After exchanging snow boots for stilettos, I watched the stunning host of last night’s Gen Art’s The New Garde, Molly Sims make her way down the red carpet with the rest of the arrivals. Despite being scheduled on the same night as a massive snow storm, hundreds braved the weather to kick of Fashion Week to celebrate four emerging designers at Drive In Studios.
Proceeds from ticket sales benefited the Gen Art Foundation, the leading arts and entertainment organization dedicated to showcasing emerging fashion designers, filmmakers, musicians and visual artists.
Also gracing the red carpet, America’s Next Top Model Cycle 7 winner CariDee English, Project Runway Season 5 finalist Kenley Collins, The Real Houswives of New York City Alex McCord and Simon van Kempen, The City’s Whitney Port and Roxy Olin, Filmmaker Victor Medina-San Andres, Model Erin Lucas, Designer Yara Flinn and Gen Art CEO, Ian Gerard
The New Garde show presented by Plastics Make It Possible featured live fashion presentations from designers GAR—DE, NOMIA, Sophomore and WesFeld. Those expecting a traditional runway show were no doubt surprised at the clever format of models showcasing fashion the way one might check out an exhibit at the MET.
I made my way through the crowd while following @Gen_Art coverage on twitter, my “audio guide” equivalent for the evening and enjoyed the comedic commentary:
“Is it still snowing? The models are in their underwear, I wouldn’t know.”
Upstairs I checked out live fashion presentations by GAR—DE, (models stood on platforms showcasing designs while onlookers snapped photos) and Sophomore (set-up like a live fashion shoot guests were invited to watch.) There was even a “stylist” on hand, picking out clothing for the models on the “shoot.”
On the main floor I checked live fashion presentations by NOMIA (more models rotated on and off platforms showcasing designs) and WesFeld (models in extravagant gowns posed in front of ladders). As the guests continued to pour in, it was like trying to catch glimpse of the Mona Lisa, with the exception of flash photography.
Project Runway Season 5 contestants Daniel Feld and Wesley Nault (WesFeld) had plenty to celebrate as winners of the “Plastics Make it Possible” Design Competition and a $10,000 grant. The consumer-driven design competition, which challenged designers to create two women’s wear looks made from plastic or plastic-based materials, received 161 submissions and over 15,000 votes.
Gen Art CEO, Ian Gerard welcomed guests and introduced host Molly Sims. Sims, who is an actress, model and jewelry designer, stressed the importance of supporting emerging artists. Sims also spoke about the importance of plastics (used as the base of fabrics like chiffon and spandex) and further congratulated WesFeld on their well-deserved win.
Note: The black gift bags guests received were made from recycled plastic water bottles!
Models for the evening were provided by Elite Model Management and Wilhelmina Models and guests enjoyed complimentary Patrón Tequila and Ultimat Vodka cocktails, Kim Crawford Wines, Bud Light Lime and Honest Tea.
– Leslie Richin
About Gen Art
Gen Art is the leading arts and entertainment organization dedicated to showcasing emerging fashion designers, filmmakers, musicians and visual artists. With offices in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami and Chicago, Gen Art produces over 100 events annually ranging from media generating high profile programs including a week-long film festival to star-studded fashion shows to the Vanguard Art Fair during Miami Art Basel, to more intimate programs such as art receptions and tours, film screenings and live music showcases. For more information about Gen Art: http://genart.org.