This client was selected to represent the United States at the 2017 Cecchetti International Ballet Competition in Florence, Italy. Planning to perform the Gamzatti variation from La Bayadere, she already had an idea of the design she envisioned and approached me with her ideas. Together we decided on a two piece tutu and separated bodice that was elegant, decadent, and royal. A few years ago I purchased a navy blue and gold fabric combination that looked to me like an interesting Gamzatti costume. When she agreed to use it I was so excited to put both our visions to life! We ended up with a design concept of a navy blue and gold bi layered tutu and midriff bodice and matching tiara.
I began with a goal of making the bodice look as if it were floating on her body, so I mashed up two existing patterns I had and made cut outs to fill with nude mesh. Once I got the skin tone of the mesh right the illusion I wanted was created, highlighting the gold and blue moving with her body. I then used the cut out pattern on the bodice as inspiration to create the shapes you see on the tutu plate, which was machine embroidered. I was drawn to the cobalt blue accent color, beading, and trims that I felt had a regal feel. With this idea I created a design proposal for the plate and appliqués. Once the client and I agreed on the direction of the embellishments, I finished the final look you see. We both agreed the tiara should match the costume, so I found a tiara I made a few years back and added the same cobalt blue stones on it to tie everything together! We were both very excited at how it came out!
This client asked for an economical approach to sharing one costume between two sisters, 10 and 12 years old. Decorated in the gold lace plate and overlay, I started them with a white stretch bodice and rehearsal tutu not only for both girls to fit, but also allowing for growth throughout the coming year. After a season of competitions, they brought the tutu back to be repurposed for the girls' new variations. I gave the rehearsal tutu a makeover with an entirely new plate and a bodice out of stretch taffeta, a rich, lux fabric that allows for stretch as well as a professional looking fit for both bodies. A matching overlay decorates the bodice that can easily be changed in the future. This is an economical custom-made solution for two growing clients who are looking to get more than one use out of a professionally made custom TutuTerry creation.
My client also came to me wanting an industrial, distressed looking contemporary costume for a very fast and physical solo. We chose a metallic distressed stretch fabric that I paired with a russian long line leotard. Last, I made an asymmetrical skirt out of the distressed fabric by cutting the leotard pattern at an angle from the waist over and attaching the skirt there. It ended up looking sleek and strong, and she looked amazing in her solo!
Lastly, the entire look is complimented with beautiful Swarovski and Czech Preciosa stones in 30ss cobalt,14 and 18mm gold shadow tear drops, 30ss gold beryl AB and 20ss moonlight. There is also a combination of lace appliqués made from lace trims.
When it was all finished and I placed it on the mannequin, I immediately thought how much the color and motifs reminded me of Van Gogh’s painting. I am incredibly proud that my work was chosen by other designers to be showcased at the 2018 IBC.