The 2011 L’Amour & Couture Gala was inspired by the Opera Company of Philadelphia’s production of Gounod’s Romeo & Juliet, in which the Montagues and Capulets were portrayed as competing modern-day fashion houses.
Starring in the production’s titles roles were real-life spouses, Academy of Vocal Arts alumni and rising international sensations Stephen Costello and Ailyn Pérez, who are the evening’s Guests of Honor. To create many of the couture costumes featured in the production, OCP partnered with the fashion design programs at Drexel University’s Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts and Design, Moore College of Art and Design, and Philadelphia University. Students from these three institutions worked under the direction of OCP Costume Director Richard St. Clair to create exciting avant-garde fashions that appear on the Academy of Music stage during the opera. The L’Amour & Couture Gala, co-chaired by Eliana and Maria Papadakis, featured a special preview runway show of the 16 winning student designs that appear in the production, as well as a cocktail hour, seated dinner, live and silent auctions, and a musical performance.