him, perhaps having brought all my struggles of getting en pointe to weigh down on me as I watched each foot being traced around with a pencil on pieces of paper.  When I came to leave the shop he tilted my chin up and pressed my shoulders back gently and said with a kind smile "Once a dancer, always a dancer!".

It's a phrase I never since forgotten, especially when I find myself lacking in confidence and my chest caves in and my shoulders start to droop.  I find myself tilting my chin up and pressing my shoulders back with his heavily accented English goading me along in the back of my mind. It's not just in those nerve wrecking moments before a performance when I start to doubt myself but even after shows or classes where I feel I haven't performed as well as I could have. It helps to just pull yourself up to move on and face the next challenge.  It even helps me to think of it when I am at my day job and not feeling confident.  What the performing arts teaches you which can be applied in other areas of your life is that sometimes it helps to fake confidence.

Although I gave up ballet years ago for flamenco it played a big part in my life and I still love the aesthetic.  This pink full skirted dress is a ballet dancer's dream and I bought it to wear on my birthday earlier this year and wore it again recently to a restaurant with friends.  You can take the girl from ballet...

It was called the flamingo feather print dress - don't you love that name?  I love the reference to flamingo feathers too.  Funnily enough often when I tell people I do flamenco dance they pipe up with "oh I love flamingo dancing!" Why? Why?

Actually the combination of flamenco, flamingos and feathers reminds me of one time I was coming back to visit the UK whilst living out in Spain studying flamenco.  I was asked by the big burly and very jovial London gentleman at border control at the airport, in his thick cockney accent as to what my business was visiting the UK and what was I currently doing out in Spain.

When I replied I was studying flamenco in Spain he blurted "oh I love all that flamingo dancing!"  I gently tried to correct his pronunciation and point out that the flamingo was a species of bird.  "Is that so? Well whatever darling, I love all them feathers you use, just beautiful!"

I gave up at that point and just smiled, nodded and went on my way, completely bewildered as to what kind of vision of flamenco he had in his head!

Linking up to Patti's Visible Monday over at Not Yet Dead Style and Share in Style at Mis Papelicos!

Flamingo Feather Pink Dress: Whistles Limited Edition; Shoes: Miu Miu; Knit Ballet Wrap: old Max Mara; Gold brooch on wrap; Vintage via Ebay


  1. funny story! And gorgeous dress - come over to Visible Monday later today? xox

  2. I'm always amazed when I see dancers on pointe! It's insane!

    Lovely dress

  3. That 3-F dress :-) looks lovely on you. Beautiful shoes, too!

  4. Lol, what a funny story. The dress is beautiful V. Love the delicate print and fabric. Swooning over your heels! Stunning.

  5. Well, ballet dancers are rather like exotic birds, I think, so maybe he was on to something!
    Gorgeous dress, such a beautiful colour and a lovely flattering, feminine shape. You may have transferred your dance skills to flamenco, but the ballet style still looks beautiful on you. And yes, when in doubt, put your chin up, extend, breathe, and believe! xxx

  6. What an incredible dress, it fits you like a dream and shows of your killer bod a treat!
    Flamingos and Flamenco, two of my favourite things! x

  7. It's rare to see a dress like this elongate a petite figure like yours, but it so does! The treatment at the waist is a wonder. I love that wide banding repeated all over the bodice ... sharp elements among the so-feminine fabric and an color.
    Lovely personal reminder to be your best. Why is it, I wonder, so much easier for us remember the criticism than the encouragement? Good for him ... I'd be happy to know that I gave someone an encouraging moment of such lasting value.

  8. The colour is such a pretty tone on you, and how funny about "flamingo and flamenco," one of my old co-workers had a thick cockney accent it reminded me of him. The heels are so incredibly special. :)

  9. Haha! Malapropism at it's finest! It's always entertaining. I'd never thought of this particular one. Your dress is beautiful. I've always loved ballet-inspired style. I never had the body type to look good in it, but for years I wanted desperately to try.

    You are lovely, and I felt the sweetness of the reminder "once a dancer etc." Thank God for those people in our lives, those who say just the right affirming words that we can carry for the rest of our lives. XXOO

  10. Very flattering dress, lovely colour, and I love the squared-off neckline!

  11. Oh my goodness...what a wonderful story. Humorous yet poignant at the same time. Thank you for sharing. And yes, it all ties in very nicely with the flamingo pink dress which is so very pretty! I love the diagonal seam across the bodice. And the shoes, Miu very chic!

  12. Un vestido maravilloso para una diosa.
    Thank you so much for joining the Share-in-Style family


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