Well hello there!
I'm Ellen Warren (Ostrom), former dancer with New York City Ballet. I spent nine seasons with the company and on a few occasions guested with Oregon Ballet Theatre in my hometown of Portland.
Often frustrated by the fit of most leotards, as I have a long torso and deep disdain for leos with a "bad butt" that pinch in an unflattering way, I began constructing my own. I've always loved the dance fashion of bygone eras and those wonderful, candid photos of dancers rehearsing our cherished masterpieces in their now vintage styles. With this inspiration, and my fit disdain in mind, I created a few leotards for fellow dancers, catching the eye of Justin Peck. This led to some exciting costume collaborations, where upon analyzing the dancers' measurements and body types, and surveying other dancers for their personal fit issues, I discovered the need for custom fit, everyday work wear. I find it's imperative that a dancer feels confident and comfortable in what they're wearing, not just on stage but in the studio. It's my hope that Louise Apparel fulfills this need for every unique body type, making dancers feel luminous and self-assured.
Every piece is lovingly made by me. From the design and pattern making to the cutting, sewing, packaging and shipping (well, I take things to the post office). These humble hands are here for your leotard!
*Photo by Kyle Froman