On Monday evening the Italian brand Bottega Veneta partnered with Romeo and Juliet: Beyond Words- the new cinematic re-staging of Sir Kenneth MacMillan's production for The Royal Ballet- for their world premiere at Curzon Mayfair. Founded in Vicenza, the Italian brand finds its roots not too far from Verona where the seminal Shakespearian love story is set. The emotive, graceful and time-consuming craft of ballet makes the perfect match for the luxury house, where creative director Daniel Lee has placed a fresh focus on craftsmanship.
Romeo and Juliet: Beyond Words is directed by Michael Nunn and William Trevitt, who have re-staged and directed MacMillan's production for the screen. The well-spun narrative itself is unchanged, from lovers courting under a moonlit balcony to Juliet's untimely awakening. However, Nunn and Trevitt combine theatre, ballet and music to show the tragedy in a new light. The Royal Ballet's principal dancers re-imagine the seminal love story in this cinematic costume drama set to Sergei Prokofiev’s original score played by Royal Opera House Orchestra. The role of Juliet is undertaken by The Royal Ballet's principal dancer Francesca Hayward, who took centre stage on at the premiere as Bottega Veneta's poster girl.
Hayward is a rising star, featuring in the new live animation Cats film and selected earlier this year by the Duchess of Sussex Megan Markle as one of British Vogue's September 2019 'Forces For Change'. Accompanied to Monday's premiere by her Romeo, aka William Bracewell, and Matthew Ball who plays Tybalt, all were dressed head to toe in Bottega Veneta A/W 19 collection- creative director Lee's first main collection for the house shown earlier this year. Hayward was decked out in Lee's runway hits wearing two looks across the evening. A long padded coat was styled over a semi-sheer gathered knit dress and paired with a glossy black Pyramid Bag. Square-toed leather and calf-hair sandals featuring lattice detail were almost reminiscent of a ballet dancer's pointe shoe. Later in the evening, Hayward changed into an ox blood silk sablé knit dress with a cut out neckline. The ballet dancer's strength, poise and elegance matched to Bottega Veneta brand values as tough clothes found a new romance against the narrative of the Shakespearian fable. Daniel Lee's celebrated tenure, grounded in both tradition and modernity, is perfectly mirrored by this unforeseen partnership.
Romeo and Juliet shows at Curzon Cinemas on December 16 and Sadler's Wells on December 9.