When opera meets high fashion: Versace, Fendi and many others
Attending an opera, you pay attention to the performance of the singers and the orchestra, admire the scenography of the theaters and arenas, the atmosphere and emotions aroused by the show. The costumes are certainly no exception, giving unique and peculiar characteristics to the characters who wear them. It is not uncommon to find great names in high fashion among the creators of these clothes, in particular famous Italian designers.
We choose to recall some of the most famous collaborations between the world of fashion and that of opera. In 1983, Ottavio Missoni was called by the set designer and theater director Pier Luigi Pizzi. He had been chosen to make the costumes for Donizetti's opera "Lucia di Lammermoor". One hundred and twenty costumes dressed not only the courtesans, but also the Scottish shepherds protagonists of the stage: the patterns and fashions widespread in Scotland were revisited according to the taste of the designer, who wrapped the characters in capes and belts.
In 1987 Gianni Versace designed the stage clothes for a “Salomé” revisited by Robert Wilson, dresses with a gothic taste, rich in ruffles and veils; a style that the New York Times defined "post-modernist-punk". In the nineties, Versace dedicated himself to the creation of the costume for the Countess, the protagonist of Strauss's “Capriccio”: the long black dress is entirely covered with crystals that recreate the geometric patterns of the painter Sonia Delaunay. In the 1980s, the Fendi sisters invaded the theater scene and, using their favorite garment, furs, created wonderful stage dresses for various operas. Among the most famous costumes are the sixty-three denim dresses with floral fur inserts for the “Carmen” and the powder-colored cloak for Raina Kabaivanska in the “Traviata”. In the first half of the nineties, it was Giorgio Armani's turn, called to London by director Jonathan Miller to design the stage clothes for a modern re-adaptation of Mozart's “Così fan tutte”.
More recently, in 2016 Valentino and the creative directors of the Maison, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli, were the designers of the clothes for “La Traviata” directed by Sofia Coppola. Between macramé and chiffon, the protagonists move in glamorous costumes which combines the tradition of opera with the modernity of the young director. The dresses of Violetta Valery, the protagonist, were entrusted directly to Valentino, who left his distinctive mark by dressing her in a pompous red ball gown. Also noteworthy is the great work of Romeo Gigli to “dress” the cast of Mozart's “The Magic Flute”.