Phoebe Ratcliff-Reid joined our couture design team at Chrisanne Clover in March 2018. Prior to joining us, she had plenty of experience working in the London fashion industry and as a "10 dance" dancer herself, she brings to the team, not only her incredible design skills but also her passion for Ballroom and Latin dancing .
Phoebe designs for top dancers such as Olga Elsbury, Joanne Zhong, Anna Mashchyts and Signe Busk. Inspired by the latest catwalk trends and fashion editorials, she loves taking what is happening in fashion now and translating it into the dance industry. Her design style is described as feminine and elegant with a keen focus on a single detail or idea. This focus might be a new and interesting style line that translates well to the Ballroom fashion, a small embellishment detail or even just a new colour combination.
Phoebe designs for top dancers such as Anna left, Olga and Joanne
Being a "10 dance" dancer Phoebe loves designing for both Ballroom and Latin styles and finds it difficult to pinpoint her favourite ‘ I find it very hard to choose a favourite style to design for! I love the elegance of Ballroom however the freedom of style that comes with the Latin discipline is also very exciting!’
It was Phoebe’s first UK Open Championships in Bournemouth with Chrisanne Clover, and I was interested to find out what Phoebe thought of the dance fashion trends that were popular and what we can expect to see on the dance floor for the rest of this year…
How was your first experience at Bournemouth this year?
Yes it was my first year at Bournemouth! I really enjoyed my experience, especially as our stand was so close to the dancing, it gave a special atmosphere to the event, being able watch the dancers prepare and warm up for their events, it felt very involved.
At the UK Open what colours stood out for you the most on the dance floor?
Red is always popular and always a striking colour on the floor with the lighting. However it was also very exciting to see some dresses in our new Bluebell colour. This is one of my favourites of the Chrisanne Clover colours and it looked very feminine, clean and crisp on the dance floor.
Bluebell and Red were favourite colours on the floor with Monica pictured left, and Nataliya pictured right
Were there any particular fabric styles or accessorises that stood out the most?
Feathers (always feathers!) but I saw a lot more used as trims on the ends of sleeves or up around the neckline and shoulders. I also noted a lot of shading, not only in the skirt but through the body as well, either with fabrics or crystals. It seemed particularly popular in the Amateur Ballroom.
feathers were a huge feature at Bournemouth as pictured left to right with Natascha, Olga, Paulina and Sara
For the Latin, there is always so much diversity as personality is such a large part of the dancers performance, however bead droppers were everywhere, If you couldn’t hear them you didn’t have enough!
Was there any difference in the shape of the couture dresses? ie bigger floats, bigger skirts, plainer bodices?
Generally skirts are getting a bit lighter, however the biggest style I noticed in the Ballroom were large statement sleeves that were floats in themselves, similar to Nataliya’s dresses. In contrast, small float details were also popular, like Monica’s boa float on her bluebell dress.
large statement floats was a massive trend as shown on Nataliya's dresses pictured left and centre, and feather floats like Monica's pictured right
How do you think the lighting and colours of the couture at Bournemouth, differ to Blackpool?
I think Blackpool generally lends itself to more classic trends and styles that enhance the history that comes with the event. I think Bournemouth, being in the middle of the dancing season sees more colours and experimentation with styles as dancers test what look works for them as they lead up to their Blackpool dress.
What couture trends can you see being prominent for 2019?
Did you have a favourite couture dress that stood out to you the most?
Haha I will probably always be a little biased and I really loved Anna’s Purple Rain dress which we covered in SWAROVSKI® DeLite crystals, I loved the effect the stones had on the floor.
I also loved Monica and Natasha’s final dresses, the high contrast and beautiful stoning really stood out on the floor. I also liked Liis’s Yellow Dress, the colour was really exceptional.
our finalists pictured left to right Anna, Monica, Natascha and Liis
Were there any particular crystal colours or design styles that stood out the most?
Strong, graphic stoning always really stands out on the floor, you could really see this with Natasha’s dresses.
SWAROVSKI® New DeLite stones also looked beautiful on the floor, their effect of moving from self colour through to bright contrast created a really striking effect.
beautiful graphite embellishment on Natascha's dress
Photo credit Rob Ronda Photography
Read more about the UK Open Championships 2019: