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.