In this weekly feature, InStyle’s Fashion News Director Eric Wilson shares his favorite fashion moment of the week, and explains how it could shape styles to come.
The Moment: This week the New York City Ballet announced its designer-choreographer pairings for its third annual fashion-meets-dance extravaganza on Sept. 23, and this year’s benefit lineup will knock your slippers off.
Mary Katrantzou (pictured, top left), Alexander McQueen’s Sarah Burton (pictured, top right), Thom Browne (pictured, bottom left), Carolina Herrera (pictured, bottom right), and Valentino Garavani will be represented on stage during a series of ballets, including three world premieres. I can’t begin to even imagine what that might look like, a fast-moving blur of electric prints, unearthly concoctions, too-short suits, and a parade of fabulous gowns?
The ballet’s fall gala has been a showplace for fashion in recent years, since Valentino, in 2012, became the first designer to create costumes for the event (pictured, below), part of a general trend of cultural institutions that are trying to draw a younger audience with a more stylish experience. Last year the event featured designs by Prabal Gurung, Olivier Theyskens, and Iris van Herpen.
Valentino’s costumes for the 2012 production of Christopher Wheeldon’s This Bitter Earth will be seen again this year, along with new designs by Katrantzou for a new work by Justin Peck, NYCB’s resident choreographer. Burton is working with Liam Scarlett, a British choreographer, and Thom Browne with Troy Schumacher, an NYCB corps de ballet member. And Herrera has created all new costumes for Peter Martins’ Morgen.
Why It’s a Wow: If you’re wondering what brings all of these creative stars together at the ballet on one night, there’s only one possible explanation: Sarah Jessica Parker. Parker, a member of the ballet’s board of trustees and the chair of the event, conceived the benefit partly to marry two of her passions, fashion and ballet. (She was a dancer at the American Ballet Theater in the 1970s.) And what designer could say no to her?
What’s even more wow-worthy, if you happen to be in New York City that night, tickets for the performance, which go on sale on Aug. 11, start at only $29 at nycballet.com. (Admission to the black-tie dinner gala afterward costs a good deal more.)
For real-time insider insights, make sure to follow Eric Wilson on Twitter (@EricWilsonSays).