There is an absolutely wonderful article from the 5/25/2207 edition of the L.A. Times by Joel Stein that pulls no punches when it comes to the issue of concert attire…
At the same time, the author presents on one of the most amusing opinions behind why people go to orchestra concerts. For as long as I remember, it has been about who, what, and where with regard to the music was but according to Joel it is all about getting lucky:
Nobody is getting any after a date that involves Shostakovich played by dudes in sweatpants. And that’s the sole point of going to the symphony.
The real thrust of Joel’s article should speak to every orchestra manager and musician in the business: when it comes to stage attire, we need professional help. This is an old issue here at Adaptistration and perhaps one of the better articles on the subject was from a piece entitled Jacket Not Required where Milwaukee Symphony concertmaster, Frank Almond, was quoted as saying this about the issue of stage attire:
“…why can’t orchestras [secure] the services of a designer…there must be a way to get a designer like Versace or Zegna interested in something like this.”
Unfortunately, it wasn’t an orchestra manager or musician who came up with the means to tackle this subject with the level of abandon it so desperately needs. Instead, it was Joel Stein at the L.A. times who convinced a friend, Hollywood style sage Lash Fary (that’s Lash pictured to your left), to take three L.A. Philharmonic musicians out for a fashion makeover in advance of a recent Casual Friday concert (where the patrons and musicians get to dress casually).
Joel was able to convince Lash to use his connections to secure free casual clothing for the trio of musicians and reading about the entire experience is simply priceless. In fact, I hope the article garners enough attention that Lash has clients on their knees begging him for the opportunity to dress the entire orchestra for another Casual Friday concert. Who knows, perhaps the players will look so good on sage that the L.A. Phil will decide to expand the casual series.
And why stop there, maybe Versace or Zegna will take notice and see the value in tackling this issue head-on. Frankly, I’d love nothing better than to see an entire orchestra get hauled onto “a very special episode” of The Learning Channel’s What Not To Wear.