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Get an Exclusive First Look at Esteban Cortázar’s Costumes for the New York City Ballet Fall Fashion Gala

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Get an Exclusive First Look at Esteban Cortázar’s Costumes for the New York City Ballet Fall Fashion Gala


At the ripe age of 17, Esteban Cortázar became the youngest designer to ever show at New York Fashion Week. Turns out, it may have been a fluke. “As a little boy, I grew up wanting to be an actor, singer, performer, and dancer,” he says. “I was in every drama class. I went to a musical theater school. I was always in the costume shops. I was always backstage.” Now, the Colombian-American talent is having a full-circle moment: designing costumes for the New York City Ballet’s Fall Fashion Gala, an annual celebration of dance and costume design. This year’s lineup features first-run works by Sidra Bell and Andrea Miller, the latter of whom collaborated with Cortázar on the ballet’s sartorial aesthetic. “Ballet was not a world I was always following,” Cortázar admits, before adding: “That’s what makes this so exciting. I’m learning about a world that I have always had respect for, but never knew much about. Now I do. It’s really special.”

Ahead of the Fall Gala tonight at Lincoln Center in New York City, Cortázar talked to ELLE.com about his designs, Ibiza, and why he’s proud to be Colombian. Keep scrolling to get a closer look at the costumes.

How did you get involved with the New York City Ballet?

In a very spontaneous and organic way. Andrea Miller, who founded the dance company Gallim in New York, contacted me out of the blue several months ago. She had gotten my number through a mutual Colombian friend. After telling me she really loved my work, she asked if I would be interested in being a part of this project. I of course said “yes” right away, but I didn’t fully realize what I was being asked to do on that first phone call—she was being quite modest! When I realized what it was, it was such a huge honor. I’ve wanted to collaborate with [musician] Lido [Pimienta] for a very long time. A family has been formed. It’s just a pleasure all around.

What was your inspiration for the costumes?

What was very clear from the very beginning was that this was a piece about finding our light within, finding the light external to us, bringing optimism to the world, and bringing color to the world. The words “heat” and “lightness” kept coming up. I knew that I wanted to create something that felt very weightless, that moved in very fluid and organic ways, echoing the dancers’ movements. I didn’t want anything too restrictive or overpowered or over-decorated. I wanted something that felt almost like a second skin, and then I could tell a beautiful color story through it.

I’m also obsessed with colors. I actually worked on the piece—sketch and concept-wise—a lot while I was in Ibiza, which is an island where I spend a lot of my time. I was looking at the sky every day: the way the colors changed from the morning midday to sunset to night. I really wanted to bring that into the piece. Lido’s score was so inspiring. That made me think about my culture, Colombia, my roots, and where I come from. I wanted to bring that in as well, not a literal way. I think we did that through the colors and the song and the movement.

How, in your opinion, are the fashion and dance worlds intertwined?

Well, they’re both about telling stories, which is beautiful. We can tell a story through our collection as fashion designers. And we can clearly tell a story through a dance piece. What is interesting about ballet is that it is purely creative. There are restrictions about functionality and the way that the dancers need to move and the costumes need to last, but those are technical details. Here, I can really be free from commerce and the idea of selling. I have to think about how to make these dancers shine and what works with the choreography. It’s been a really special way of working that I’m not used to. I feel like an artist doing this, and less like a fashion designer. It’s been very liberating for me as a creator.

We’re in the midst of Hispanic Heritage Month. In what ways does your Colombian background inform your designs?

My heritage, where I come from—it’s my roots, my blood. It’s what I’m made of. It’s always present in my life. I don’t have to look for it. It’s always there. I am obsessed with where I come from. I love my culture. I love my people. I love the colors, the nature, the skies, the music, the dancing, the food. I’m obsessed with Colombia and Latin culture in general. And it’s always in my work—even if it’s not part of the theme, there’s always something that I bring in. And what I love about the ballet and about this piece we’ve created is that I can really see it. It’s not literal and obvious, but it’s there. And of course, there’s Lido’s incredible score and voice. Two Columbians are part of this team, and that makes it so wonderful.

This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.

Fashion

The Black Friday And Cyber Monday Beauty Deals You Can’t Miss

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Fellow Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers get excited, for the big retail therapy weekend is slowly but surely on the horizon. And while, sure, we beauty fanatics can always find a reason to invest in a new hot tool, sunscreen, or just the latest and greatest viral product, nothing makes making a haul sweeter than knowing a big ol’ discount stood right behind it. Thus, making a plan for one of the biggest shopping days of the year, all the more important hence, why you and I are here.

While the money-saving weekend extravaganza is a month and so out, not many of our favorite brands have released what they plan to do sale-wise for the holiday weekend. Don’t fret, though! Based on what they did last year, we here at ELLE have a clue on what you can expect to see this year, or at least know what brands participate in the extensive online commerce event. So ahead, find our favorite products marked down for Black Friday and Cyber Monday last year that you should watch for this go-around. Feel free to add them to your cart now to get ready for the big day, and bookmark this page as we’ll be updating it with more information as we find out more.

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1

Daily Cleanse & Condition Duo

In 2020 at Olaplex’s first-ever Black Friday sale, if you bought any two full-size products, you got an Olaplex No.6 Bond Smoother for free. (How amazing is this gift set, though?!) 

2

Stay All Day Eye Liner

In 2020, Stila offered up 70% off your purchase so you could snag best-selling makeup favs like this liquid eyeliner. 

3

UNPLUGGED STYLER – CORDLESS FLAT IRON

In 2020, GHD took 20% off tools, hairbrushes, and styling products and 30% off the Platinum Black and White Stylers. On 11/30, they took 30% off the GHD Glide and 20% off other tools, hairbrushes, and styling products like this cordless flat iron. 

4

Jet Lag Mask

In 2020, Summer Fridays offered 20% off, and on Cyber Monday, you received the same discount but with free shipping. Be sure to snag their best-selling Jet Lag face mask, which can be used with a wet or dry face. 

5

Retro Matte Lipstick

In 2020, all MAC customers got 25% off their entire purchase as well as additional daily deals. (I’m crossing my fingers one of the deals is on this lipstick this year.)

6

Indigo Overnight Repair

In 2020,  Tatcha offered 20% off your entire purchase for Black Friday. On Cyber Monday, you got a 20% discount on your purchase plus received a three-piece mystery gift when you spent $250 or more. Be sure to keep an eye on this super nourishing overnight cream when shopping this year. 

7

KP Bump Eraser Body Scrub 10% AHA

In 2020, you got a free travel-size version of whatever bestseller (like this KP scrub) you purchased as well as getting 30% off your entire purchase at First Aid Beauty.

8

LUX Diamond Eye Gloss Trio – Sunset

In 2020, on Black Friday, you got to choose between a $15 eGift Card or a free item when you bought something on Lorac.com. On Cyber Monday, you got 50% off sitewide. (How exciting!) 

9

Peace Out Acne Dots

In 2020, Peace Out offered 25% off sitewide, which is a total steal if you’re obsessed like me with their acne healing dots. 

10

Gold Lust Dry Shampoo

In 2020, Oribe offered 20% off liter sizes of shampoo and conditioner with a special code. I’m crossing my fingers that deal applies to their amazing dry shampoo this year.

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Fashion

Nordstrom Has Tons of Boots, Sweaters, and Jackets On Sale Right Now

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When you’re someone who likes to shop as much as me, finding an excuse to dabble in a little retail therapy can be pretty easy. Special event coming up? It looks like I need a new dress! Oh, sweater weather is here? Time to invest in knitwear. And return to the office also means returning to footwear beyond slippers. The point is, replenishing my closet with all sorts of aesthetically pleasing things comes naturally to me, hence why you and I are here.

Imagine my delight when I realized that Nordstrom’s sale section features tons of fall essentials, including turtlenecks, jackets, boots, and more. You can snag some from your favorite brands like Sam Edelman, Levi’s, Good American, and Nike for up to 40 percent off, so you’re wallet will thank you for the smart investment Ahead, shop 14 fall favorites on sale at Nordstrom right now.

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1

This Patterned Frock

Square Neck Babydoll Dress

This checkered print babydoll dress is so fun! I’m already thinking about all the places I’m going to wear it. 

2

These Chunky Boots

Clarisa Platform Chelsea Boot

Here lies a pair of boots that will go with everything.

3

This Chic Shacket

Belted Shirt Jacket

Behold one of fall’s biggest must-haves: the shacket. Wear it on its own or layer it up. 

4

This Denim Hat

Logo Bucket Hat

When I’m having a bad hair day, I love throwing on a bucket hat and heading out the door. 

5

This Cozy Cardigan

Sunrise Stripe Cardigan Sweater

Sweater weather is finally here. Kick off the season right with this ivory striped cardigan. 

6

These Totally Cool Pants

Athena Velvet Flare Crop Pants

Velvet anything is just an autumn must-have. These flare pants are giving me ‘70s vibes. 

7

These Go-With-Everything Boots

Olly Knee High Boot

How versatile are these knee-high boots from Sam Edelman? It’ll go great under a midi dress or paired with a mini skirt and tights. 

8

This Super Sweet Set

Cropped Rib Cardigan & Camisole Set

This set is gonna look great with your favorite pair of jeans. Feel free to also pair it with a pleated mini skirt if you wanna go preppy. 

9

These Retro Sunnies

Aviator Sunglasses

I’m all for a retro-inspired pair of sunglasses. If you’re not feeling the yellow tint, this pair also comes in pink- and blue-colored lenses too! 

10

This Pair of Denim

501 Skinny Jeans

Pretty sure there’s no limit on how pair of jeans you can own, especially when you snag a pair for this cheap. 

11

These Neutral Toned Sneakers

Court Vintage Premium Sneaker

Is there anything more wearable than an off-white vintage-inspired sneaker? (Hint: The answer is no.)

12

This Cool Backpack

Woven Chain Backpack

For those days when you need to haul your stuff around but want to look cute doing so, opt for this backpack. 

13

This Light Orange Skirt

Plaid Miniskirt

This plaid miniskirt is wearable all year round. Just throw some tights on when it’s cooler, and feel free to ditch them come spring. 

14

This Super Warm Coat

Faux Shearling Lined Corduroy Jacket

Get cozy with this corduroy jacket with faux shearling lining. P.S.: Pair it with your favorite turtleneck if you want to feel extra warm. 

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Amazon Just Surprised Us With Black Friday-Worthy Sales

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Black Friday is that special, post-Thanksgiving gift that lets you stock up on the best tech deals, score discounted designer clothes, and finally snag cult favorite beauty items that are only on sale once a year. While it feels like the mega sale is far away, you’re in luck: Amazon just dropped a sale worthy of prices you’d typically have to wait for across all categories. We’re talking about AirPods up to $70 off, buzzed-about electronics you can buy now to gift later, and the Insta-famous winter coat with more than 17,000 reviews. To narrow down your wishlist, we present 13 of the very best deals (and some that are only on sale for one day only). Happy shopping, ahead.

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1

Apple AirPods Pro

What can we say, Apple AirPods are hot. 

2

Apple AirPods with Charging Case

Not everyone needs the noise cancellation capabilities of the AirPods Pro. The OG style can be just as good. 

3

Thickened Down Jacket

This winter coat has a major online following, and its 18,000 raving reviews is proof. 

4

Kindle

Wait, the Kindle comes in white?!

5

Karaoke Microphone

Ok, this microphone is apparently for kids but that shouldn’t stop you from belting “Industry Baby.”

6

080P WiFi Projector

If movie theaters are still low on your list of must-do destinations, an at-home projector brings the silver screen to you. 

7

Lumbar Support Pillow for Office Chair

For those still working from home, back support should be a top priority (besides keeping your Zoom camera off). 

8

Adaptive Foam 8-Inch Mattress

You spend a third of your life on your mattress. Make it a good one, like this style that boasts more than 2,800 reviews. 

9

Studio3 Wireless Headphones

For the AirPod averse, try Beats over-ear headphones for their audio quality. 

10

Fire TV Stick 4K

Fire up Squid Game and never look back. 

11

E4 Robot Vacuum Cleaner

Tidy up your house with zero effort on your part. 

12

Air Purifier

Owning an air purifier is a fun entry in the game of “being an adult.”

13

Galaxy SmartTag+ Plus

Never lose your keys again. Alternatively, gift this to your favorite klutz. 

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