Have you ever dreamt of the excitement and anticipation - of getting ready to go to the Opera? Of sitting in a plush balcony seat, binoculars in hand; looking sophisticated yet playful, and feeling … like something extraordinary was about to happen?
Well, if you haven’t yet … it’s time to begin the beguine. It starts by travelling back in time, on January 8th, 1875, to be exacte, to the opening of the majestical Palais Garnier, Paris’ most famous 1,979-seat opera house. Where well-heeled women of a certain standing delighted in hair-raising arias and riveting chansons: dressed in their finest fashions. Where they sat in lush velvet seating and opened their ears to the sweet piping’s of an orchestra revving up their instruments: to bring a foretaste of epic proportions. The excitement? The Opera – a pastime that once touched the heart of many an opera-going haute Parisian femme.
But to understand the enigma surrounding this mecca of French opulence and the fashions that would accompany it, it helps to go back and understand the histoire behind this building, and why it attracted the high-flyers and bon vivants of haute Parisian society. How a grand marbled escalier teamed with statues of female torchères could cast a spell upon its elite patrons as they entered the building. How, even through the centuries, this opera house would become a mecca for Paris’ fashionistas – a place where one could eye one another’s most extravagant ensembles. So extravagant in fact, that even today, French novelist Gaston Leroux’s legacy continues to dazzle theatres around the world with his story of “The Phantom of the Opera”, based on the famous Palais Garnier.
The History Of Palais Garnier
Since then, the Palais Garnier has continued to be known as one of the world’s largest opera theatres, a picture of opulence similar to Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre, or the Sacré Coeur Basilica. It was commissioned by Emperor Napoleon III to be built as part of his project to reconstruct the beauté of Paris from its former state. His request being? That it would reflect his tastes for Baroque design as well as serve the needs of the bourgeoisie who supported him.
So, as part of his project’s plans to rebuild his own opera house, a competition for the best design was conducted in 1860. The winner? Was Charles Garnier, a young, unknown architect who presented an impressive submission: marrying elements of Baroque, Classicism and Renaissance architecture on the facade and interiors, including a myriad of marble, iron framework, and other materials that were the epitome of French grandiosity. Providing a place for the super-rich and the bourgeoisie to gather and be seen. A precinct of entertainment: where they all could feel ‘on top of the world’. Where it could symbolise the optimism and rêverie surrounding France’s new artistic future.
Avenue de l’Opéra: An Avenue Of Aspiration
The next step in this elaborate project? Is when Emperor Napoleon III, (along with his civic planner, Baron Haussmann by his side), wished to bring an aspect of ‘air and light’ to the centre of Paris - with a direct thoroughfare from his residence in the Tuileries Palace straight to the Opera Garnier. His special request? A direct road without trees, so that nothing could disturb his view of the Opera House. An avenue of aspiration and excitement for Paris’ new future, in a post-revolutionary time. Where until today, still stands to be seen as a boulevard of deluxe grandeur.
Avenue de l’Opéra Collection
Inspired by the opulence of the famous Palais Garnier, our latest collection, Avenue de l’Opéra, focuses on playful feminine leopard prints, neutrals and pops of coral and salmon – that exude the kind of passion that inflamed the female opera-loving audience of a bygone era. Where punctuated notes of luxe fabrications: including lush silks, suedes and super-feminine silhouettes echo the opulence of this glamourous time.
Whether you are looking for a stand-out piece après heures such as a Mink Faux Fur Coat or a silky leopard print dress to kick-start your own feline swagger, our Avenue de l’Opéra collection marries romance and rétro, transporting you to an era where Parisian society once roared - in faux furs, pure silks, and vegan leather pieces for a touch of drama.
Keen to embrace your style with a touch of bravo? Meet our top 6 pieces for a dose of va, va voom!
This fabulous, luxe, and warm coat will transform any outfit. From casual jeans to formal dresses, add instant opulence to your look with our Leopard Faux Fur Coat. Heavenly soft, this coat is also cosy with a stand collar and easy snap button fastening. Add some féminin drama, we dare you.
This on-trend pant has a fabulous wide leg silhouette, which has been designed to flatter. Crafted from a smooth and comfortable stretch ponte fabric, this unique bark-coloured pant looks gorgeous when paired with our Printed Twist Neck Jersey Top in Leopard.
Let our Drawstring Georgette Print Dress do all the talking. Featuring a small-scale Leopard print, this dress offers a gathered notched V neckline and a statement gold and jewelled button for optional styling. The fullness of the skirt and sheerness of the Georgette strikes a glamorous feminine look, complemented with a blouson sleeve. Pair it with your favourite winter boot and simple gold accessories.
The Mink Faux Fur Coat is a luxurious piece that adds drama to any outfit. As opulent as the Palais Garnier that stands watch over the Avenue de L’Opéra, this coat is perfect for a night out at the opera! Featuring a stand collar, snap button closure and front pockets, this coat is heavenly soft and will add a hint of opulence to any look.
This stylish, A-line skirt is made from an incredibly soft faux leather. With a special coating to emulate the leather look as well as panelled details for an authentic finish, the skirt also features a deep basque at the waist to flatter the figure and is fully lined. Pair it with our Twist Neck Flounce Top in Black for instant opulence.
A dreamy, floaty style, our lightweight Printed Silk Blouse features the fun and glamorous Leopard print of our Avenue de L’Opéra collection. Crafted from 100% silk, this blouse is luxuriously soft and features a shirt collar with a statement button keyhole detail. Wear it over our Pintuck Slim Leg Suede Pant for glamorous style.