So I have had the honor of being invited to the Alvin Ailey Gala party this year by my dear friend and My Body My Image Body Hero Lynne Greenberg. The annual Black Tie event is one of the grandest events in the Dance World. So what’s a gal to do when a red carpet worthy dress is in order? I called on my Faerie GodFather Peter Speliopoulos who is the Creative Director at Donna Karan to dress me. I met Peter when I was a member of Armitage Gone! Dance and he designed our costumes. We fell in love with one another and he dressed me for the company galas, always making me feel like Cinderella, the belle of the ball. It was always such a treat to go into the offices and have Peter pull dresses for me and have them altered if needed, I felt like a true celebrity! Though I left the company 5 years ago, Peter and I have stayed in touch and when the invite came in I knew I needed his help, and like a good Faerie Godfather he answered the call. Though in the midst of preparing a collection, he set me up with a stylist to do my fitting and between conference calls and meetings he popped in to render his expert opinion. I have to say that weeks before I was a nervous wreck, where you long to have a such a personal high end experience, there is always a fear that the dresses won’t fit, that they will be ill fitting, and the stylist will have the sunken look of dismay and disgust, because you do not have the body of a pre- pubecent girl. Prior to the day I was on a mission no bread, minimal sugar (I can’t go cold turkey) and lots of salads. I was determined to get into those dresses!!!!
Irene Pappas, (pictured below) was the delightful young lady who assisted me and we had a ball in the celebrity closet, where all the dresses that go out on loan are housed. She had pulled a number of options (said in my best Rachel Zoe stilted accent) and went to work. I was pleasantly surprised that most of the dresses fit, even thesamples, or off the runway, although on one dress the hooks were so far over you would have to have an 18 inch ribcage. I joked with Irene that I had come off calcium for 3 weeks so my bones would be malleable. What I love about Donna Karan is that she is the queen of draping, and that all of the dresses, had enough give (all had a elastic underpinning slip, that allowed the fabric to fall correctly, while holding you in, but allowing you to breathe) I loved her use of Jersey which is such sort of casual fabric but drapes beautifully, is comfortable, and also is a fabric that is not intimidating, you feel dressed up, but not over dressed.I wanted something fabulous but nothing that would wear me, or that I felt not myself in. The Aiely Gala (so I have heard as I have never attended the Gala before) is a dancing event so I wanted to be able to shake a leg but be classy and elegant.
I had such a wonderful experience, and I owe Donna Karan, Peter and Irene a debt of gratitude for extending themselves to me and being so generous with their time. Here are some of the options, I chose 2, but have pretty much settled on one, I would love to here your opinion. Let me know which one you think I should wear!
Irene Pappas of Donna Karan