Art design

Parsons pays tribute to Tory Burch and other design patrons

What’s it like to be Derek Blasberg’s muse?

Mr Blasberg, the social butterfly and YouTube fashion ambassador, had just introduced Lauren Santo Domingo at a benefit dinner for the Parsons School of Design as his “mentor and muse”.

“I can only compare it to being Josh Safdie’s muse in ‘Uncut Gems,'” said Ms. Domingo, who took the stage wearing a white Toni Maticevski dress and was honored alongside Tory Burch, Darren Walker, and artist Kehinde Wiley, who was a no-show.

The dinner, which took place Monday at the Glasshouse in Midtown Manhattan, raised nearly $2.6 million for scholarships. The 2020 and 2021 art, design and fashion graduates, deprived of their moment in the sun by the pandemic, mingled with faculty, honorees and notable guests, including Wes Gordon, Donna Karan, LaQuan Smith and Ivan Bart, the president of IMG.

At 8 p.m., Brad Goreski, the host of the evening, asked the 400 guests to “finish your air kisses” so the dinner program could begin. The first winner was Ms. Burch, who wore a color-block jersey dress of her own design. “We have the best team in the world,” she said. “And it’s no coincidence that many of them went to Parsons.”

Between grilled watermelon and arctic char, a jazz quartet from the New School’s College of Performing Arts played fun standards, including Stevie Wonder’s “For Once in My Life.”

Samira Nasr, editor of Harper’s Bazaar, was asked about the state of her industry. Roger Lynch, the chief executive of Condé Nast, recently told the “Sway” podcast that his publishing empire “is no longer a magazine company.”

“I wouldn’t comment on what’s happening at Condé Nast,” Nasr said diplomatically. “But I would say we are media brands and a magazine is an expression of what we do.”

Mr. Gordon, who was seated nearby, agreed. “The lines between entertainment, current affairs, fashion, art, drama, performance and reality have all intermingled and merged in interesting and confusing ways,” he said.

After a never-ending auction (items included a cognac tasting and a portrait of Mark Seliger), guests were treated to a surprise fashion show featuring recent Parsons fashion graduates including Ko Yanga and Zoe Whalenwho wore a dress she had made that day, in white cotton linen with side slits, and authentic Victorian cuffs and bloomers.

After the show, guests were encouraged to stay for a drink, even though the bar was closed. A few guests returned to the antechamber to observe the work of the students. Donna Karan, a Parsons graduate and board member, was won over by the work designed by Zehua WuClass of 2021. Called “Artificial Flower,” her collection included barely-there tops constructed from metallic plastic that looked like it was being eaten by digital butterflies.

“When I think back to when I went to Parsons and how simple it was, and to see where it evolved – Oh my God,” Ms Karan said. “I’m old,” she added, turning to leave. “But what is old is new.”

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