emilienne

Skirts in Rubies

16 posts in this topic

Along with the discussion on Apollo's tights, I wonder when the women in Rubies stopped using the puffy white skirts and began to use the red herald skirts. In A Man Who Dances (or one of the televised performances), McBride is clearly wearing the white puffs, but by her performance in Ballet with Edward Villella, she, M Morris, and the corp, looks to have switched over to a red generic overskirt. However, if you look at the Life pictures, the corp was already wearing the pointy herald skirts in 1967. Were there multiple versions of the costume?

Can BTers think to when the costuming change was made, and why? Do any companies use the white puff dresses anymore?

Happens to like the white cotton puffs quite a lot

emi

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perhaps the best person to help date this change would be mcbride herself.

the 'original' designs were still considered current when MAN WHO DANCES sent out the attached publicity shot in early '68.

the 'connection' i find in this version of the Rubies' ballerina's costume is to the showgirl look Karinska devised for WESTERN SYMPHONY.

it would be interesting to learn if the change came at the ballerina's suggestion/request or the designer's or Balanchine's, or a combination of all three.

post-848-1232826559_thumb.jpg

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Please excuse my ignorance, but why are they called "herald" skirts?

I don't know the answer to that, but I Googled "herald skirt" and found some pictures that reminded me of Andre Eglesvsky's mini-kilt in Apollo, photos of which are posted on the Apollo-costume thread. (Incidentally, emilienne's question had already turned up on Google as number 3 in the responses to my Search. They work fast :wink: .)

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i've never heard the term 'herald skirt' myself, which is neither here nor there.

i prefer to think of this this style garment as a kilt.

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i've never heard the term 'hearld skirt' myself, which is neither here nor there.

i prefer to think of this this style garment as a kilt.

In any case I misspoke, I'd heard the skirt referred to somewhere else as a 'heraldic' skirt (though I can't remember where now), as the scalloped bottom of mediaeval tunics. For example, the tunic for this gentleman on the left.

emi

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Such a kilt, skirt, lower hem might be heraldrically described as "embattled to base".

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Such a kilt, skirt, lower hem might be heraldrically described as "embattled to base".

Perhaps I'm living in the past, but I've always thought of a kilt as a skirt with knife pleats around 3/4 of the waistband and an overlapping flat front. The stereotype is Scotch, made of a plaid wool that was a family identifier, but that's certainly not the only kilt around. A local company makes kilts out of heavy duty canvas for construction workers, as well as more formal styles

Utilikilt

The skirt I know best for Rubies is a number of rectangles set on a waistband (long side vertical). I remember a white skirt in photos, but I don't think I've ever seen one in performance.

Tangentially, I thought that your Ballet Talk membership level (if that is the right term) is particularly appropriate for this conversation

Rubies Circle

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Kilts are not exclusively Scottish.

There are a great many cultures around the world where a skirt/kilt is part of male attire, and some are pleated and some not. Indeed the Scottish "Great Plaid" simply started as a very long piece of wool gathered by a belt. The pleats came later, as did most of the family tartans. Some of the early portraits of clan chieftains show them wearing three or more different patterns!

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wonder if anyone knows (Mel?) the technical term for the individual strips/flaps - familiar on roman military kilts (in leather?) that are part of the men's and women's tunics in Karinska's designs for RUBIES - i had some communications with someone who would know a while back but lost my email.

the term seems also to be one for similar 'detailing' on upholstery, and i think comes from a french word for 'feather' tho' it isn't 'plume'.

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Now a Roman soldier's belt was a cinculum, and I know I've seen the vertical strips that hung from it called "labels" or "flèches", when they're pointed, and plate armor where the thigh protectors that hung below the torso armor were called "tassets", but nothing that directly says "feather" to me.

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many thanks Mel.

i suppose there is no one term.

the one suggested to me not that long ago wasn't any of these, which doesn't make the missing term correct, i'm just trying to re-acquaint myself w/ it.

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here's what i was looking for and no wonder i was 'in the dark' the word is from the GREEK (not French) for feathers:

Pteruges (pronounced “ter-OO-gees,” Greek for “feathers”) are flexible strips of layered leather or fabric that hang from the waist and shoulders of many forms of classical armor, forming a “kilt” protecting a soldier’s lower torso, thighs, and upper arms.

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Now a Roman soldier's belt was a cinculum, and I know I've seen the vertical strips that hung from it called "labels" or "flèches", when they're pointed, and plate armor where the thigh protectors that hung below the torso armor were called "tassets", but nothing that directly says "feather" to me.
The attachments arrayed around a slightly dropped waist on the Rubies costumes come to a point, like flèches.

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Kilts are not exclusively Scottish.

Oh, I know -- it's just the stereotype. With a bagpipe.

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