QUEEN OF THE NIGHT: French couturier Christian Lacroix is bringing his magic touch to the Vienna Opera.
The designer has collaborated with Swarovski to create a tiara that will be worn by debutantes taking part in the 2020 Vienna Opera Ball, which will be held on Feb. 20.
Inspired by the character of the Queen of the Night in Mozart’s opera “The Enchanted Flute” — which is the theme of the 2020 edition of the ball — the tiara is topped with a constellation of 72 clear, star-shaped crystals, contrasting with the circular stones that stud the base of the piece.
A tiara has been produced for each of the 144 debutantes who will be presented to Austrian society at the ball.
It’s not the designer’s first stint at the opera: Lacroix designed costumes for George Balanchine’s “The Crystal Palace” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the Opera Bastille in Paris, in 2014 and 2017 respectively.
The couturier has fond memories of the Vienna Opera Ball, an annual Austrian society event that gathers 5,000 guests each year in the stunning Vienna Opera House — although he has only witnessed it through a television screen.
“I remember as a little boy having admired the haute couture dresses on the small screen, as well as these young debutantes dancing the waltz in perfect choreography,” the designer said in a statement. “For this ball, I was inspired by a starry sky as well as the opera by Mozart to create a unique object. I can image all these tiaras waltzing, creating an incredible shooting constellation. Nothing more natural for these young queens of the night.”
The Queen of the Night is a key character in “The Magic Flute.” She is the one to task Tamino to rescue her daughter Pamina from the high priest Sarastro, and ends up being the villain of the tale.
This ambivalence inspired Maria Grossbauer, producer of the Vienna Opera Ball. “I asked Monsieur Lacroix to reinterpret this opera character, a unique woman, mystical and magical, but also strong, powerful and dangerous,” she said.