It was about this time last year Midnight Costume Services were commissioned to create a Swan Lake Tutu as part of a larger block of commissioned Costumes for an entertainment Park.
Swan Lake has always held a special place in my heart, I have seen it performed countless times- the best? At The Royal Albert Hall with 60 Swans!!- and every time I fall in love all over again with the music, performance and costumes.
Due the the volume of other Costumes needed for the production, we had a small budget to create this Costume and even though there was just Odette to be created however; I knew we simply had to have a traditional Tutu with some feather detailing and the above illustration was my starting point.
There are 14 layers in a Traditional Tutu, ranging from 3cm to 32cm… over all over 40m of Net and all layers- once cut and pieced- needed to be snipped and cut to create the classic Swan Lake zig-zag edging.
Once snipped, each layer is gathered and sewn on to the Basque. This process takes one worker over 10 hour to accomplish and can get fairly intense!! The Basque will start to curl about half way through and it is about at this point that you think you wont win, but win you do and a few hour later you have the most wonderful sight… a fluffy, untamed Tutu!
Glorious, isn’t she?
Tacking stitches are inserted in a very specific order to tame the beast, the Bodice is made up and decorated and all of a sudden, a weeks worth of work looks so beautiful you can almost… almost… forget the pain of all that gathering!
And finally, a shot of the inside!