Several hundred people started lining up along Alameda Street in downtown LA early Sunday morning to ensure first dibs at our “Revenge of the LA Opera Costume Shop Sale.” From complete costumes to masks, wigs, accessories and plumed hats, opera lovers, families with tots in tow, Halloween fans, theater fanatics and young designers poured through the racks hoping to find that right one-of-a-kind item.
Potential buyers arrived dressed very LA casual, but quickly transformed into the Grand Duchess of Gerolstein or a Chinese warrior from legendary times as they squeezed themselves into the stage couture. “We have a killer neighborhood costume party and this outfit is going to rock this year,” said Burbank property manager Deirdre Baird whose husband Tom was attired in full Turandot peasant attire. Longtime subscriber Nancy Colman-Frank along with daughter Melissa Holritz and granddaughter also scored big with multiple items including Timor’s shackles from Turandot and a worn fisherman’s outer coat. “We wanted to be a bleak Peter Grimes family this year,” Melissa said as she pointed to her young daughter wearing a darkly veiled brimmed hat. “This sale is brilliant.”
For several hours, shoppers wandered the racks wearing bird costumes, gladiator-style helmets and face masks while trying on numerous outfits. Criminal defense attorney Leslie Anne Boyce used the Costume Shop’s glass windows as fitting room mirror as she assessed the strapped black evening gown fitted with petite white wired feathers on top. “I’m thinking more of New Year’s Eve with this dress,” she said.
Carol Levin and daughter Laura stopped by on the way to the final Eugene Onegin matinee performance hoping to snag a quick item. “Do you think Dad would wear this to a Renaissance Faire?” asked budding designer Laura as she held up a darkly colored medieval frock.
As the racks of clothing were consolidated to a remaining few, Costume Shop production assistants Stephanie Cytron and Sondra Veldy sighed, “I love this sale. People get to see the amazing work, the attention to detail, and the choices that go into every piece of clothing. This is what we do!”