Ostwald Helgason takes a lesson in ballet for their latest collection. By Meredith Fisher
The new design duo, Ostwald Helgason, is making waves on the other side of the pond with their ballet-inspired looks. But don't expect straight up tutus and satin slippers, because Susanne Ostwald and Ingvar Helgason are crafting their costume-like creations for more everyday performances.
Ostwald hails from Leipzig and Helgason from Reykjavik, but they met on common ground while working for the designer Marjan Pekoski in London. By 2006 they combined their shared passion for prints, colors, and ballet, and embarked upon their namesake collection. "The Russian Ballet and the work of Serge Diaghilev both fascinate and inspire us," explains Helgason. "So, we'll continue using this theme in our designing."
But it isn't just the actually story of the ballet that makes an appearance in their work. "It's the fusion of the functionality of sportswear with fantasy and the theatrical elements of costume design," says Helgason. Last season's color palette was drawn from the Picasso-painted set curtains used in Disaghilev's "Le Train Bleu," while spring/summer 2008 looks to Francis Poulenc's "Les Biches," the composer's ode to a Rococo-painted drawing room. A layered yellow dress has slightly dramatic trompe l'oeil collar, while a pair of clean structured shorts could easily bring a touch of theater to any same-old summer day.
Ostwald Helgason takes a lesson in ballet for their latest collection.