Friday, May 8, 2015

At Baltimore Symphony's Request, Design Students Restyle Orchestra Attire

As leather-clad fashion designers hovered nearby, conductor Marin Alsop inspected the outfits of several musicians. “It might be better to have the pleats on the left side since they face the audience,” she said, studying a women’s skirt. Later, she admired the lapel of a men’s jacket. "It looks very smart," she noted. 
This wasn’t a bizarro orchestra edition of "Project Runway" but rather the latest phase in amulti-year project to redesign the tradition-bound orchestra attire, involving students and faculty at Parsons School of Design and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, where Alsop is music director. The goal of the project, which began in 2012, is to use materials that are more utilitarian, lightweight, breathable and contemporary in appeal. It stems from a larger conviction that symphony orchestras must better reflect the world around them to stay vital and relevant – not only in what they perform but how they look.  More