Ecology-focused couture brand Aelis announced a partnership with the Paris Opera to upcycle tutus into bespoke dresses and new costumes at its fashion week show on Thursday.
Aelis founder Sofia Crociani said she was initially inspired for a new collection by dandelion seeds, which reminded her of ballet tutus.
That led her to go see a friend at the Paris Opera costume department, who gave her some vintage tutus that were no longer in use.
"They were fantastic -- I said don't throw these away," she told AFP. "We took them and sculpted some new pieces out of them."
"You could feel their story in each tutu -- the movement and power they have experienced," she said.
Crociani, a former Karl Lagerfeld collaborator, presented some of the resulting outfits in her couture show, staged in a nightclub in central Paris.
They were shown alongside the Italian designer's typically light and floaty creations in organic silk mousseline and tulle, along with silk dresses and satin jackets.
The tutu creations will now return to the Paris Opera as costumes for a special heritage day show in September, she said, with plans to continue the exchange in future.
"It's the first stage of a new project. The Opera is very engaged with upcycling. Something that was going to be thrown away, we can do something beautiful, and I think this sends an important message," said Crociani.
"Sustainability comes from approaching each piece like a treasure. If you do that, you understand it can't just be thrown away, and if you don't want it anymore, you must give it to someone else who will appreciate it," she added.(AFP)