The Balletomane Event
SJP and Valentino Come Together for the NYCB's Fall Gala
Fashion's "last emperor," Valentino Garavani, has mostly stepped back from design, but an invitation from the New York City Ballet proved too good to let pass. It had been a dream to work with the company and his friend, NYCB ballet master in chief Peter Martins, Garavani said at the Ballet's annual gala last night, even if designing nearly 25 costumes for the one-night-only performance was something of a learning curve, even after so many years in fashion.
"I learned that when you do something for the ballet, you have to see what the dancers need," Garavani said. "I know ballet very well, and you must create and be able to leave the opportunity to the dancer to move well and jump well. I've worked for many years and I'm used to designing beautiful things, but this was a new experience."
It was a successful one, to judge from the reaction of the friends and fellow designers who came out for the performance and post-show dinner. Carolina Herrera called it "haute couture ballet," and Cynthia Rowley opined that "it was the perfect marriage of Valentino and the New York City Ballet. It was spectacular." The event's chairwoman, Sarah Jessica Parker, was in raptures, and Valentino favorite Anne Hathaway was moved, too—though the former dancer seems likely to keep wearing her Valentino off the ballet stage rather than on. "It was beautiful, it was poetic; the movement was so inspiring," she said. "I used to dance as a child. I'm not very good but I'll still take a dance class now and then."