Why The Biggest Stunt At Fashion Week Went Down

For anyone who lives for the palpable theatrics and drama that a runway can bring — and not the "Who's sitting second row?!" kind — a major NYFW highlight this month was Opening Ceremony's model fall-down. Make no mistake, these stumbling walkers weren't runway roadkill, they were dancers. It’s not the first time designers welcomed major movement to the runway — see Rick Owens' spring ’14 step performance or Hood By Air's fall ’14 voguing — but we have the exclusive first peek at the special partnership between Humberto Leon and choreographer Justin Peck that might give more context to the story.

Tomorrow night, Peck presents his new work with the New York City Ballet, and his dancers have been outfitted by Leon, who designs for both Opening Ceremony and Kenzo with Carol Lim. In the video below, Leon plots his costume concept and meticulously pinpoints every place on the body where design elements can highlight the dancers' moves. “Humberto has an incredibly creative mind," says Peck. "He’s the type of person who could be working in any field. He probably would have made a great choreographer, too."

Leon's not the only one who's been tasked with bringing his clothing to a different kind of stage. With this partnership, he's following in a long tradition of dance and fashion collaborations. The Ballet has teamed with Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida of Marques Almeida, Hanako Maeda of Adeam, and Zuhair Murad to translate their POV for a much more active wearer. Oscar de la Renta successor Peter Copping has also created costumes for ballet master in chief Peter Martin’s revival of "Thou Swell."

Watch below to get the first behind-the-scenes look at how these designers made potentially leg-tripping ties, super oversized stoles, and clothing intended for pedestrians ballet-ready.

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