The New York City Ballet's fall fashion gala is upon us and the Sarah Jessica Parker-conceived event is continuing to serve its purpose of blending the worlds of fashion and dance in the name of spectacle. In its seventh run, the night not only sees the world premiere of new choreography for the NYCB's fall season but also a carefully curated selection of designers who've created costumes for the pieces in collaboration with the company's costume director Marc Happel.
For the fall 2018 season, designers Gareth Pugh, Alberta Ferretti, and Giles Deacon created costumes to fit the choreography of Matthew Neenan, Gianna Reisen, and Kyle Abraham, respectively. And that's no easy task. What makes it so difficult to put fashion in motion is not just what it'll look like flying through the air from the audience, but also how it'll work being tousled about between bodies. For example, in the video below, released exclusively via Refinery29, Happel concludes that a skirt would have to be made of a different fabric so as to maintain its shape and texture throughout the performance.
The same could be said for the preparation of a traditional runway show, for example, but it's not like those follow a rubric anymore, either. Just yesterday, at Paris Fashion Week, the Dior spring 2019 show saw Tel Aviv-based choreographer Sharon Eyal and eight dancers perform around the collection as it walked down the runway in the 16th arrondissement. It proves the NYCB's fall fashion gala isn't just a stuffy event where New York's elite gather to watch classical dance and contemporary fashion unfold on the main stage, but it's a reflection of what's happening in the industry, too. It's also, if you've ever been, just a treat to endure.
Since 2012, the gala has seen designers from Valentino to Virgil Abloh of Off-White, Rosie Assoulin, Thom Browne, Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim of Monse and Oscar de la Renta, Prabal Gurung, Carolina Herrera, Mary Katrantzou, Humberto Leon of Opening Ceremony and Kenzo, Dries Van Noten, and more lend their expertise to the costume department of the NYCB. The event has also raised more than $15 million for the dance company.