Dressed to the nines or wear­ing jeans, com­fort is the key

Mix­ing ‘high and low,’ dressy and ca­sual, res­onates for the new ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of the HPO

The Hamilton Spectator - - GO - SHERYL NADLER

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME you were swept up in the mu­sic of the Hamil­ton Phil­har­monic Orches­tra?

Did you go to build mem­o­ries with a loved one? Per­haps you’re an orches­tra afi­cionado. Or maybe it was sim­ply an es­cape, a way to for­get about your day and lose your­self in a melodic ad­ven­ture.

No mat­ter the group you fall into, Diana Weir, the newly ap­pointed ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of the HPO, wants you to feel com­fort­able, to be able to freely con­nect with the mu­sic and fel­low mu­sic lovers in the con­cert hall.

“I think it’s re­ally spe­cial to come to­gether with 1,900 other peo­ple in the city and de­cide that ex­pe­ri­enc­ing some­thing unique and tem­po­ral and big­ger than your­self, ex­pe­ri­enc­ing that to­gether, de­cid­ing that, I think that’s a re­ally spe­cial thing,” says Weir, 31, who has been im­mersed in the mu­sic world since she learned to play pi­ano at the age of six.

To that end, con­cert­go­ers are en­cour­aged to wear what­ever makes them com­fort­able. Track pants, dressy out­fits, jeans; Weir says all are wel­come. In fact, even though she grav­i­tates to­ward wear­ing dressy pants or dresses to HPO per­for­mances, when she at­tends con­certs else­where she takes it down a notch.

“When I go to per­for­mances out­side of the HPO, I tend to dress more ca­su­ally,” says Weir, who looks for sim­ple but unique pieces with clean lines and in­ter­est­ing shapes. “I like the mix of high and low. Some­times I’ll wear patent leather sneak­ers and a long jacket with a fur col­lar, for ex­am­ple. And jeans. So I like to be com­fort­able but I also like to look nice, but by no means do I feel the need to be dressed to the nines all the time.”

And de­spite the bad rap sales racks get, Weir says she’s found some of her favourite pieces in the piles of items no one else seems to want.

The char­treuse co­coon dress by Cos with slash pock­ets she wears here is a per­fect ex­am­ple of a great sales rack find, she points out. She ac­ces­sorizes it with a few of her many pieces of beloved state­ment jew­elry, in this case a lapis lazuli pen­dant neck­lace, gold “egg” ear­rings from a bou­tique in Van­cou­ver and a chunky sil­ver ring she found at the Chelsea Mar­ket in New York. She adds a bit of pop with a pair of gold-heeled United Nude booties she bought at Miller Shoes down­town.

“I ei­ther like things to be very sim­ple and ba­sic or I like things to have an in­cred­i­ble sense of de­sign and flair,” says Weir. “I don’t re­ally do in the mid­dle. So I’m a big fan of black T-shirts be­cause I be­lieve in the power of a great black T-shirt to go from ca­sual to for­mal to go with my pen­cil skirts, but to also go with me wear­ing jeans to meet a friend for din­ner. But I also be­lieve in re­ally great dresses and funky tights.”

Most eye-catch­ing piece:

Usu­ally any piece of jew­elry that I’m wear­ing. I have a num­ber of re­ally great pieces. I wouldn’t call my­self a col­lec­tor of jew­elry but if you saw my jew­elry box you would call me that … this ring is prob­a­bly my most eye-catch­ing piece.

Quirki­est wardrobe item:

I own a jump­suit that … is my sea­son clos­ing con­cert jump­suit.

And I wear this black jump­suit with a white tuxedo jacket.

I’ve worn it ev­ery year for the past four years and I’ll prob­a­bly wear it May 6 — that’s when we’re clos­ing out the sea­son here.

It was bought at Maska Mode in Oakville, which sells Ital­ian-de­signed things. It’s sleeve­less, it’s just black, it’s got lit­tle zip­pers in the bot­tom.

It’s got a cinched waist … this is one of those pieces that no one was buy­ing but I saw po­ten­tial in it and I ap­pro­pri­ated it for con­cert evenings by pair­ing it with a white tuxedo jacket.

Wardrobe must-have:

A good black T-shirt. I use my black T-shirts a lot for un­der­neath cardi­gans, un­der­neath suit jack­ets. And when I find a good brand I buy a lot of them.

Best pur­chase:

A few years ago, when my hus­band was liv­ing in New York … I pur­chased a jacket with a re­ally unique de­sign (from Shop Un­ti­tled). It has leather trim all around it, a gi­ant hood and in the back there is a croc­o­dile spine made in leather … I’ve worn that to per­for­mances in Toronto just for fun, if I’m go­ing out at night.

Re­grets buy­ing:

Noth­ing. I’m not an im­pulse buyer. I used to be when I was younger and I re­al­ize that it made me re­ally un­happy.

So I’m very me­thod­i­cal about what I pur­chase. I have to have a good rea­son to buy it and I’ll of­ten see some­thing that I like and wait and think about it for quite some time be­fore go­ing back and pur­chas­ing it.

Loves to shop at:

I love the down­town Miller Shoes. And be­cause I’m a big jew­elry fan I also find my­self on nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions at the Bar­ton Street Stu­dio, which is a glass beads stu­dio by Ali­cia Niles, a lo­cal jew­elry ar­ti­san.

Rid­ding her closet of:

Any­thing that doesn’t make me feel amaz­ing. Any­thing that doesn’t fit very well, any­thing that I wear be­cause I’m like, ‘I own this so I should wear it.’ Any­thing that I’m wear­ing be­cause I own it and not be­cause I love it ...

I bought a mil­i­tary style vest four years ago when they were in for a short pe­riod of time. And this is one of those things where I don’t like to pur­chase trendy things and I find my­self pur­chas­ing them and get­ting rid of them quickly.

Splurges on:

I like to buy re­ally good qual­ity shoes. That’s very im­por­tant to me. I walk a lot, I don’t own a car, so the abil­ity to get around and be com­fort­able on my feet is very im­por­tant so I re­ally in­vest in good qual­ity shoes. At the same time I re­ally like jew­elry so I wear quite a bit and I own quite a bit.

And if I see a piece I think is re­ally spe­cial, I don’t usu­ally have any qualms pur­chas­ing it.

Beauty prod­uct she can’t live with­out:

Ori­gins Drink Up In­ten­sive mois­tur­izer.

Diana Weir wears a char­treuse co­coon dress with slash pock­ets over black tights and gold metal­lic and brown booties from Miller Shoes.

Weir loves state­ment jew­elry, like this ring, which she found at the Chelsea Mar­ket in New York.

Her lapis lazuli neck­lace makes a bold state­ment.


“I ei­ther like things to be very sim­ple and ba­sic or I like things to have an in­cred­i­ble sense of de­sign and flair,” says Weir, who has an ex­ten­sive jew­elry col­lec­tion.

Gold metal­lic and brown booties, from Miller Shoes.

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