Baltimore Symphony and Parsons School of Design rethink what to wear onstage

Posted on: March 21, 2016

“ ‘It’s always bothered me that we wear the same clothes we wore 100 years ago,’ said Marin Alsop, the music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra,” writes David Colman in Sunday’s (3/20) New York Times. “So three years ago, as the group headed into its second century—the centennial is this year—Ms. Alsop decided that the players should do it dressed to look forward to 2116, rather than back at 1916…. Working with Joel Towers, the executive dean at Parsons School of Design in New York, Ms. Alsop was connected with [designer] Gabi Asfour … a longtime teacher at Parsons, to see if Mr. Asfour (and his students) were up to a real-life fashion challenge. … The process … involved a lot of interviewing of the Baltimore musicians as well as countless fittings on musicians from the New School’s Mannes School of Music…. ‘These people are like athletes,’ Mr. Asfour said. ‘The clothes that they had, the men especially, were too hot and too restrictive.’ … The first official uniforms were worn by about 12 musicians at a February concert celebrating the Baltimore Symphony’s centennial, with plans to unveil the full line in June, when the League of American Orchestras is to convene in Baltimore.”

Posted March 21, 2016

Pictured: Baltimore Symphony musicians in two of the newly designed concert attire as part of a collaboration with Parsons School of Design