Amanda Ross and George Steel at the W Hotel.
Whether it’s the intimidating socialite scene that’s been closely associated with the art form (see Gossip Girl episode 2.16 for reference), or stereotypical images of 200 plus pound women shattering glass with their high pitched solos that’s to blame, opera has a tendency to scare off even the most cultured young city dwellers. But if you’re one of the intimidated, consider this a point of relevance: opera’s longstanding relationship with fashion.
“Fashion and opera are made for each other,” New York City Opera General Manager and Artistic Director, George Steel, told us last night at the DIVA’s Shop for Opera cocktail preview held at NYC’s Union Square W Hotel. “It’s [fashion’s] a perfect way to get people connected to what’s going on onstage” he chatted on the kismet.
It’s this relationship that Steel hopes might help foster opera’s appeal to younger generations, and DIVA’s annual Shop for Opera event seems to be a good start. In its fifth year in the running, the shopping event taking place May 20, brings together fashion and opera enthusiasts with all proceeds going towards the New York City Opera. In addition to the covetable designer merchandise being offered up we’re talking Chanel, YSL, and Balenciaga goodies galore this year, 25 designers are showcasing exclusive sketches inspired by their favorite NYC Opera characters to be auctioned off to lucky, er, high-rolling bidders.
The W Hotel’s Newly-appointed Global Fashion Director, Amanda Ross, who played host to the cocktail preview last night is particular to the Christian Lacroix sketch (shown below). She’s played a large role in bringing the partnership between fashion and opera together for the event this year.
“I love ballet, I love the opera, I love theater!” Ross enthused. “When they approached W and asked if we’d be interested in cohosting, I jumped on it. It’s amazing to bring fashion, lifestyle and art like the NYC Opera together under one roof.”
Christian Lacroix’s sketch inspired by Adriana Lecouvreur from Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur.
Betsey Johnson’s sketch inspired by Juliette from Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette.
Peter Som’s sketch inspired by Lakme from Leo Delibe’s Lakme.
All images courtesy of DIVA’s Shop for Opera.