RECENTLY COMMISSIONED CONDUCTOR'S DRESS IS IN THE MAKING
I am designing a conductor’s dress for Noreen Green, founder and conductor of the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony Orchestra, that will naturally ventilate her body while she is conducting. Her requirements are that it must be very subdued in color, flexible, lightweight, and ventilated. She is constantly moving when conducting and the performance lights become hotter through the performance. She must not out-shine the guest soloist so it is very important that she be muted and out of the limelight. But, it is also important that she be a “presence” on-stage so this is a tricky requirement to fulfill. The “showiness” of the dress must come from it’s function, shape, and structure, and not from it’s visual color.
My challenge is how to fulfill the stringent requirements of the dress’ functional requirements while still maintaining a unique presence on-stage? Currently, the greatest challenge is in finding the proper fabric material: Something that is flexible and breathes at the same time. I have been to the SF Bay area’s best fabric houses and can find nothing suitable. My next stop is Shenzhen and Shanghai, China, where the most diverse array of fabrics are made. Once I have the fabric chosen, and can feel and study how it behaves, that will tell me exactly how to implement it in a functional design. The nature of the material is the all-important element of imaginative and truly functional design–a design with meaning and purpose. Once I have the fabric, it is a matter of determining how the fabric will behave and accommodate Noreen Green’s body while in motion, and how it will breathe and keep her cool.