Chapter 1: Latin Remix, our latest Figue collection, was greatly inspired by Spanish influences and the art of flamenco. Stephanie drew inspiration from her grandfather, famed choreographer Leonide Massine, who incorporated Spanish elements into his work with the Ballets Russes. Here, a view on Spanish dancing from Stephanie’s mother Tatiana, who shares memories of her father, as well as her take on the collection.
Stephanie’s mother Tatiana Massine with her father (Stephanie’s grandfather), the famed choreographer Leonide Massine. Photograph by Peter Stackpole
“I was introduced to my first ballet class at the age of 5. My father [choreographer Léonide Massine] said, ‘You’re going to start today and you’re going to be a dancer.’ On Sundays he would give me a wonderful Spanish dancing class. I loved flamenco because it’s a lot of fun and very rhythmic. There is an energy and excitement in flamenco where you can express yourself very freely.
Even though my father was Russian, that was a great passion of his — he had several ballets he did that were focused on Spanish folklore, flamenco, more classic Spanish dancing…. He had studied it a lot himself in Spain during the Diaghilev Ballets Russes period as the war was breaking out. He studied with some of the street dancers and teachers of the time, and that was very influential for a lot of his work.
When I saw Stephanie’s latest collection I was very excited because I feel it really captures the essence of Spanish and Latin design while also distilling it into something more contemporary. Polka dots, fluidity, and the ruffle…in typical flamenco dress you have huge ruffles trailing behind you and you kick them back. For Stephanie, they gently slope to the back down a hem. There are all these subtle applications, interpreted in a very appealing, seductive modern form.” — Tatiana Massine