Concert As Catwalk
“Classical music has been a long-time passion of mine, and it’s struggling to survive,” concert pianist Sugar Vendil told us last night after a sold-out concert at the Nabi Gallery in Chelsea. “I wanted to find a way to promote it to a hip, downtown crowd.” Vendil’s resulting brainchild, the Nouveau Classical Project, brings music by the greats—last night’s performance featured works by Philip Glass and Maurice Ravel—to a chicer demographic. Namely, fashion fans. Collaborating with young designers, Vendil (who once nurtured dreams of becoming a designer herself) and her partners are trading conventional concert dress for something much fresher. At last night’s show Expressionist/Reflections, Vendil took to the piano in a slinky cream and blue constellation-print dress from up-and-comer Cathy Pill. The looks—which included pieces by Michael Angel and Central Saint Martins alum Ross Barnes—were courtesy of Soho boutique Debut, which was more than happy to lend pieces from its roster of emerging designers. In the future, Vendil plans to commission pieces based on the music, and Nabi gallery owner Val Schaffner, for one, wishes her luck. “I am having a great time,” he said last night. “It’s like a concert coming to you without having to buy the tickets.” We’re sure he liked the clothes, too.