Renée Fleming: The Diva and Her Gowns


As superstar soprano Renée Fleming launched her international career nearly 30 years ago, she began attracting attention from the fashion world. High-end designers were eager to dress the glamorous diva for both stage roles and concert performances. Even Fleming’s prominent appearance at the 2014 Super Bowl had a couture touch.

“I think that I benefited from people’s fascination with Maria Callas,” Fleming said. “And what happened, early in my career, is that mainstream couture designers developed an interest in dressing the diva. What I’ve amassed, because of the people that I’ve worked with – so many different designers – I would say is pretty historic.

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“I can’t think of another singer who worked with the number of top-quality designers that I have in my career. Just timing; it was timing,” she said.

Fleming recently loaned nearly two dozen of her famous gowns to Lyric Opera of Chicago, where she is creative consultant, for a public display.

She sat down with WTTW News to discuss her one-of-a kind creations and give some insights on collaborations with such fashion titans as Vera Wang, Vivienne Westwood, John Galliano and Christian Lacroix.


More on this story

Renée Fleming's collection of gowns will be on display at Lyric Opera of Chicago during the run of “West Side Story,” May 3 through June 2.


Related stories:

Renée Fleming Reflects on 25 Years with Lyric Opera

‘Chicago Voices’ Concert Showcases Diverse Local Talent

Renée Fleming on ‘Bel Canto,’ the Upcoming Season


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