Dame Lori at the DIVAS Cocktail Reception Preview
May 12, 2010, 1:05 PM
By Dame Lori Sutherland
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It's the Dame Here . . .
Fresh from a truly Divine DIVAS Shop for Opera Event last night! Bracing myself against the chilly spring air, I wore my short-sleeved black lamb Marni coat purchased from last year's DIVAS event (donated by a famous editor who is known for her furs and just waiting to be found by my stylist eagle eye).
The occasion was the Cocktail Reception Preview of DIVAS: Fashion Designers Re-interpret the Classic Operas at the Grand Room of the W Hotel, Union Square.
What an original evening—starting with a gallery of portrait illustrations of the DIVAS co-chairs, blown up to picture-perfect poster size, greeting us on easels in the stunning 19th century marble columned room of the W.I bumped into Jean-Philippe Delhomme, the legendary illustrator of the event’s signature brilliant colored pencil portraits, and he was so humble about his talent in uncannily capturing fashion luminary co-chairs Lorry Newhouse, Elsa Klensch, Michael Bruno, Patricia Field, and Isabel and Ruben Toledo. However, when he came to his friend, Hamish Bowles, Jean-Philippe admitted he was pleased with how well he’d drawn Hamish's newly styled moustache. What a beautiful man and illustrator . . . humility and talent make such a great combo!
As I entered the Grand Room, I was hit with a visual explosion of color . . . in celebration of the original art that will be available for purchase at the DIVAS Shop for Opera event (link) next Thursday, May 20, 2010, twenty-six life-sized illustrations by top fashion designers inspired by their favorite opera characters lined the room. Oh, the beauty abounded . . . Aida, Carmen, Cio-Cio San, Salome, and Juliette were just a few of the DIVAS represented; a perfect backdrop for the most interesting mix of people moving around as if on a stage floor designed for drama and intrigue. It was stunning to see several Designer/Illustrators present and enjoying their peers’ contributions--Victoria Bartlett, Stephen Burrows, Wenlan Chia, Thuy Diep, Sylvia Heisel, Roland Nivelais, Austin Scarlett, Peter Som, and threeASFOUR. There simply wasn’t enough time to fly through the room and hear every designer's inspiration, but I was able to catch the following frames . . .
Stephen Burrows: “I chose Salome and The Dance of the 7 Veils so I could do a chiffon costume with Byzantium hair.”
Sylvia Heisel: "The Aida sketch was so much fun to do. An Ethiopian Princess in Ancient Egypt is the perfect starting point for any Diva's dreams."
Roland Nivelais: "I love opera and I loved sketching Queen of the Night and I would love to design for Renee Fleming. There are lots more divas now—Callas was the first one to glamourize Divas."
Austin Scarlett: "Designing costumes for opera is such fun because it’s much more than just creating a dress. One gets to tell a whole story, develop the characters, create a sense of time and place as well as complement the mood of the music through clothes.”
threeASFOUR: Ange, Gabi & Adi: "We love the opera, Die Zauberflöte. It is our Mater, for it was the music we played for our premiere fashion show."
You MUST attend DIVAS next Thursday to see all the illustrations, but please allow me to tease you with a few that caused a sensation in the room:
"Queen of the Night"
threeASFOUR--Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte
Austin Scarlett--Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea
Christian Lacroix--Cilea's Adriana Lecouvreur
Betsey Johnson--Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette
Narciso Rodriguez--Puccini’s Madama Butterfly
Victoria Bartlett--Puccini's Turandot
Not only were the live Illustrators illuminating the room, but the scene kept unfolding to encompass more and more of the great assortment of people that attend DIVAS—Co-Chair Hamish Bowles himself with his really amazing moustache and Co-Chair Lorry Newhouse wearing Rodarte as she does sooo very well; Amanda Ross, our ultra-chic Hostess & THE Stylist, who connected City Opera to W Hotels because of her passion for art, architecture, and fashion; Kimberly Hastie, the stunning Vice Chair for New York City Opera's Young Patrons Circle, wearing a pair of incredible shoes—black Casadei peep toes with a beautiful black and white rose atop the toes; Lisa Weiss, a gorgeous fashion entrepreneur of Début; two fine chaps from Dormeuil, the famous French fabric house established in 1842 that creates for all the greats; Matthew Piazzi, a very talented flirt, impersonator, and doo-wop singer; and to cap it all off, the wondrous Marcia Sherrill, accessory designer & muse to all, who strolled down the staircase with her black top hat, trailing Turtle Pie, her French bulldog, and summed it up . . . "Darling, I LIVE for DIVAS!"
Gathering so much style in one room inspires me to anticipate the bevy of guests coming May 20th. I will be there and at your service to point you to the treasure I can find for you in Vogue’s Best Thrift Shop in the City! As Resident Stylist, I want your beautiful face in that place!
So on that note, Buy Tickets NOW! They are selling quickly and will sell out . . . and I will see you all there . . .
Dress Style is DIVA, of course, whatever DIVAS is and does for you. Let me help you bring out your inner DIVA!
Yours in Eternal Soul Style & Spark,