Both locally and internationally, EliteXpression in Montreal is attentive to skaters in order to create their dream costumes.
What do Yuna Kim, Mao Asada, Joannie Rochette and Patrick Chan have in common? They all wore clothes made in a very special workshop; a Canadian workshop! Welcome to EliteXpression, a Quebec company recognized worldwide for its high-end signature skating clothing.
Founded 17 years ago, EliteXpression now designs the greatest figure skaters’ costumes, but also does so for many precision teams from Canada, the United States, Europe and even Japan!
EliteXpression is first and foremost a love story between skating and design. Passionate about figure skating and precision skating, it was at the age of 14 that Josiane Lamond made her debut as a designer from her parents' basement. In the early 2000s, EliteXpression was born in Longueuil, and then shared its premises with La Maison du patin in Montreal. In 2003, the two companies henceforth formed a one stop shop in Saint-Léonard, Canada.
Shining all over the planet
You have certainly seen EliteXpression’s creations many times. They are worn by renowned skaters, including Yuna Kim, Mao Asada, Joannie Rochette, Javier Fernandez, Patrick Chan, Gracie Gold, Denis Ten, Kaetlyn Osmond, Gabrielle Daleman, to name a few.
The brand is also proud to dress many precision skating teams, such as Les Suprêmes, Les Pirouettes, Nova, Miami University, Jingu, as well as teams from France (Valenciennes, Lyon, Bordeaux, Dunkirk) and from Switzerland.
Les Suprêmes Seniors from Canada wear Elitexpression dresses. (Credits: Sean McKinnon - 2020)
To work effectively with clients around the world, the company does not hesitate to use technology to bring about new ways of working. Thus, the Canadian company is able to carry out the design of clothing, and even the taking of measurements and adjustments, thanks to videoconference applications.
"Each year, approximately sixty teams call upon our services", explains Josiane Lamond, chief artistic director and vice-president of the company. It represents 15% of our production. EliteXpression’s precision costumes are accessible to all budgets. Each team can choose their type of costume. The choice goes from a standard catalog dress that can be modified; or even a unique model with standard measurements; up to a costume from our Signature line with personalized printing."
Josiane Lamond in her workshop.
Sublimation: creating a costume that is unique in the world
"What sets us apart from the rest is the attention to detail and respect for the conveyed message. In precision skating, a dress’ visual becomes multiplied by sixteen! If the costume stands out excessively and takes up too much space, the effect may be diminished, says Josiane Lamond. It is important to remember that we must highlight the movement and not hide it. An adjustment that does not fit the silhouette, an unflattering cut, a skirt that is too long or disproportionate, a color that is too intense or a mixture of non harmonious colors can diminish its effect", she continues.
For the past few years, EliteXpression has been using sublimation, a computer-based fabric printing technique, to subtly highlight certain program themes. "We are now combining several mediums with pearls and Swarovski crystals to create real works of art," explains Josiane Lamond.
An example of this revolutionary technique? This season’s Nova Senior costume.
Nova Senior dresses have been created by EliteXpression. (Credits: Sean Mckinnon - 2020)
Regarding production, it varies depending on the nature of the order. “There are peak periods when all the clients arrive at the same time. During this period, to obtain a Signature precision skating dress, it takes between eight to twelve weeks. If the order is rather a revisited generic model, the process will be accelerated, because we have several work teams that can work on more than one project at the same time", concludes Josiane Lamond.
Miami University Senior (USA) also trusts EliteXpression to create its costumes. (Credits: Ice Galaxy - 2020)
EliteXpression's global fame had earned it this season’s mandate for Les Suprêmes and Nova’s precision skating teams at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships’ opening ceremony, scheduled to take place in Montreal from March 16th to the 22nd. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was canceled.
But keep an eye out, it is a safe bet that you will be able to see Josiane Lamond's creations on a number of ice rinks very soon!
Josiane Lamond, chief artistic director and vice-president of Elite Xpression.
Want to find out more about EliteXpression?
Visit their site to discover the wealth of ideas and possibilities that their workshop offers you: www.elitexpression.com