Two art forms were combined under the roof of the Intercontinental Hotel in an unforgettable show. Produced by Benjamin Cottrell Designs the fashion show was accompanied by opera singers from the American Chamber Opera featuring 5 Chicago based fashion designers.
It had started with a conversation between Marisa Buchheit, Miss Chicago 2012, and Benjamin Cottrell, Lifestyle Designer and Runway Show Producer. Having run into each other at several fashion shows, they started talking about doing one together. But not just another show, what they wanted to do would be different and spectacular.
Marisa, who also happened to be CMO of The American Chamber Opera and an exceptional opera singer herself, brought the idea of the fashion show to her company. The idea was welcomed as it aligned very well with the mission of American Chamber Opera.
Founded in 2011 by Chicago based artists, American Chamber Opera’s mission was to make the opera accessible to performers and audiences alike. The company has been touring to perform full-length opera in English to convey a true sense of the composer’s intent. Although, many operas performed by seasoned singers, the company is always on the lookout for young talent.
On October 5, 2012 the idea became a reality at the Intercontinental Hotel on Michigan Ave, where opera and fashion worlds collided. The enchanting evening began with a formal reception and silent auction. Once all the guests were seated in Grand Ballroom the show began. Series of live sensational opera performances accompanied the runway show created a spectacular experience.
All proceeds went to benefit the Merit School of Music. Located in Chicago’s West Loop it is a non-profit community music school serving 6,000 students from across the city yearly. Merit transforms lives in all areas of voice and instrument by providing the highest quality music education possible with an undivided focus to the underprivileged communities.
Marisa had shared with us that it was Merit School of Music that helped her to discover her passion for opera. She also hopes that Fashion of the Opera will become an annual affair. Having seen the success of this event, we have no doubt it will.