Street Fashionista: She's a Maniac!

Categories:      Fashion
Wednesday, April 17th, 2013 at 6:59 AM
Street Fashionista: She's a Maniac! by Leslie McAllister
By: Leslie McAllister

I have always loved the cool style of dancers. The leotard, the tights and leg warmers, the wrap skirts and cut up sweatshirts, the neatly done bun and head wraps – effortless and chic at the same time.

I’ve never been sure if it’s the gracefulness and discipline that make the dancers look so freaking divine or the clothes that are so smooth and undemanding that give them such an edge. Either way, dancers have innate style. They make the basics seem in vogue and contemporary.

It’s a snap to incorporate these elements in everyday wear. Layering is key. Also, a peek at the Danskin website helps to get inspired.

Bodysuit leotards with jeans (Mariah Carey did this best in the early ‘90s), and ballet flats are a classic example – Chanel does it up with perfection (also check out Capezio’s punk-rock version at – they have studs!). You can never go wrong with a flowy, wrap skirt – especially on a hot day – and the high bun or topknot has become a real scene on the runways.

Some of my favorite, less mainstream of the ballet looks are the shrug, cropped top and tie front-wrap sweater. And let’s not forget our fearless dancer Miss Alex Owens in Flashdance. She made a cutout sweatshirt and leg warmers the envy of all.

I can’t finish this piece without mentioning little Miss Edie Sedgwick. Mama made opaque, black tights and a T-shirt fiercely relevant. She cinched her look together with a pair of enormously extravagant chandelier earrings. Insanely fantastic!

Guys, let’s face it: this look isn’t as easy for you to translate into daily life – a man in tights went out of style in the 17th century. However a great look on any man is a set of six-pack abs and sinewy muscles. Lean and mean – a look that never goes out of style. Think Mikhail Baryshnikov: he’s 65 and still hot thanks to ballet. So take my advice and challenge yourself to awaken the dancer within you!

Who? Emma Bierbaum, dancer

Where? Erie Dance Conservatory Company

Why Emma? It’s clear that Emma exhibits the ultimate in offbeat and bohemian dancer style. I love her collared leotard with lace detail on the back paired with her funky, grungy, open-knit sweater. Her leg warmers scream pirouette and her high bun juxtaposes sophistication. With Emma’s keen fashion play, she finishes the look with a red lip. Bravo!

What We Want to Know:

What are your fashion influences? I'm a big fan of NYC street style and '80s clothing, so a lot of my clothes are from Salvation Army and consignment stores.

Whose style do you love? Celebrity? My biggest style influence is Lady Gaga. I try to use her unorthodox style as inspiration for my own outfits, and the fact that she's so confident helps me to dress how I want without worrying what other people think.

Tell us about your ballet style. I try to incorporate pieces of my everyday style to keep class interesting: Red lipstick, headbands, and super high buns.

Favorite outfit? Chunky sweater, velvet leggings, and Jeffrey Campbell Spiked Litas.

Finish this sentence: If I was not dancing I would be ________ : singing; I’ve always loved music – Lady Gaga, Paul Simon, Lana Del Ray, Carly Simon, Marina and the Diamonds.

Handbags or shoes? Shoes. The crazier, the better.

Favorite time of day? Breakfast time.

How do you relax after a long rehearsal? I watch Rachel Maddow on MSNBC. I'm a little bit of a politics geek.

Plans for after high school? I'm going to Ohio State University for dance and medical dietetics.

Favorite thing about your teacher, Miss Sarah? She knows how to make a good dancer.

Favorite thing about living in Erie? It has a mall shaped like a gun.

Best place to hang out? Starbucks.

Find me out on the town and challenge yourself to get noticed by the Erie Reader!

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