By Josh Williams
DIVAS Shop for Opera, an annual benefit organized by the New York City Opera, offered fashion hounds dozens of racks of lightly used or vintage donated clothing and shoes from high-end designers including Narcisco Rodriguez, Carolina Herrera, Jason Wu, Christian Lacroix and others.
Designers also donated high-fashion sketches inspired by New York City Opera characters for the sale.
"It's a great way to bring people together in support of opera, and you get great stuff for a cheap ticket price," said Ashley Melone, an opera devotee and a Young Patron co-chair at Lincoln Center. Melone and her sister were among the close to 100 eager shoppers who turned out for cocktails and shopping, filling the Mercer Street loft space and keeping the cash registers bustling.
In addition to the clothing and art items on sale, the New York City Opera displayed three costumes used in performances of "Carmen," "La Bohème," and "Madam Butterfly."
Supporters said the fund-raiser is needed to bolster the city's arts programs during tough economic times.
"Arts are something the New York City community rallies around," Melone said.