It’s a new delight for me. I used to think fashion was frivolous, not anything (God help me!) serious people should care about.
Then I started watching Project Runway. And got hooked. Of all reality shows (at least in my experience), it’s the fairest. To viewers, I mean. You can see the fashions the contestants design, just as well as the judges on the show can. You can see who does well, and who does badly. You can develop your eye, as I did. You can learn to see how fashion can be art. You can hear the judges — expereinced fashion people, some of them top designers — talk about the work they’re seeing. You can see that their standards are high, and their judgment artistic.
And finally it came to me. Fashion can be exciting because it’s a place where art, commerce, craftsmanship, and sexuality all come together. Which, if you ask me, is hot. And (as I hardly need to say) that’s not a place where classical music very comfortably lives. Though why shouldn’t it? It certainly did in past centuries. Handel’s opera companies in London — artistic (just listen to the music), commercial to the hilt, and with a lot of sexual excitement about some of the singers (the prima donnas, and, inevitably, the castratos, who were infertile, but as sexually potent as any other man).
Why can’t classical music do that now?