It was an average day. I came home from school, dropped my bag on the floor, and saw the stack of mail on the counter. I spotted the corner of the J. Crew catalog lying at the bottom of the stack and pulled it out. I gasped. The cover was stunning and unlike anything they had ever done before!
The cover shows ballerinas, dressed in typical ballerina attire plus an Italian cashmere sweater, posing underneath a portrait of Leonid Yakobson (1904-1975), Soviet dancer, choreographer, and ballet master at the Mariinsky Theatre. Along with Mr. Yakobson, the company has produced other big names such as Anna Pavlova and Mikhail Baryshnikov and has traveled around the world including a recent appearance at the Metropolitan Opera in NYC. The Mariinsky Theatre was established in 1860 by Catherine the Great and has seen some of the greatest Russian ballet performances, including the world premier of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker.
The September 2011 catalog was photographed at the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Ballerinas from the Mariinsky ballet school posed alongside the usual models, showing off their elegance and newfound love for J. Crew cashmere. Each photograph beautifully captures the ballerinas’ simple grace and exact precision, along with the grace and precision of J. Crew’s sweaters, a must-have for this fall. Plus, it reignited my childhood desire to become a ballerina.