ROM's Material Ball: Diamonds

On the same day as the Gehry /AGO unveiling, the Royal Ontario Museum was holding a very stylish gala in honour of their current diamond exhibit (featuring the third largest diamond in the world on display)

The ROM celebrated this stunning exhibition with a gala fundraising event Material Ball: Diamonds, hosted by Jeanne Beker.
The evening featured the North American premiere of the spring 2009 collection by world-renowned fashion designer Giambattista Valli. Proceeds from the evening will support the ROM’s Burnham Brett Endowment for Textiles and Costume and the Renaissance ROM campaign.

I showed up around 10 PM to shoot the post-dinner fashion show that was staged within the angular walls of the Michael Lee Chin Crystal.
Waiting for the show to start, I marvelled along with the other photographers at the exquisite gowns and dresses the women were wearing as patrons drifted into the area.
It was like a designer show had come to life in the audience seats.

The show itself featured beautiful couture clothes and formal wear but was staged on an awkward triangular runway.
Oddly, the models did not stop in front of the dozen or so cameras, sailing right past the media riser oblivious to our presence.

Also the runway was carpeted. The only other time I've seen a designer use carpet on a runway was at Fashion Week and it was a real trial for the models in their towering heels.
Last night proved to be no exception as one girl fell and all of the models walked in a very tentative manner.
Note to show designers: Carpet / runway / bad idea .

Still, I had the feeling from the post-show buzz that the evening was a success, and people enjoyed the glimpse of European couture the show afforded. The designs were really quite exceptional, and at a level consistent with ROM standards.

Olympus E3 and E510 w/ 50-200mm 2.8 and 12-60mm 2.8 Digital Zuiko Lenses

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