(Paris) The guests in evening dress, then the models, take the grand staircase of the Opéra Garnier in Paris and are immortalized by Claude Lelouch: the couturier Stéphane Rolland recreated the atmosphere of a gala evening on Tuesday tribute to Maria Callas.

After the bell, no more selfies on the staircase decorated with white lilies. The show begins.

This haute couture show, with sumptuous graphic outfits and dedicated to the Greek singer Maria Callas, “the voice of the century” born 100 years ago, is filmed by Claude Lelouch for his next feature film, Finally.

When the director, who had attended Stéphane Rolland’s last parade, expressed the wish that the collection be part of his film, “it was a gift from heaven”, tells the couturier to AFP.

Combining fashion, opera and cinema, evoking the chic of a 1958 gala evening, serves to “create emotions” and also “bring people to something else” who come to see clothes, explains the designer , who designed the yellow dress in which Pretty Yende sang at the coronation of Charles III.

The parade virtually resurrects Maria Callas and “her extremely strong temperament”, with “as much sensitivity as assertiveness”.

Stéphane Rolland, who likes strong colors, is minimalist here: besides two red dresses, “everything is black and white. It’s sharp, sharp, determined. Inside the Palais Garnier, I don’t want to disrupt the discourse with pink, yellow or green,” he says.

Acanthus leaves, as on the marble columns of the Opera, adorn certain dresses. The couturier himself “took up pottery” to carve embroidered porcelain elements onto dresses.

It is the design of the cup that evokes the character of the singer. Cubic shapes, but also round, clash. Muslins fly away, duchess satin fabrics wrap around the shoulders. Golden leather flames come out of the body.

Traviata, Norma, Médée: each dress refers to a character that Maria Callas represented.

To embody it, Stéphane Rolland bet on his favorite model, the Spaniard Nieves Alvarez, who opens the show in a black gazar dress and closes it in a dress draped in white muslin evoking the bride.

Also on parade were Brazilian actress Maria Fernanda Candido, “who has the grace of Callas”, and Iranian model Farnoush Hamidian, “a woman who fights for her freedom and the freedom of women.” Callas that was it.”

“Culture saves, it’s very important in our business. I find that, from time to time, it lacks a bit of refinement and culture. Money isn’t everything,” says the couturier.

Continuing the synergies of this show, her costumes for the opera The Magic Flute at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, directed by director Cédric Klapisch, will be released in November.

Opera is “more obvious” for haute couture, he admits, as the last Men’s Fashion Week in Paris was marked by Pharrell Williams’ show event for Louis Vuitton, accompanied by a gospel song and followed by a performance by rapper Jay-Z.

But “we can also make people dream in a ready-to-wear parade on opera and present haute couture on hip-hop”, believes Stéphane Rolland.