On October 16th at the Tribeca Rooftop in New York City, The American Folk Art Museum celebrated fashion's finest with their Folk Couture Benefit Gala.
The event heralded the Museum's January 2014 exhibition Folk Couture: Fashion and Folk Art, honoring fashion luminaries Dr. Valerie Steele, Director and Chief Curator of the Museum at FIT, Lucy Sykes, Fashion Consultant, Rent the Runway, and Brand Ambassador.
The Folk Couture exhibition, making its official debut in January 2014, will highlight the ways that fashion engages with art. As apart of the exhibition the Museum has invited 13 fashion designers to create an ensemble based on the artwork from their collection which will be on display at the American Folk Art Museum from January 21 through April 23, 2014.
The designers are; John Barlett, Michael Bastian, Chadwick Bell, Creatures of the Wind (Christopher Peters and Shane Gabier), Gary Graham, Catherine Malandrino, Bibhu Mohapatra, NotEqual (Fabio Costa) Ronaldus Shamask, threeASFOUR (Gabi Asfour, Angela Donhauser, Adi Gil) Koos van den Akker, Yeohlee (Yeohlee Teng), Jean Yu.
Guests who attended the gala were among the first to get a sneak preview of the highly anticipated exhibition while enjoying dinner and cocktails courtesy of Apogee events. Among them were; Berry Bloomingdale, Hayley Bloomingdale, Amy Fine Collins, Dr. Maria Ann Connelli, Francisco Costa, Louis Hirschfield Cullman and Lewis B. Cullman, Betsey Johnson, Simon Doonan, Andrey Leon Talley, the Honorable Daphne Guinness and others.
In addition to dining and fine art, an awards ceremony was was also held. The ceremony was hosted by Tim Gunn of Bravo's "Project Runway." Gunn presented awards to Dr. Valerie Steele and Lucy Sykes for their leadership roles in fostering fashion and education, Gunn also introduced the Gala Benefit Chairs, Yaz Hernandez and Laura Parsons in a presentation.
Ms. Parsons, the Museum's Chairman of the Board spoke about the importance of the American Folk Art Museum within the global cultural landscape, as well as the interplay between art and fashion.
"Many people hear the name 'American Folk Art Museum' and picture only quilts, but the Museum encompasses an incredible variety of art forms.The exhibition which will open in January 2014 is a very exciting marriage of the creativity of young fashion designers with the imaginative use of the Museum's art as the basis for their design." she noted.
Capping off the evening, John Hays, Deputy Chairman of Christie's Auction House, volunteered his services to lead a live auction, featuring a stay in the Tuscany villa of Laura and Richard Parsons.
To learn more about the exhibition please visit www.folkartmuseum.org