When I was 4 years old, my mom signed me up for ballet classes in the hope that I would someday turn out to be as disciplined and as elegant as Misty Copeland is today. Unfortunately, I quit after three sessions. I was neither poised nor graceful, and I hated the pink leotard. I was incorrigible. Cut to present day. After Valentino’s Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli sent out the prettiest ballerina-inspired creations down the fall 2016 runways, it took everything in my power to not demand of my mother why she ever acquiesced to my request. I mean, clearly, I didn’t know better.
The Valentino design duo had dreamed up beyond beautiful dresses that featured delicate strappy slips in the softest shades, exquisitely embroidered wrap skirts, and ribbon wraparound detailing, and frothy tulle creations. Of course, it wasn’t all girly—heavy-duty combat boots, leather finishes, and unexpected pops of velvet shaved off some of the sweetness. And for all the non-ballerinas out there who want to be a ballerina (my want is slightly tinged with regret), it’s easy to translate the look into real life (but without the pirouettes or demi-pointe) with pink pleated skirts, ballet-inspired shawls, sleek bodysuits, and darling ballet flats that wrap all the way up to the shin. Then, take a cue from Valentino and finish with tough don’t-mess-with-me boots. Scroll through to shop the 10 key—or in ballet-speak, principal—pieces, below.