Fashion

The National Ballet Fêtes The Tutu Project

A new exhibition chronicles the past 60 years of costuming alongside Canadian designer creations

National Ballet Fêtes The Tutu Project

Photo by Peter Chatterton for the Design Exchange

National Ballet Fêtes The Tutu Project

Photo by Peter Chatterton for the Design Exchange

The Tutu Project: Sugar Plum Fairy

Photo by Setareh Sarmadi

The Tutu Project: Swan Lake

Photo by Setareh Sarmadi

The Tutu Project: The Nutcracker

Photo by Bruce Zinger

Last night at Toronto’s Design Exchange, the fashion was en pointe. A new exhibition, 60 Years of Designing the Ballet melds the traditional and the innovative with sketches, set pieces and costumes dating back to 1952 on display in addition to 60 tutus created by designers from across Canada. With many of the archival pieces taking over 150 hours to produce, this detailed work is worthy of a couture house.

On the lower level of the space, The Tutu Project’s take on the prima ballerina star piece went from a sculptural paper sphere by architect Skanda Lin to a Hudson’s Bay Company blanket re-imagined by artist Svetlana Lavrentieva. Notable Canadian designers such as David Dixon, Linda Lundström, Amanda Lew Kee, Comrags, and Vawk also applied their aesthetic to individual creations. Through new materials the tutu has become anything but traditional. With this unique combination of fashion, performance, and community, this tour de force deserves a standing ovation.

60 Years of Designing the Ballet & The Tutu Project runs from July 11th – September 2nd.