1 Girl, 4 Looks: Peep A Dance Superstar’s Quirky Closet!

[UPDATE: This story was originally published on December 21.]
Allow us to boast for a moment: We've been beyond fortunate and met some of S.F.'s brightest style stars. And, there's no shortage in sight, as the eye candy just keeps rolling in. Case in point: S.F. Ballet's principal dancer, Maria Kochetkova, who recently showed us around the city's famed opera house — and her whimsical wardrobe.
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Don't let her diminutive stature fool you, the artsy girl-about-town is always seen donning ensembles with big, big personality — when she's not traveling the globe or starring in top-notch dance productions, that is. Whether she's frolicking around galleries or practicing her Nutcracker moves, she's got style in spades. Click through to see some serious snaps that will keep you on your toes.
Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile
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Describe your personal style.
"I don’t think I wear one type of clothing. Sometimes, I'll wear all black, different colors, or sometimes heels. I'm always changing depending on how I feel. My personal style in three words: I. Don't. Know."

Maria struts her stuff in Louis Vuitton pants and shirt, Harputs' Own collar, Robert Clergerie heels, and Japanese vintage glasses.

Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile
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What's one item in your wardrobe that gets the most mileage?
"I think probably my ballet wardrobe, but the one item would be my slipper booties — they keep my feet warm after being in pointe shoes. Also, my socks!"
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When you aren't performing-slash-dancing — where can we find you?
"Working a lot, but I also enjoy going out and meeting people. That way I don’t feel like I’m just working. For me, I rest better if I go out with friends because it takes my mind off of work, or anything that I’m unhappy with. You also might find me playing ping-pong around the city! I actually love to read and watch films, as well."
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What are you reading right now?
"I’m reading Hemingway’s book, The Moveable Feast. I always read in Russian, that way my head can rest while I read."
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Who are your favorite designers?
"I love Valentino, Junya Watanabe, Acne, Ulyana Sergeenko, and Repetto."

Maria poses in a Peter Jensen blouse, Steven Alan pant and jacket, and Dries Van Noten loafers.
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If your style was a song or a dance what would it be?
"My style is so different, and I listen to such different music — from Chopin to some crazy stuff. And my style, I’ll wear some old-fashioned, '20s stuff to very modern looks with leggings and huge glasses. What I wear shows how I feel and how I want to be seen. My husband sometimes makes fun of me before an event if I can’t make up my mind on an outfit, but sometimes I’ll put something on that doesn’t feel right...like maybe it felt right yesterday, but not in that moment."

What part are you dancing in The Nutcracker?
"I'm dancing as the Snow Queen and Ballerina in Grand Pas de Deux."
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Tell us more about your ballet background.
"I started in Moscow, where I was born. I did rhythmic gymnastics and figure skating from age 4 to 10, and then I took exams at the Bolshoi Ballet school and got in, which was a really big deal, and I studied there for eight years. Then, I won an apprenticeship at Royal Ballet in London. I worked in London for five years, and now I’m in San Francisco. It’s my sixth season with the San Francisco Ballet, so that’s the long story, short!"
8 of 14
Who are some of your fashion icons?
"I really like Audrey Hepburn’s style, and we are both so petite...maybe that’s why I look to her. I also love Flavor Flav."

Junya Watanabe for Comme des Garçons dress.
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Where do you go to find inspiration in S.F.?
"I like to go to the SFMOMA and enjoy hiking around the Bay!"
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You travel all over the world for dance — do you use this as an opportunity to develop your look?
"I love visiting different museums when I travel. I think contemporary art influences my style the most. For example, I'm a big Yayoi Kusama fan, so when I found out she was doing a designer collection, I was looking forward to it."
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You recently just got back from Amsterdam, Tokyo, and Miami — did you do any shopping while traveling?
"Often times, my trips are too short and busy for shopping, but if I have time, I normally buy something. I do love to shop, and if things fit me better, I would end up spending so much more money!"

Sitting pretty in Crockett & Jones booties and Topshop striped tights.
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Tell us about your David David look and the story behind him making that top especially for you?
"I met him in London and he said that I should wear his stuff. I looked at what he was doing, and it was not my style at all, so I said to him, 'I can't unless you make me a dragon T-shirt,' and he said, 'Okay!' I had forgotten all about it, when I happened to walk into his shop in Covent Garden, and there he was, working on this dragon T-shirt for me! I asked him to put my dragon on pointe shoes and make him fat and smiling, and he said, 'Okay!' The last day of my trip he had the T-shirt ready and with my name on the back of it. We were actually thinking of doing something together, maybe for ballet, something more interesting, not just the boring designs you see a lot of the time in the business."

Maria glams it up in a David David T-shirt, Agnes b. scarf, and Christian Dior glasses.
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What brands fit you best that you would recommend for petite girls?
"You never know, you always have to search, but most of the vintage clothes fit me well."

David David pants.
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What pieces do you always take with you when you travel?
"I like to take tons of scarves to keep my neck warm."

Peep those Rachel Comey lace-up booties.

Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile
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