If you thought this post was going to be about basketball, you might be disappointed, but not for too long because what I have for you is better than March Madness. (That is a basketball thing, right?)
We have been hard at work this year working on ways to deepen our relationships with organizations we love. Last week, I introduced our partnership with Susan G. Komen, and this week it's all about Houston Grand Opera (HGO). I've been involved with the opera is some form for over 8 years. The past couple of years we've had the pleasure of dressing many of the chairs of the Concert of Arias and the Opera Ball.
What we've come up with is something I'm super proud to show you. My team has been hard at work helping to create a beautiful line of clutches inspired by each of the seven main stage productions at the opera this year. We've loved working on these especially because we were able to get an inside look at what each of the productions is going to be like, and let me tell you, it's going to be a gorgeous season!
For each limited edition bag sold, we will be donating 20% of the sales to support HGO's education programs. Many of you may know that I have a previous life as a classical cellist. While being a professional musician wasn't meant for me, the discipline and love for the performing arts that studying music gave me helps me to this day. That we can be a part of bring that to another generation and create something beautiful is yet another reason that I love my job.
Here's a little bit about each bag. They are available for pre-order online or in-store. Bags ordered in September will be available in October in time for the opening night of the Opera! We are also working on something super special for holidays, which we will be announcing very soon!
The Magic Flute: Filled with captivating, interactive projections, this breathtaking production by Barrie Kosky and Suzanne Andrade uses a silent-film aesthetic with 21st-century technology to deliver a Magic Flute unlike any that has been seen at HGO before.
The classic story centers on the noble Prince Tamino’s quest to rescue Pamina, a beautiful princess. Along the way, he is tested by forces of darkness and must overcome evil to discover truth and the meaning of justice.
I was inspired by HGO's production of "The Magic Flute" that was originally adapted at the LA Opera. With a roaring 20's vibe and dark imagery, we created an authentic style flapper bag with beaded fringe.
I couldn't just have one bag for "The Magic Flute." For this one, we created a unique clutch that gives us an edgy glam aesthetic. In this version of "The Magic Flute" the Queen of the Night is represented as a large spider; something I wanted to incorporate in our design as a fun element.
Salome: The revolutionary score reinvents Oscar Wilde’s biblical drama of a deeply disturbed princess who has fallen in love with Jokanaan (John the Baptist). After he denies her, she performs the infamous and seductive “Dance of the Seven Veils” for King Herod in exchange for John’s head.
I was inspired by "The Peacock Skirt," an 1893 illustration by Aubrey Beardsley. His original pen and ink drawing was reproduced as a woodblock print in the first English edition of Oscar Wilde's one-act play Salome in 1894. Our peacock clutch uses middle eastern influence for its design as an ode to the production's inspiration in costume and set design.
El Milagro: El Milagro del Recuerdo/The Miracle of Remembering brings audiences back to where it all began, Michoacán, Mexico. Set during Christmas, the opera lovingly explores the themes of traditions, familial bonds, while dealing with life-changing decisions and the dream of something more.
I was inspired by traditional Mexican culture dating all the way back to pre-hispanic times. Embroidery has a long history in Mexico and I wanted to highlight this beautiful technique. The floral motif is an expression of beginnings, dreams, change, and beauty which embody the El Milagro spirit and story.
Saul: The opera begins after David slays Goliath and follows the mental breakdown of the envious King Saul. This stimulating and emotionally inspired production creates a captivating drama highlighting the tension of social class and a world fraught with religious strife.
I was inspired by Barrie Kosky’s imaginative production and breathtaking design. The bright colors, floral displays and over the top costumes and textures prompted the bag's overall aesthetic.
Aida: This stunning new production design is enhanced by the incorporation of visionary artists Basil Twist’s silk choreography. Set in ancient Egypt during the pinnacle of war, the captive princess Aida falls in love with a conquering general and must choose between true love and loyalty to her country. Verdi's powerful music heightens the unforgettable story of betrayal and sacrifice.
I was inspired by ancient Egyptian imagery to use symbols such as scarabs representing good luck and sarcophagi representing divine protection. The beautiful pattern chosen to adorn the background has a modern Egyptian royalty aesthetic, giving the bag a unique design with meaning.
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Opera powerhouse and HGO Studio alumna Jamie Barton and international star Lawrence Brownlee return to Houston for the HGO premiere of La favorite. This production features some of the most challenging arias ever written and we can't wait to hear these talented performers take them on. 💪 #HGOFavorite #hougrandopera #opera
I was inspired by the story's take on a love triangle and the heartache portrayed by dark royal imagery. We created a bag with a gothic romance aesthetic and modern elements.
Rigoletto: Verdi’s Rigoletto is a tragic story of jealousy, lust, and revenge. The antagonistic jester, Rigoletto, is cursed after a joke goes too far in the court of the villainous Duke. Despite his best efforts to protect his beloved daughter, Rigoletto is unable to keep her safe from the outside world and the curse’s fulfillment. He most certainly will not have the last laugh.
I was inspired by the dark nature of the Rigoletto story and historical jester costumes which used geometric shapes and primary colors. We have applied this concept in a modern way, which is reflected in the design of the acrylic bag that is a reflection of the updated setting of this production of fascist Italy in the 1920s.