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Taking Flight

The fringe, feathers, and flowing fabrics of the runways come alive on a corps of dancers from Alonzo King Lines Ballet.


Oscar de la Renta crimson dip-dye tulle coat; Kamperett La Mer bodysuit; Colette Malouf Gemology lariat necklace; Christian Dior Amour ring; Christy Natsumi boulder ring, mirror ring, and wide wishing ring.

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Hand-painted Kamperett Leonora dress; Christy Natsumi cascade leaf earrings.

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Kamperett Adelaide brass lamé midi wrap dress; Chanel metal, glass, and resin necklace.

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Missoni cobalt-blue strapless fringe gown; Colette Malouf Gemology rose gold orb ear cuffs.

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Stella McCartney Cynthia gold jacquard skirt; Chanel metal, glass, and resin necklace.

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Nina Ricci navy fringe dress; Dolce & Gabbana crystal earrings.

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Left: Kamperett Adelaide brass lamé midi wrap dress; Chanel metal, glass, and resin necklace; Colette Malouf orange pearl oyster ring.

Center: Bottega Veneta marigold viscose velvet dress and black cotton lace bralette; Nouvel Heritage Tallulah medallion necklace; Emily P. Wheeler double-finger X ring; Anne Sisteron Laguna triplet cushion-cut cocktail ring.

Right: Rag & Bone Astrid mini slip dress; Jared Lehr gold chain-link necklace with sharp pendant and mosaic diamonds, and black rhodium diamond-shaped ring with mosaic diamond.

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Bottega Veneta black-and-white silk jacket.

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Maticevski Twinkle Best Picture top; Christian Dior blue-feathered skirt.

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Left: Issey Miyake black string bottoms. Right: Issey Miyake black pleats bottoms.

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As decadent as the fashion shows were this season, watching certain items float down the runways in New York, Paris, and Milan was akin to watching a peacock sleep. They were exquisite, but a squandering of potential. Oscar de la Renta’s multilayered ombré tulle coat was restrained by a broach that kept its sheer voluminosity in check, while Christian Dior’s feathered skirt was tamed beneath a belted jacket and paired with sturdy leather boots—ideal for strolling, but in no way fit for flying.

So to show what we felt were the pieces’ full potential, San Francisco partnered with Alonzo King Lines Ballet, outfitting five of the company’s dancers in the season’s most dynamic pieces, and photographing them inside the city’s liveliest new performance venue, August Hall. Lines celebrates its 35th anniversary this year with a slate of events and special shows, including an exhibit at 836M gallery opening September 20 and the world premiere of its collaboration with Kronos Quartet at YBCA on October 5. Alonzo King himself has described the human body as “swirling nonstop energy with billions of cells that are dying and being born every second.” As is clear on these pages, his dancers expertly harness that energy—and awaken the peacock in the process.


Originally published in the September issue of San Francisco

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