Dantza to Willa Kim

An exterior shot of the Library for the Performing Arts

You never know where things will lead when you travel. On this day of my NYC adventure found a free movie at the New York Public Library – Dantza. While I wasn’t a fan of the movie decided to be respectful and stay for an hour, but enough is enough when things don’t fit your taste. Life is too short.

As I began to leave the lobby this handsome gent caught my attention.

From Sophisticated Ladies where Ms. Kim won her first Tony.

Then I saw the exhibit signage..

And read Ms. Kim’s bio..

And I was hooked – and glad I was as it was one of my all time favorite exhibits. It may be yours as well…

Her designs for the 1991 Will Roger Follies where she won her second Tony.

Pictures and designs from Sophisticated Ladies where she won her first Tony in 1981. Ms. Kim, a Korean American remains a foremost designer for dance and ballet production with 200 shows to her credit. She was innovative in the use of synthetic stretch fabrics and dyeing techniques for her costume design. Upon her death in 2016, she gifted her archive to the New York Public Library where it permanently resides at the Billy Rose Theater Division.

One of her most famous designs was for a 1989 Super Bowl commercial. The sponsor was Regina Wine Vinegar and the model wore a salad.

The Drawing.

The Costume.

Other fun costume pieces..

But perhaps the most interesting part of the exhibit was the display of Ms. Kim’s office with the swatch wall. Here samples of fabric, and ornamentation were viewed.

Ms. Kim in her design studio. Love the view she held.

The Swatches.

From a movie to a designer’s studio to a world premier opera, “Oh, What A Night!” In leaving the exhibit walked through Lincoln Center and found myself at a world premiere opera with New York City elite in full regalia. Stay tuned for the next blog.

“You never know where things will lead when you travel.”

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