“Bird, Cage and Dance”
In the last two years Laura Theiss worked as costume designer for renowned corps de ballet. Spending time with dancers and choreographers allowed the knitwear designer to develop a fascination for their work and create one of her most accomplished collections.
Entitled “Bird, Cage and Dance”, Theiss' Spring/Summer 2016 collection is a singular exploration of the life of a dancer and choreographer via very refined yet wearable garments. Theiss thought about the beauty of creating something sublime and performing it on a stage, dancing freely like a bird flying high in the sky, but also pondered about the physical and mental pain endured by genuine artists, who quite often end up feeling caged by fear of failing.
Her designs for the Spring/Summer 2016 season include sporty jackets with intricate crocheted sleeves and black crocheted tops that the designer imagined donned by dancers during their training sessions.
The collection climaxes with impalpable tulle ensembles: delicate abstract Croshet motifs are embroidered on ethereal dresses. Nude or wysteria (nude tulle, organza, lace (Colours:skin tone, black, navy blue, pale peach) tulle is tattooed with black or silvery and black crochet embroideries calling to mind the bone structure, a music partiture or steps and stage geometries. These pieces are also the physical representation of pain as lived by great dancers à la Vaslav Nijinsky. A celebrated prodigy, a sensation, and a gifted choreographer Nijinsky started his descent into mental madness in his twenties and recorded his thoughts and the progress of his psychosis in a diary.
The most impalpable pieces in Theiss' Spring/Summer 2016 collection are therefore also symbols of a dancer's irreversible journey towards dematerialisation and the elevation to an abstract form, in that constant search for God and perfection Nijinsky wrote about.
New choreograhers are currently breaking and expanding ballet's frontiers; Theiss is doing the same in knitwear and crocheting. Let her compositional virtuosity of threads choreograph the Spring/Summer 2016 season for you.
written by Anna Battista