Dunedin fashion designer Tamsin Cooper is preparing to show
her womenswear and accessories in New York city, in
collaboration with the Royal New Zealand Ballet's tour of
the United States. Photo by Linda Robertson.
A collaboration between Dunedin fashion designer Tamsin
Cooper and the Royal New Zealand Ballet is taking centre stage
in New York.
Ms Cooper will travel to the Big Apple next month, to help
launch the ballet's United States tour.
She created garments and accessories for the company's
ballerinas to wear at an opening night function, expected to
be attended by celebrities, media and the who's who of
Ms Cooper's centrepiece will be a one-off coat designed
specially for Gillian Murphy, a principal dancer with the
American Ballet Theatre and Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB).
Ms Murphy's fiance, Ethan Stiefel, became the RNZB's artistic
director after retiring as a principal dancer with the
American Ballet Theatre in 2012.
Ms Cooper said they were both extremely well-known in the US
and it was a huge honour to create garments and accessories
in association with them, as well as the RNZB.
The promotional value of launching her wares in New York at a
formal gala was more than a Dunedin designer could hope for,
It was believed to be the first time a designer had showcased
their work with the RNZB on tour.
About 19 ballerinas would have Ms Cooper's clutches, handbags
and other accessories at the ballet opening night
after-party, on February 12.
The designer's relationship with the RNZB began in late 2008
when the company approached Ms Cooper to create a merchandise
range, which she did under the label Tamsin Cooper.
''There were lots of synergies between the brands. Mine is
quite theatrical and features luxury fabrics and silks as
well as hand bead work, which is a nice match for the RNZB.''
Ms Cooper created a second range of merchandise under the
label, and last year launched her own range of clothing and
accessories inspired by the RNZB's 60th anniversary.
The collection, titled Anniversary, was revealed during the
iD Dunedin Fashion Show, in which RNZB ballerinas joined
models on the catwalk.
Ms Cooper said she was thrilled to be part of the ballet's US
tour and hoped her working relationship with the company
''It's an amazing opportunity for a Dunedin designer,'' she
RNZB managing director Amanda Skoog said it made sense for
New Zealand's creative companies to support each other on a
''Elegant design is integral to the ballet world and this is
what makes our relationship with Tamsin Cooper such a natural
''The dancers are delighted to be part of Tamsin's
inspiration and to showcase her fashion items at our premiere
in New York,'' she said.