Latin Butterfly


This design was featured in the International and Textile Apparel Association's juried exhibition.  See the catalog entry on page 103.

Latin Butterfly was created in collaboration with Laura Kane, a peer and dear friend of mine from Oregon State University.  Laura took the lead on this design, and I assisted with ideation and execution. 


Our design process began with a briefing of major Dancesport regulations' acceptable costume attributes. Regulations included leg coverage and acceptable embellishment levels based on the dancer’s competition category. Further information regarding the functional requirements  was drawn by reading Dancesport online forums, having conversations with dancers, and Laura's own experience as a Dancesport competition audience member. Functional considerations of the design included ease of wear, reliable support for the breasts, dramatic movement to catch the eye of Dancesport judges, and vibrant colors and embellishment to avoid leaving the dancer washed out by the lighting. 


For the design of the garment we were inspired by the graceful movement of butterfly wings and the colors of stained glass windows. 


The garment consists of a bodice, skirt, and necklace. The bodice of the costume is constructed over an existing bra to maximize comfort and support for the dancer. The skirt is constructed with built in boy shorts to comply with leg coverage regulations and to provide modesty for the dancer when spinning. The skirt has varying panels of butterfly wing shaped panels sewn into the waistband. Each panel is lettuce edged and decorated with machine sewn appliques. The garment is further embellished with over 575 different sized and colored rhinestones for added sparkle under competition lighting. Each rhinestone was hand applied using rhinestone glue. The necklace was constructed by machine sewn open cutwork with additional rhinestones.