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From sketch to stitch: How the SS15 butterfly print set flight

posted on Tuesday, 19th May 2015 | find under 
A fitting symbol from the SS15 collection, aptly named Social Butterfly, the skeletal butterfly print designed in-house at Sweaty Betty helps to tell a story that is at once seasonal and summative of our brand ethos. It speaks to our playfulness and femininity, as well as our demand for the most technical of performance fabrics. It reminds us to take our workout to the great outdoors and enjoy the natural world, and also to make like a swarm of butterflies and share our athletic pursuits with our closest companions. But to say all of this, butterfly print designer Laura Dowden took inspiration from a variety of sources. Here’s how the finished product came to be…

Sweaty Betty Butterfly Print

Erika wears Halasana Yoga Leggings, Namaska Yoga Vest and Hydrogen Crop Hoody

An encounter with nature’s most elusive creative

“The print’s origin comes back to a design trip to the butterfly sanctuary at the London Zoo,” explains Laura. “We were trying to capture photographs of the creatures whenever they came to settle on a particular spot, but just as we’d click the shutter they’d float off to a new resting place.” The elusive nature of the butterfly struck Laura as particularly playful, and also caught her eye as its intricate wing patterns blurred into abstract lines in flight.

Butterfly Print in design

A fusion of anatomy and feminine aesthetics

As Laura outlined the shape of the wings and their elaborate infrastructure, she was also reminded of the emphasis on structure and alignment within sport. From yoga with its strong static poses and established sequences to flow between asanas, to dance with its carefully choreographed movements, to strength training with its demand for alignment between major bones and muscles as the weight of gravity flows through the body. “As much as I wanted the print to be beautiful, I also wanted to portray a sense of strength and structure. The design became an almost anatomical study of bone structure,” says Laura.

And just as the design had to capture the art of movement, it also had to empower the human body to excel in exercise. The delicate appearance of the print was matched with ultra-technical fabrics that support and flatter the body. The yoga leggings and dance leggings constructed with sufficient stretch-factor to maximise your range of movement. Likewise, the yoga tops and dance tops are lightweight enough to wear alone in a warm studio or layered over other items during cooler spring workouts.

Colourways that are true to nature

The colours, too, are an inseparable part of the design. Laura describes the ombre effect of the Halasana Leggings and Sirsha Vest (below, left) as “whimsical” and says she wanted to channel the sky as a summer day transitions into evening. Likewise, the navy panelling of the To the Beat Dance Leggings and Flaunt It Vest (below, right) are more true to nature than solid black, which often carries other hues when seen in earth, water or air. 

Butterfly Print SS15
Butterfly Leggins
By verity - 28th January 2016
Is there any chance of you doing the navy and orange ones again?? I am desperate for a pair!
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