Home     About     Contact     Press     Yellow Skirt     SKETCHES

Tuesday 23 January 2018

Exploring Femininity with Attitude

When I was a kid, I thought ballerinas were the epitome of grace and femininity. If I hurt myself, I would try to imagine ballerinas to take my mind off the pain - it never worked. I still like the image of ballerinas, such feather-light flitters, but at heart, as you know, I am more of the Martha Graham school. And ballerina-ing is a brutal sport/artform.

Below, some photos I took when I got home from wearing my tutu for photos downtown. There was no way I was going to wrestle that tutu back into its itsy-bitsy space bag in a public restroom. You can see the lurex threads next to the fuzzy yarn stripes. And the men's shoes.

One of the most moving ballet performances I have ever seen was by Editta Sherman, a photographer and dancer who lived in Carnegie Hall in New York, in a clip included in the Bill Cunningham documentary. She danced with the moon in her home studio.

I can't give you details offhand, except to say that I remember how wonderful I felt watching her. There is a silent version of her dancing posted on YouTube. A true artist, she sadly passed in November 2013.

Trying out my tough version of an off-duty non-ballerina.

Below, does this tutu make my ass look big?

Have you got a tulle skirt? Dress? A tutu? I always wanted a tutu and finally found this one at My Sister's Closet, not $5, but still a good deal. What was most fun about this tutu was the feeling that I don't have to be graceful when I'm wearing it with my man shoes and man coat and man shirt. Plus, people don't squish you out of your seat in the coffee shop when you're wearing a tutu. Heh.

Have a great week!


  1. I remember Editta from the Bill C. documentary - her dancing in her apartment and looking divine. And to live in Carnegie Hall, sigh. Love your tutu and this photo shoot - I squawked when I saw your genius pose on the stairs, looking like you're flying! xox


  2. wowwww, love your off-duty non ballerina attitude, you rock! and so cool that you look like flying in those stairs! so magnificent! and elegant, and fabulous!! (not enough adjectives in my database, sorry)
    Reheating day-old coffee is heresy!, and yes, I confess that I did it too (only once or twice...). It was my mom's fault that she taught me to do it!. Now, both of us are being reeducated. ;DDD

  3. Bravo! Bravo! and Encore too. No one can tutu like you do and that's the truth. Fifth wave feminism has landed. Or is it sixth? Thanks Mel.

  4. What a fantastic shoot. I love all of them, and two in particular. The one against the mint green building and the one where you are leaning in (on?) the stairs. I had to inspect that last one several times before I understood how you did it. Clever!
    Now, about reheating day-old coffee, don’t ever do that again. Yuck.
    I remember your tutu from the shoot where you were a business woman on Wall Street with the tie and the jacket. That had me in stitches. Good tutu.

  5. That is a fantastic "get the fuck away from me" tutu. I like how you've contrasted the uber-girliness of it with the clean menswear lines of all the other pieces. These are some FAB photos - I am impressed with how well you rotate your pics!

    Mark your calendar: March 23rd for brunch?

  6. To have an actual photo shoot - what fun. My attempts at something like that are setting the camera on timer and then running back to the spot to get 3 images and then do it all over again.
    Those socks! The close-up made me love them ever more.
    Gotta agree with Greetje ^, I loved your bsns woooman in tutu images.

  7. This would be a great outfit to wear on transit. It's sort of the very feminine equivalent of "manspreading." "Oh, you can't sit down because of my tutu? Sorry--not sorry."

    Your use of the tutu as coffee sling is likely the best thing I've seen lately. I practically worship coffee and seeing it carried on the feathery tufts of a tutu just seems darn appropriate.

    As always when I visit your blog, my creative juices are percolating. (Coffee pun intended.) Thank you for the inspiration!


  8. So...
    How to rock a tutu, 101. ❣️
    Always fabulous, always iconic. I adore the story and agree that being a ballerina is hard work. Love your tights also.

  9. I have tulle skirts but I don't think i still have tutus- thhink my niece has them now!
    "what the frig else are you going to do with a tutu in an alley, right?" Yep- I firmly agree!!!
    You always make me smile and laugh! That is a wonderful gift, thank yoU!x

  10. Every photo is my favorite.
    The ballerina image is very strong in my "child memory". Ballerinas have mystery, athletic prowess, fairylike femininity, and balls.
    Tutus are confusing. They make a woman carnation like. The men's jacket and shoes was genius juxtapositioning.
    Is there something kind of icky about tutus too? Can't decide. Love Jude

  11. men's shoes and a tutu? Why not? When I was shoe shopping the other weekend, I happened upon shoe from Jessica Simpson. The looked light toe-shoes! For the non ballet dancer?

  12. So, a tutu is a dangerous thing. Puffy and pretty to look at, but a prickly and personal space defining defence mechanism, like a halo of warning!!!! love it!

  13. I love,love,love these photos of you, especially the one where you are sitting with your arms around your knees, peering through the tulle. You look sweet and devilish at the same time.

    I've wanted a tutu for ages but have yet to find one that fits or that I like. I took ballet classes when I was in my 20's and worshipped Karen Kain, but I never progressed beyond the beginner level, and so there was no tutu or toe shoes for me. I still love watching ballet performances. I remember Edita Sherman's performance in the Bill Cunningham doc - she was a fascinating dame.

  14. Wonderful stuff Melanie! No-one wears a tutu like you do-do. You inspire me to think of mine as quite a different creature now.

    Anna x

  15. What can I say, as a former ballet dancer...sigh... xx

  16. Oh yes! I love Tulle skirts! Younare a fantastic unique ballerina!

  17. The VAG concrete steps and your stairwell are two most unlikely places where so much magic should take place. After reading your blog, I just want to go CRAZY and MAKE STUFF. Beauty and zany fun never looked so good! Judy

  18. I love this tutu. I so want one myself. I loved it when you played business woman in Wall Street and I love it in this styling with the man's shirt etc. Love the socks too. (Amazing isn't it?) Great artistic photos. Especially the second one.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...