By Laura Medina
Stuck in a rut for Halloween? Running out of fuel thinking about what to wear? The slut strut is done...many times over.
Hit your local museum, if you have one, your local opera company. Shoot, even dig through your closet, your mom's closet, or your aunt's closet or hunt through a thrift store or a vintage boutique rack for some real costumes.
That's what Bloomingdale's Ready-To-Wear Fashion Director, Stephanie Solomon would do during Bloomingdale's cocktail party celebrating the Los Angeles Opera's opening season...
"Every piece of clothing in this room will become historical costume at some point. They’ll just have to morph into historical costume since they represent a certain point in time, a certain era, a certain historical moment in time. Say you take that colorblock dress then show it in the future, you can say that colorblock dress was the trend in the year 2012. If the pop culture is relevant then today’s pop culture is tomorrow’s history."
"I believe women are in costumes everyday of their lives. They get up in the morning, in some degree, they wear a costume. They think about how do they feel that day or they have a business morning today, what do I do to look impressive, put on a sharp suit today…and you dress the fantasy."
"The same influence you have in costume design is the same influence you have in haute couture design during haute couture week. You have an image. You have a vision. Haute Couture runway show reads like an opera. Like in an opera, they execute the fantasy, except no one is singing."
"Translating RTW into operatic costume…dressing onstage is similar to a woman dressing for a black tie event. You dress to fill a fantasy or share a fantasy. This is why I love the theme, “Dress the Fantasy.” Every time a woman dresses for a special occasion it is aspirational. She wants to feel like and dress like a diva in an opera."
"Lady Gaga, Madonna…these are the new style icons. These girls are over-the-top. They unafraid to break the rules. They are living the fantasy. They wake up, feel like wearing that feather hat or top then go through it then all of a sudden, what they’re wearing is the hottest thing in the world and these girls are the leading style leaders and this is where fashion is heading."For Halloween, the era Stephanie would love to mine is...
"My favorite era for costumes is the ‘70’s when the word “hippie” was tossed around, everybody wore bell-bottoms and women went wild, talk about costumes."
For the Los Angeles Opera's Costume Designer, Mattie Ullrich, costume design is more current than you think.
She and Stephanie both agree whatever is current today will be historical tomorrow, especially when the most fashion-forward haute couture of today will translate into costumes.
But for Mattie, she learned to use contemporary construction and experimental fabrics lifted from the haute couture runways for her designs for the L.A. Opera because she has to...
As soon as she graduated from fashion design school, back on the East Coast, she had no choice but adapt fashion-forward construction, such as heavy boning, and experimental fabrics for off-off-Broadway productions just to get her feet wet in costume design for the stage.
As for the fancy head dresses, Mattie informed that there are specialized departments within the thirty-staffed Costume Department at the L.A. Opera, that just build hats, gloves, and jewelry.
So, dust off that fascinator. Wreck the rack at your thrift shop or vintage boutique. Do your research at your local opera company, if you have one, for your Halloween ideas. If not tonight, even next year.