Every year, Dance Spirit Magazine’s April issue, features dance teams, with a proclivity towards High School, College and Pro dance teams. In years past, the magazine’s fashion editorial staff has requested single costumes to be featured. This year, they requested three of the same style to be featured in their pictorial, and with their ‘military’ theme.
I was thrilled! Why? You can only see how costumes ‘show’ when you are seeing dancers ‘en mass’. Dance Spirit was going to ‘do it right’ with actually showing a line of dancers! Obviously this was a more difficult order to comply with, but I’m thrilled that readers of the magazine will get a better sense of how a costume will look on an entire ‘line’.
‘Military’ is a style of garment, but it is also a style of dance performance (as in ‘military/high kick’), so I needed to confirm that they were looking for actual military style elements. (They were.)
As a custom performance costume manufacturer, we set about to provide two options for Dance Spirit’s request. This request came in November, right during our ultimately busiest time of the year. So instead of spending leisurely hours in front of our computer Illustrator program, we sorted through some of our past custom and Web Store designs for ‘military style’ designs, or those that could easily be modified for a ‘military’ look.
We choose a biketard and a unitard design, each with shoulder pads or epaulettes. We used minimal pattern modifications and then looked for left over fabrics and trims that could be used for this project. We selected olive green spandex for our biketard, based on one of our Web Store customizable styles that is shown in red. This design was ultimately chosen by Dance Spirit for their magazine, so you will see that design when the magazine publishes in late March!
Our other look was based on the fabulous unitards that we created for the South Hamilton HS ‘Gems’ in Jewell, Iowa, just this past season. We created their original costume in gold and gray. We changed it up and created our special Dance Spirit costume in Royal Blue and a deeper shade of gray. We added some silver studding, resisting the use of our favorite rhinestones (that we always love to add).
First we patterned, cut, sewed and trimmed one sample of each style. Then we cut two additional matching costumes for the trio of looks. Because of our very tight time frame, we were completing the last of the trimming on the olive biketards at the very end of our day, before a quick overnight ship to New York. This olive biketard was ultimately chosen by the staff at Dance Spirit. We like both of our ‘military’ designs and are showing you the ‘rejected’ look.
During our next photo shoot in early February, we will be able to show off these designs on our three models, but for now, we have our unitard photographed on our leggy dress form!