David Hockney takes formal opening nights more seriously than you might expect. For one thing, he wears two socks that match. For another, he puts on patent leather pumps with bows instead of his usual plaid bedroom scuffs.
Other artists, autocrats and eccentrics appear equally as inspired by formal invitations this fall.
For the first night of the opera season, where Hockney wore a vintage tux above his dressy pumps, Dr. Armand Hammer pinned rich-looking garnet studs to his tuxedo shirt. And Thure Gustafson carried a fat cigar to help carry off his costume--tall silk hat, cutaway and pique shirt.
On opening night at the symphony, it was a woman, Melissa Moss, who wore the pants and tuxedo jacket. Of course, her high heel shoes and pearl earrings affected the look considerably.
Nobody said wear play clothes for the premiere of Lily Tomlin's comic monologue at the Doolittle Theatre. It just seemed to happen. The girl with the bowler hat that covered her eyebrows and the jumbo-size man's topcoat got the message loud and clear.