Teatro alla Moda in Beverly Hills
Board members and VIP guests of the Costume Council of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art were treated to a private tour Oct. 25 of Il Teatro all Moda in Beverly Hills followed by a luncheon at the nearby Valentino boutique.
Never mind that The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, the show’s presenter, is still under construction. Rather than wait to showcase costumes from the world of opera, theater and dance, the arts center opted to put on this over-the-top exhibition of intricately beaded and bejeweled, hand-painted and embroidered theatrical costumes right now in Beverly Hills.
The exhibition, originally scheduled to close in November, will now remain on display until Dec. 18. Fashions were designed by 11 premier Italian design houses: Valentino, Versace, Armani, Fendi, Capucci, Coveri, Ferretti, Gigli, Marras, Missoni and Ungaro.
“It’s a breathtaking show, beyond anyone’s expectations,” said Marcia Lewis Smith, who conducted the tour.
I couldn’t have agreed more. Having attended the Paris haute couture shows for the past ten years, I’m not impressed by merely beautiful fashions. And this was a jaw-dropping show, starting with the Capucci gowns at the entry, which were designed for divas, who gave meaning to the word.
According to Marcia Lewis Smith – the day’s tour guide – Capucci’s Angel costume, seen in the gallery below, was one of twelve, which took 550 yards of taffeta to make. One of the angels had a twelve-foot train.
Inside the exhibition, Missoni’s signature patterns defined African costumes created for the 1990 World Cup. There were Valentino-the-designer’s elegant fashions for “The Dream of Valentino,” an opera about Valentino-the-actor. Gigli’s “Magic Flute” costumes included a “Queen of the Night” number that glittered from neckline to ten-foot train.
In a room devoted solely to Versace, Lewis Smith pointed to the abundance of Swarovski crystals (30,000 of them) sprinkled over one ballet costume. She illustrated the designer’s attention to detail in tutus made for “Capriccio” and “The Firebird,” which featured handwork under and over all the layers of the skirts.
Following the tour, Kathy Davoudi-Gohari, Valentino’s regional manager, welcomed the group to a luncheon at the boutique. Among others were Joni Smith, Louise Taper, Ellen Levy-Sarnoff, Betty Leonard, Susan Rothenberg, Leslie Kavanaugh, Shirley Richards, Cheryl Van Tassel, Elizabeth Matthews and Stefanie Keenan. Also joining the group was Ricka Fisher, director of development for the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.
Anyone can visit Il Teatro alla Moda in Beverly Hills, Wednesday-Friday, 12:00 noon to 7:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 11:00 a.m to 6:00 p.m., at 253 North Beverly Drive. Groups may call 310 246- 3800.
Top photo: One of Roberto Capucci’s concert gowns at Il Teatro alla Moda in Beverly Hills (credit: Vince Bucci)
Note: This post has been updated to reflect the exhibition’s new closing date, as the show has been extended to Mar. 18 by popular demand. Tickets are $10 per person; free on Wednesdays.
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Published Oct. 27, 2011 – Ellen Olivier, Society News LA