Carine Roitfeld Brings Her Creative Vision to the Performing Arts

Naturally brilliant and ever ingenious, French fashion editor Carine Roitfeld extends her undeniable style and excellence into a new realm—the magical world of ballet.

Styling a contemporary performance of an acclaimed Ballet Russes creation entitled, Le Spectre de la Rose, it is a wonderful addition to Carine’s firsts in her career. The ballet performance was recently unveiled last November 2, a segment of a virtual event hosted by Sotheby’s in time for the sale of an ultra-rare Russian pink diamond—the Spirit of the Rose. The gem will be offered in Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels auction in Geneva on November 11th, with an estimate of $23-38 million.

“I’m a huge ballet fan and perhaps because of my French and Russian roots, Le Spectre de la Rose has always been one of my favourites so this project meant a lot to me. The ballet is traditionally performed by a man and a woman. As we’re having two ballerinas dance for Sotheby’s performance, I wanted to preserve that duality but express it differently. One ballerina is wearing a rather classic long black dress, the other a short, deconstructed cocktail dress with tights, in a more sort of punk way. This is expressed through hair and make-up as well,” shares the inimitable creative director and CR Fashion Book founder.

At just over 14 carats, the Spirit of the Rose is the world’s largest pink diamond uncovered three years ago. | Image from Sotheby’s

The webinar paid tribute to the undeniable influence of Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes on the spheres of the arts and fashion in the 20th century. It is a joyous celebration of fashion, the performing arts, and jewelry which featured Carine Roitfeld in conversation with Tamara Rojo CBE, Artistic Director and Lead Principal, English National Ballet; Ismene Brown, Dance writer for The Daily Telegraph and The Spectator; and Benoit Repellin Sotheby’s Director and Head of Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels.

Carine with the ballerinas in the performance.

“As an inspiration for the costumes, I used a black and white picture of Vaslav Nijinski that Karl Lagerfeld once gave me. In this picture, Nijinski wears a Harlequin costume. The triangle pattern on one of the ballerina’s tights is a reference to this image. I wanted both looks to be black. First because black is definitely my signature, but also, because I wanted to have this symbiotic feeling when the two bodies interact with each other,” explains Carine. “The long black dress is Bottega Veneta by Daniel Lee, the cocktail dress is from Nensi Dojaka, a young London-based designer who graduated last year from Central Saint Martins and whom I recently discovered. It’s the first time Nensi is being part of a ballet so she is as excited as I am.”

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