Caroline Reny is the face behind Own The Couture – an online destination, based out of Montreal, for the finest pre-owned designer apparel and accessories. Carrying sought-after brands, including Christian Louboutin, Chanel, and Dior, Reny’s goal is to bring quality designer fashion to Canadian women at an affordable price. Selling pre-owned high-end luxury goods has always existed in Europe and has spread out more to North America in recent years.
Classical musicians and singers are turning to these designers for their performance ensembles while concert goers are glamifying the musical scene during cocktail intermissions. The event schedule seems to intensify more every season which ultimately means only one thing – more shopping!
“Many designers have already been involved in the world of classical music designing costumes for operas and ballets. We’ve seen Prada, Lagerfeld and others involved in designing costumes. Fashion can certainly contribute to helping tell the story”, says Caroline, “both disciplines are creative and I see it as a natural arena for collaboration”.
With that being said, I asked Caroline to share her recommendations from the OTC closet for our leading musical ladies on and off the performance stage.
In Europe a night at the opera can be very formal so a gown would be more appropriate, but in North America unless it is opening night at the Metropolitan Opera, I would suggest a cocktail dress but something with a little sparkle, as it is a special and exciting evening event after all, such as these two dresses found on the Own The Couture site; the Alice & Olivia black dress which has an embellished neckline or the strapless black and gold Lilly Pulitzer dress.
For a Sunday matinee piano recital, I would recommend a Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress (left), which is not too casual but is chic and appropriate for a day event such as this red and black wrap dress on the Own The Couture site.
For a performer like the classical fusion violinist Vanessa Mae, I would recommend something that allows for movement and is not constricting, but in her case, colourful or has a little sparkle. She is young and loves to step out of the traditional.
We’ve got this great Marc Jacobs metallic blue dress (right) which shimmers and is perfect for dramatic movements on the stage.
For an opera singer like Anna Netrbeko, I know that she is a fan of couture and has a great feminine shape. For SS 2014, Zac Posen’s collection of strapless gowns has been built to accentuate the shape and is quite glamorous in a red or blue satin. We have a similar Notte by Marchesa dress on the website which has a spectacular pleated body and bow.
When you think of Maria Callas, she was so elegant and had such dramatic features. She certainly was representative of the Greek goddess. I would dress her in something with much draping such as seen in this spring’s Elie Saab gown collection, where he has a mauve draped one shoulder gown or this elegant black column by Emilio Pucci with a jeweled neckline found on the Own The Couture site.