“Dancewear is very different from sportswear,” says Francesca Hayward, principal dancer with the Royal Ballet of London. “Sportswear doesn’t quite suit what we need to do with our bodies, so I’m always fiddling with my clothes in the studio.” Dancewear, she tells us, can also sometimes be too precious. (“I don’t like wearing frilly, puffy skirts,” she admits.) So when Lululemon came calling for Hayward, 26, to collaborate with the brand, she was thrilled.
The 17-piece limited-edition collection, made of luxurious but comfortable fabrics like cashmere jersey and merino wool, befits a ballerina gearing up for an hours-long rehearsal just as well as a frequent flyer getting ready for the long haul. See: the Principal Dancer pants and Funnel Neck sweater.
Hayward worked closely with the design team, trying on samples and providing feedback, such as having the waistline of the leggings sit higher on the body (sportswear leggings often sit too low around the hips, she explains), which makes it easier to be lifted during partner work. Even if you don’t have plans to be hoisted into the air, you’ll want to give these looks a turn.
Nulu and Lycra leotard ($84), cupro pants ($118) and cupro shorts ($68), all Lululemon x Francesca Hayward of The Royal Ballet Collection available in select Lululemon stores and online in early October.
This article originally appeared in the November 2018 issue of ELLE Canada.
For the latest in fashion, beauty and culture, sign up to receive ELLE's bi-weekly newsletter