The New York City Ballet is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, but rather than slipping on a tutu and pirouetting around the room in an somewhat embarrassing homage to your love of dance, why not don one of the beautiful ballet-inspired pieces from Derek Lam x Jamie Wolf's Black and White collection, created to mark the occasion? Aside from the small hint of quoting Balanchine in his autumn 2011 show notes, one may not have guessed that fashion king Derek Lam was a fan of the ballet and – even more so – of this particular choreographer. But now Lam comes together with esteemed jewellery designer Jamie Wolf (herself a former dancer for the New York Ballet) to create a collection that is worthy of the spotlight.
The collection comprises bracelets, earrings, necklaces and rings, and each piece is inspired by a specific element from one of George Balanchine's many famous ballet pieces: costumes, set design, and, in particular, the choreography. If expecting frills, flowers and all things over-the-top feminine, then think again. The Black and White collection gets beyond the surface stereotype to the core of ballet: the discipline, the straight lines and inherent geometry to dance. Even the metal of choice – rhodium-plated sterling – conveys slightly harder, more urban feel – particularly in black.
The lead dancer in this collection has to be the Prodigal Son Articulated Ring. Its shape appears intricate yet strong, and perfectly recalls the striking costume from the performance. It's a statement piece that is sure to have friends cooing over the way it elegantly encases the finger. The Agon earrings and necklace are certainly eye-catching too, with their Y-shaped black diamond centres effectively echoing the arms and legs of the dancers during a specific move in the performance. Interlocking arms provide the inspiration for the Serenade pieces, while the flames of La Sonnamula candle prop are captured in a unique set of earrings.
This isn't, however, merely a celebration of ballet's history but also an investment into its future: Derek Lam and Jamie Wolf will donate 20% of profits from the Black and White Collection to the New York City Ballet. Those looking to purchase a piece from the collection can either chassé on over to Derek Lam's Madison Avenue store, or simply go to Jamie Wolf's online boutique.