when the national ballet calls…
posted: July 2, 2012
Sometimes we’re racy and sometimes we’re lacy! So when the National Ballet called and asked us to construct a tutu to help commemorate their 60th anniversary we saw it as the perfect opportunity to showcase technical beauty. We did our best curtsey to accept the honour and then buried ourselves in a sea of luon (technical) and lace (beautiful).
meet antonia, lead yoga designer here at lululemon
Meet Antonia, (you know her as the creative brains behind many of the yoga pieces you love to love). Spending the first half of her life mostly en pointe, Antonia was the perfect candidate to take on the tutu project. We caught up with the dancer turned designer to score all the deats:
how did you get from dance to design?
I danced for 13 years, doing everything from Ballet to Jazz to Modern. I just loved to move! As a long-legged girl (who could never find pants that were long enough) my mom took to sewing me leotards and dance pants as well as all of the costumes for my studio. Without ever really realizing it, I was ‘designing’ from a really young age, making requests and adjustments to the dancewear my mom was constructing for me. When I wasn’t dancing I was sewing up little projects of my own (in third grade I designed scrunchies that I sold to my classmates).
Although I didn’t pursue dance professionally, the 13 years of competitions and costumes seemed like it was the perfect training for what would later become my career in athletic apparel design. It wasn’t something I’d planned but more so something I fell into.
the national ballet and lululemon, long-time besties?
What many people don’t know is that we’ve been in relationship with The National Ballet of Canada since we launched our dance line in 2007. At the time of the initial launch, the relationship involved design meetings with the dancers and having them test the gear for feedback. Even though we don’t design a specific dancewear line any longer, our Toronto stores have maintained a strong relationship with The National Ballet. It was this ongoing partnership that made us a great fit to participate in the tutu project.
tell us about the tutu!
The inspiration for creating this tutu was drawn from the famous ballet, Swan Lake. Swan Lake is the most demanding ballet for the principal dancer to preform technically and athletically. As an athletic apparel brand that focuses on functional gear (that looks great too) it felt so perfect to draw my inspiration from here. The tutu had to be able to deliver technical features to allow the dancer to think of nothing but her performance and, of course, look elegant and classic as well.
can you tell us a bit about the technology in the tutu?
The key technology used in the piece is called Naked Seam. This is a seam that is constructed without the use of thread. Many of the garments we design use this bonded seam in areas to reduce friction and abrasion the wearer may feel (see: chafing). Oh, and of course, we used our signature lightweight fabrics!
from design to sketches to construction, who else was involved in the project?
This project was great to work on as a side project to my regular role. In order to use the best talents of those around me, I enlisted my mom, Shirley Iamartino, to be the seamstress on the project and bring the tutu I envisioned to life. (Side note: in addition to my dance costumes, my mom was also the seamstress behind my wedding gown!). The illustrations and mood board was the work of Lauren Powell, one of our other yoga designers (and also a former dancer). Without the collaboration and help of these ladies the tutu would still be only a vision in my mind.
Bravo Antonia! We love this tutu (and you!). Wanna see the other 59 tutus? Check them out here.