The ballet and Pink Tartan go hand-in-hand. Both are characterized by sophistication and grace in artistry, and both look beautiful when modeled by Jillian Vanstone.

A principal dancer with the National Ballet of Canada since 2011, Vanstone exudes lighthearted charm, whether dressed in an elegant black cocktail dress by Pink Tartan (as she was wearing when attending the designer’s Fall 2015 show with us) or when costumed as the jubilant title character in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by choreographer, Christopher Wheeldon.

With the North American premiere of the ballet (a co-production with The Royal Ballet) in 2011, Vanstone captured the attention of the international ballet community, and continues to beckon audiences with entrancing performances, including the National Ballet’s recent production of Ratmansky & Côté, in which the British Columbia-raised dancer enthralled audiences with the poetry of her movements in Piano Concerto #1 from the Shostakovich Trilogy by acclaimed choreographer, Alexei Ratmansky; and lead roles in ballet favorites such as Rudolf Nureyev’s The Sleeping Beauty, on stage from June 10th to 20th, with Vanstone performing on the 11th and the 13th.

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Dancing the part of girlhood fantasies such as Princess Aurora, segues rather seamlessly into admiration for fashion, and Vanstone looks the part. As we wait for the lights to dim at Pink Tartan’s Toronto Fashion Week show, Vanstone giddily soaks in the atmosphere at the tents, chatting to guests that also happen to be patrons of the ballet—there are many.

The show begins and she’s concentrated, studying each look as it makes its way down the runway. Like Vanstone, Pink Tartan’s Fall 2015 collection is impassioned, manifesting the creative spirit that inspires designer Kimberly Mimran, and her artisan appreciation for the tools used in her craft. “The foundation of what I do is the fabric,” affirms Mimran before the show.

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Mimran’s latest creative vision imagines first, the feminine mystique framed in ankle grazing coats, skirts and dresses, such as the collection’s extraordinary ivory satin gown, detailed with Japanese-inspired embellishments; and second, an amplified aura complete with bold fur accents and graphic tartan, seen in an oversized navy and white coat, shoppers will be coveting come autumn.

The ideal Pink Tartan women, Vanstone takes a moment to share her thoughts on the brand’s new collection and her perspective on the importance of fashion on and off the stage.

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RATE THE IMPORTANCE OF FASHION IN YOUR LIFE. (10 BEING FOOD I.E. NECESSARY TO LIFE.)

A five. As an artist, I appreciate the creativity of fashion and the thought that goes into creating a collection, but I tend to follow fashion in my own way. I’m not always in the know about the latest trends, but I know what I like, what flatters my body, and I tend to stick with what works for my lifestyle and body type.

BASED ON WHAT YOU’VE SEEN AT THE SHOW, WHAT DO YOU PREDICT TO BE THE BIGGEST TREND TO HIT THE STREETS NEXT SEASON?

Hooray for high-waisted straight leg pants! Why have we all wanted our legs to look shorter for so long? Also, I was seeing an origami feel in some of the detailing. For instance, the wrapping at the waist of the pants and some of the bold shaping of the tops.

DO YOU THINK YOU’LL INCORPORATE THIS PARTICULAR TREND INTO YOUR OWN WARDROBE?

Definitely. I really enjoyed the shape of the pants (obviously!) and I thought the detailing was very elegant.

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ARE YOU MORE A TREND PERSON OR A STAPLES PERSON?

As an artist I have to watch my budget, so I definitely lean toward staples, and then maybe reference trends in my accessories. Having said that, I have a few special stand out pieces in my wardrobe that I splurged on and really love. I guess I wasn’t paying attention to whether those pieces were trendy when I bought them though, I just loved them.

WHAT IS THE MOST EXTRAVAGANT PIECE IN YOUR CLOSET AND WHAT IS THE MOST COSY?

I have a beautiful pink and white skirt, and green corset style top that I bought at a little french store when I was training with a coach in Copenhagen. I didn’t do the money conversion in my head because I knew I would not buy it if I did. Every time I wear that outfit, it makes me so happy; it is so unique. And, I think my cosiest piece is a grey zip up cashmere sweater I bought at Winners ages ago. It is so soft, and while plain, the shape is nice and the cashmere makes it feel luxurious, even though it’s really casual.

IF YOU COULD TAKE ONE PIECE FROM THE RUNWAY HOME WITH YOU, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

The dark blue pair of pants with the wrap detail at the waist. So pretty!

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WHAT CELEBRITY, DEAD OR ALIVE, WOULD YOU HAVE LIKED TO HAVE ATTENDED THE SHOW WITH TONIGHT?

Dolly Parton. She’s my hero. So kind, funny and full of charm, and all with a sharp intelligence.

WHAT SONG BEST SUMS UP THE CURRENT COLLECTION?

“Girl From The North Country” by Bob Dylan.

WHO IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON TO IMPRESS AT FASHION WEEK?

I was too busy enjoying myself to think about trying to impress someone. I think the experience should be about having fun.

WHAT WAS THE SINGLE ELEMENT ABOUT YOUR FASHION WEEK EXPERIENCE THAT IMPRESSED YOU MOST, ON OR OFF THE RUNWAY?

The energy in the room at the show was really exciting. It’s so different being at a live show versus seeing the coverage later on TV. The buzz, energy and showmanship is a lot of fun. As a performer, I appreciated that.

Pink Tartan Fall/Winter 2015

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