The Sweeter End by the Trey McIntyre Project commissioned by the New Orleans Ballet Association followed the devastation of one of America's harshest natural disasters - Hurricane Katrina. The initial challenge we faced was producing a show honoring a devastated land but desired to show the history and strength of its culture. What emerged was a concept that revisited the destruction through a new lens -  exploring the wreckage of a quintessential American city and using its scars to bring forth its beauty. Asking the question of what it meant to be truly American. I explored the fabric of a culture in collaboration with Levi' Strauss & Co. in an expose in denim--Americans "working" fabric. 

From Ideation to Execution

Exploration paintings: Six denim canvas exploring color, texture, and techniques that inspired the approach to the work.

Images of New orleans from a walk around the city by the choreographer. Through his eyes I began to develop our own landscape of meaning  that would become the painting on the clothing.

Napkin sketch of how to repurpose ready made Levi's garments into new shapes.

Result from the first fitting with the dancer where together we discovered shape that would also allow maximum movement.  

Costume Designer replaces tutus and tights with LEVIS in a jazzy new ballet
— The Times-Picayune

Denim has long been the fabric of the working class, but it has evolved to cross boundaries from the fields to the runway, so it was natural for me to want to look to Levi's and think of ways to deconstruct the archetypal working class uniform and reconstruct it to reflect the lines of fashion couture. 

What resulted was a collection of pieces that not only embodied New Orleans as a city, reflecting layers upon layers of history, but also transformed it into