M&S and the Royal Opera House join fashion forces

Royal Opera House press image
Marks and Spencer became the ‘Official Uniform Partner of the Royal Opera House’ from Wednesday 1st February and MSL were invited to the Royal Opera House for an exclusive press showing of their new collaboration. The collection, which includes outfits for ushers, usher managers, security, box-office and ROH restaurant employees, sees a new look, which will “create a clear, single identity for all Royal Opera House customer-facing staff”.

Royal Opera House press image

Neil Hendy head designer for Marks and Spencer worked closely along side staff at the ROH to produce the uniforms and he commented on how the designs are practical, innovative and stylish. Deborah Bull, Creative Director of the Royal Opera House said, “We’ve been delighted to have Marks and Spencer on board to design and create new outfits for our staff at the Royal Opera House.”

Home to an abundance of breathtaking beautiful art forms, it is only fitting that such a creative establishment as the Royal Opera House has had a hand in creating a uniform that is described as, “not just a uniform, but a capsule wardrobe”. The collection provides the ROH staff the opportunity to express their individual creativity and style through the interchangeable pieces, while still uniting the employees as one family and one orgainisation.

Neil Hendy drew on the stunning architecture as inspiration for many of the designs, including the abstract prints that are a constant theme throughout the collection. In particular the glass and iron Paul Hamlyn Hall, which has inspired an abstract design, which can be seen, carried through on the graphic print tee’s, blouse and ladies scarf.

The female uniform includes four different choices of blouses in a colour palette ranging from silver, red and black. A classic tailored suit can be worn with either trousers or a skirt as an option for the more formal occasions. Pencil skirts are complete with delicate zip detailing at the pockets and gathered cap sleeves, on scoop neck jersey tops, sees that this is a uniform that is stylish elegant and contemporary. The look is teamed with a patent court shoe and sheer black hosiery for a chic and professional look.

Royal Opera House press image

For men we see a collection which features a two-piece suit that can be worn with either a white or grey shirt and a red tie featuring the graphic print that will, no doubt, become synonymous with the ROH staff.

The collection also sees black wool overcoats for both men and women, which can be paired with the cashmere scarf which boasts an embroidered ROH logo. There are also T-shirts for those less formal occasions and the summer months. We can expect to see the staff sporting the rather trendy graphic tees shortly I’m sure.

The customer was always in mind throughout the process of designing the uniforms, replacing the white shirts for the ushers with grey minimises visibility in the auditorium so not to interrupt performances. It is these simple, yet genius ideas, that keep the Royal Opera House the respected and sought-after establishment they pride themselves as being.

Both Marks and Spencer and The Royal Opera house spoke fondly about the collaboration and partnership, Deborah Bull said “The M&S designers have produced a beautiful wardrobe for our staff that is stylish yet understated, classic yet contemporary: it reflects perfectly the heritage and identity of the Royal Opera House and our ambition to offer a warm welcome to everyone.’’ While Kate Bostock, Executive Director of M&S spoke of the pride they feel, “The Royal Opera House is the world leader in ballet and opera. We are proud to work with them on such a prestigious and unique project. This has been a new and exciting venture for M&S, providing a rewarding link between two of Britain’s most enduring institutions”.

The evening’s fashion preview coincided with the first night performance of ‘The Dream/Song of the Earth’ by The Royal Ballet which MSL had the pleasure of attending. The show was breathtaking and moving, the perfect end to such a fabulous evening sipping champagne and having a sneak peak of the uniforms to come, Team MSL cannot wait to come back and spend more time at the Royal Opera House.

Royal Opera House


Sophie Maguire

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