The American Folk Art Museum Gala

Feathered Star Quilt from Kentucky
(click on images for larger views)

Last night, The American Folk Art Museum, which is devoted to American Folk Art, and the work of international self taught artists, held its Fall Benefit Gala at Tribeca Rooftop. The approximately $500,000 raised, will go toward enabling the museum to preserve and conserve a “comprehensive collection of the highest quality, with objects dating from the 18th century to the present”.

Chiu-Ti Jansen, Tim Gunn, Yaz Hernandez, Dr. Valerie Steele,
Patricia Mears, Angel Sanchez
Honorees were Dr. Valerie Steele, Director and Chief Curator of the Museum at FIT, and Lucy Sykes, Fashion Consultant, Rent the Runway, and Brand Ambassador; the Event Chairs were art patrons Yaz and Valentin Hernandez, and Laura and Dick Parsons; the Honorary Chair was Betsey Bloomingdale; and the evening’s Host was Project Runway’s Tim Gunn. Among the 300 or so guests were John Bartlett, Catherine Malandrino,  Koos Van Den Akker, Yeohlee Teng, Betsey Johnson, Iris Love, Jerry Lauren, Berry Bloomingdale, Patricia Mears, Martin and Jean Shafiroff, Daphne Guinness, Francisco Costa, Amy Fine Collins, Chui-Ti-Jansen, Angel Sanchez, Laudomia Pucci.

Prior to a sit down dinner, there was a cocktail hour during which time guests, who were entertained to the strains of a live piano, had a chance to partake in a silent auction. Among the items offered were a 79″ X 81″ Feathered Star Quilt circa 1850 – 60, (it’s the Folk Art Museum, don’t forget!), a group of compelling photographs, a number of paintings and drawings, jewelry, and assorted accessories. (I was especially drawn to Wendy Steven’s large i Phone holder made of etched stainless steel on a long black leather cord as it is not just practical but handsome).

Unabashadly Yours Elephant Silk Screen by Rebecca Puig

The evening also served as a prelude to what promises to be a compelling upcoming exhibition, “Folk Couture: Fashion & Folk Art” which will run from January 21, 2013 to April 23, 2014. Guest Curated by Alexis Carreno (the chief curator is Stacy C. Hollander), it will explore the interconnection between art and fashion by showcasing the work of 13 “established and emerging” designers who will create original ensembles inspired by a section of paintings, sculptures, photographs, quilts, and furniture, chosen from the museum’s collection. The original couture and the works of art will be exhibited together. The designers are John Bartlett, Michael Bastian, Chadwick Bell, Fabio Costa (NotEqual), Creatures of the Wind, Gary Graham, Catherine Malandrino,  Bibhu Mohapatra, Ronaldus Shamask, Yeohlee Teng, threeASFOUR, Koos Van den Akker, Jean Yu, many of whom were present last night.

Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.

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