Dance Kaleidoscope – Inspiration

The ‘Dance Kaleidoscope’ collection features dancers entwined in repeating kaleidoscopic patterns designed to convey the passion of dance.  Laser cut leather and acrylic, metallic foiled leathers, hand-embroidery and digital print patterns on silk satin create a juxtaposition of visuals and textures that portray emotion and movement. 

Where the inspiration first came from: 

I have always loved dance – when I was very young, I had aspirations to become a prima ballerina. Then, in my teenage years, I discovered a love of hip-hop and started dancing in school productions and on weekends with friends. Eventually, I realised that loving dance, did not necessarily mean I was that good at it, so I got serious and gave it up (except for the occasional boogie on the dance floor). 

It was not until I moved to London, and went to actually watch a ballet in person (not just on television!), at the London Coliseum, that it brought back all those memories and really impacted me emotionally, spurring a flurry of creativity that would eventually result in this collection.  

The ballet I watched was a classic – Swan Lake – and it was the movement of the groups of dancers flitting in and around each other, with each other, that made me feel almost like I was peering through a kaleidoscope, and twirling it around to create the patterns the dancers created. Even though I was sitting in a ‘nose bleeder’ seat, and I could not actually see the faces of the dancers, the emotion of the story of Swan Lake was conveyed through the way they moved – how they curved their bodies, each flick of their toes and the way they held each other. 

Inspired by this ballet, I then started researching different types of dance, and chose to incorporate the genres that I love the most into the collection – the Charleston, Ballet, Contemporary and Hip Hop. 

The process:

I started by drawing shapes of dancers. I repeated and overlapped them and used these patterns as the basis for my embroidery. I then used the same patterns throughout the collection as motifs on the clutches as well as being the main feature in the neckpieces. The scarves then featured these patterns and the embroidery to culminate in kaleidoscopic patterns with trompe l’oeil effects.  

Materials:

Using laser cut acrylic and leather with metallic foils and distressed leather, softer candy and pastel colours, I tried to merge and convey these different genres. This was further reinforced by the delicate hand-embroidery and hand-drawn digital print patterns on luxurious silk satin, with tassels and metallic studs used as accents.  

Fun fact:

All the products in the whole collection are named after famous dancers!

Want to shop the collection? Head to our online shop. Happy shopping!

 

Next week – the story behind our laser-cut leather wing collars.