@NYCBallet Fall 2013 Gala was for the Fashion Elite with @PrabalGurung, @TheyskensTheory and #IrisVanHerpen!
I was in ballet heaven last night as I attended New York City Ballet’s Fall 2013 Gala. Not only was I in heaven seeing 3 premiere ballets, but this gala combined my love for fashion and dance! Sarah Jessica Parker was the brains of the concept to merge talented fashion designers with ballet, inviting Prabal Gurung, Iris Van Herpen and Olivier Theyskens to design for the premieres. Prabal was paired with choreographer and current NYCB dancer, Justin Peck, Iris was paired with Benjamin Millepied’s fifth ballet for the New York City Ballet and Olivier was paired with veteran choreographer, Angelin Preljocaj.
The fashion and haute couture was not only on the stage last night but on the red carpet before the night at the ballet began.
Red Carpet images by Getty
Sarah Jessica Parker looked absolutely fabulous in a tale of two minds gown designed by Prabal Gurung and Olivier Theyskens. Prabal designed the satin bustier top and Olivier built the silk organza skirt.
Natalie Portman looked stunning in a textured colorblocked column gown. She was there to support husband and baby daddy, Benjamin Millepied.
Drew Barrymore looked less than stunning in an almost matronly long-sleeved tea-length dress and very sensible pumps. However, rumors are circulating that the pumps and the dress might be for a little bun of a reason.
The night started off with a fun and lively orchestration of “Short Ride in a Fast Machine” composed by John Adams. Then each ballet began with a teaser short film by Fly’s Eye Films about the journey each designer took to create the costumes for the ballets.
image via The Daily Beast
"Capricious Maneuvers" was the first ballet with costumes designed by Prabal Gurung and choreographed by Justin Peck. The costumes fit perfectly with the dance being fun, bold, flirty and sexy. Peck’s choreography and vivacious movements were completely captured by Prabal’s design aesthetic. "Capricious Maneuvers" was the perfect ballet to start the show with.
Image via New York Magazine’s The Cut
Second to take the stage was Benjamin Millepied’s “Neverwhere”. Iris Van Herpen’s alien-esque couture and use of unusual materials was perfect for Millepied’s choreography. Marc Happel, Costume Director, and his team were a true homage to Project Runway’s slogan “make it work” with Iris’ strange material requests for the costumes. Using plastic as a main material, Iris created a second percussion sound with her costumes to accompany the Viola and Piano. Millepied recognized the brilliance in that and dove in to accent the dance with deliberate brushes of the plastic. But the most interesting aspect of this performance is what fun the lighting designer had. Mark Stanley truly brought the costumes and choreography to life with his lighting. I have never seen such harmony between costumes, choreography and lighting as with “Neverwhere”.
Image via The Daily Beast
The final premiere of the evening was Angelin Preljocaj’s haunting and ominous “Spectral Evidence,” a tale of the Salem Witch Trials. Angelin’s beautiful and creepy choreography was arresting. I could hardly hear breathing in the theatre as the female dancers manipulated the men. Olivier Theysken created the perfect costumes of ethereal white dresses with marks of what looked like scorched skin. The creative process was interesting to see as Olivier first mapped out the parts that were to look scorched on each dancer’s back, leg, arm, etc. The obvious syncopation between the choreographer and the costume designer lead to a very successful partnership. While I am not usually a fan of props in dance, unless used properly, the white triangle blocks were perfect and used to enhance the choreography, not hinder it.
The only detraction from the performance was the use of Balanchine’s Western Symphony to close. It had no relation to the other premieres and while it used the entire company, I did not feel it was necessary. It was too forced.
I attended the performance in Prabal Gurung x Target to support one of my favorite designers with my amazing Qupid black and clear heeled wedges.