Dance finds a natural partner in fashion in a collaboration pairing Canadiansportswear brand Lululemon with Francesca Hayward, principal dancer at The Royal Ballet. Together they have created a collection of 17 limited edition dancewear pieces with light layering in cashmere jersey, merino wool, cupro (rayon) and other high-tech stretch fabrics.
Hayward spent a year working with Lululemon on the designs, which aim to support movement with no distractions and emphasise the importance of feel during a workout – while embodying elements of Hayward’s personal style. The 26-year-old is one of the youngest principals ever trained at The Royal Ballet School and has starred in leading roles including the Sugar Plum Fairy, Juliet, Alice in Wonderland and Manon.
The dancewear include twists on vintage corsetry found in The Royal Ballet atelier: bras (£45) feature an open back, wide straps, structured seams and a mesh overlay in three colourways. The matching high-rise tights (£88) are designed to feel like a second skin, and flared leg warmers (£48) have been created with the aim of keeping thigh muscles, feet and ankles at an optimum temperature.
Maroon or black trousers (£108) and jumpsuits (£108) make for chic drapery over leotards, and the transparent mesh skirt (£58) has a gold waistband – a nod to the interior of The Royal Opera House, where the ballet company is based. As for top layers, a velour-lined hoodie (£118) features a hidden pocket, and Hayward has tweaked a corsetry jacket (£98) to have a tight fit and hip-high length. Ideal for practising lifts… or attempting them.