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The inspiration behind our new Swan Lake collaboration with embroiderer Kate Gwilliam

Kate and I both go to adult ballet classes so after our first collaboration adding Kate’s signature lobster design to my eye masks and headbands, I suggested a new theme- Swan Lake. Based on the classic Tchaikovsky ballet, this collection is centered around romantic swans and feathers.

After our first collaboration using Kate’s popular lobster design, I suggested trying a Swan Lake theme for our next work together. It started with me very roughly photoshopping ideas for embroidery placement together which Kate then interprets into beautiful embroidered designs. The next stage involves a lot of posting things back and forth to each other. I send Kate silk to work with before she sends me embroidered pieces which I then sew into finished samples to photograph and list online for you to pre-order!

The ballet focuses on the beautiful woman Odette who is cursed by a sorcerer to be stuck in the form of a swan during the day, only returning to her human self at night. The Prince Siegfried falls in love with Odette and promises to free her from her curse by swearing his love to her at a ball. The sorcerer Von Rothbart tricks Siegfried into confessing his love for his daughter Odile, disguised as Odette, at the ball instead.

The roles of Odette (the white swan) and Odile (the black swan) are both performed by the same ballerina and show the duality between pure romantic love of Odette and the seductive lust of Odile. Betrayed, Odette is cursed to remain a swan forever. There are several versions of the ballet ending where either Siegfried battles Von Rothbart and kills him, setting all of the swans free or where Odette throws herself tragically into the lake to drown, often with Siegfried joining her and they are shown reunited finally in death.

Our feather embroidered headbands are inspired by the traditional feathered headdresses worn by Odette/Odile and the corps de ballet.

We hope you love what we have created with this Swan Lake collection and you can shop the full range here

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