CHIC PEOPLE IN NEW YORK
A few years ago, I bumped into Irina Dvorovenko and her husband Max Beloserkovsky on Madison Avenue. I knew who they were, of course, but wasn’t sure they knew me. Turns out, they did. We had a lovely chat there on the street, and they apologized for not being able to attend the launch of my book, Chic In Paris. Instead, they asked me to Rome to see them dance in a new production of Swan Lake. I’d planned to be in Europe at the same time, and couldn’t resist such a kind invitation. As a balletomane, I’ve often seen them perform, and it’s always magical. Now, we’ve become friends.
I caught up with Irina at the apartment she shares with Max, near Lincoln Center. Between rehearsing, performing, traveling and mothering a six-year-old girl, she’s always moving–but she’s also an absolute pro, used to quick costume changes and instant transformations. She was already putting final touches on her first look when I came in. She’d opted to start with a grey Hervé Leger–difficult to pull off–but, of course, Irina has an amazing body and the dress suited her to a “T.” It wasn’t typical: the silhouette had the twist of a laced shoulder line and a slight peplum. It’s clear that Irina has style.
In the blink of an eye, she’d changed into a completely different look: a black jacket she’d been given at a charity event, over a cream lace Alberta Ferretti blouse (and nothing but black leggings and heels on the bottom). Much edgier–but why not? Then she changed again, into something I loved: a jewel-toned satin dress with bold shoulders by Alexander McQueen, who was always one of my favorite designers. It was stunning on her–the color, the fit (although she complained she’d lost weight since having it tailored).
It quickly became apparent that Irina has an eclectic wardrobe: she’s not beholden to any one designer. She says she learned a lot about style from her mother, who, as a dancer herself managed to pick up unusual clothes during her travels outside the Ukraine. “We couldn’t afford expensive things,” Irina explains, “but mother had such good taste, she could make anything look special.” Like mother, like daughter: Irina says she likes “to wear beautiful things that make me feel good,” but that doesn’t necessarily mean she’s a fashion victim. In fact, one of her looks for this shoot was a simple cream dress by Mackage–essentially a bridge line–but Irina made it look so chic. Obviously, you don’t have to wear famous luxury brands to look amazing.
I’ve wanted to profile Irina for years: people know her as a prima ballerina, but she’s also a remarkable woman with great style. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have an equally stylish husband who loves seeing her in beautiful shoes– he insisted on buying her these Christian Louboutin high-heeled sandals.
I’ve seen Irina both on and offstage, and she’s always mesmerizing. She’s undoubtedly one of the most talented ballerinas in the world, but she’s also beautiful and has amazing personal style. It’s an unusual “double love” the two of us share: we both love ballet and fashion!
Irina’s hair styled by Mel Rau. Photographs by Noël Sutherland