My invite from Anna Wintour to the 2016 Met Gala must have gotten lost in the mail, which is a shame because I know exactly what I would have worn to this extravagant event that raises money for the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute, and officially opens its featured exhibit with a star-studded red carpet followed by invite-only private party (where tickets are $30,000 a pop). For this year's Manus x Machina: Fashion in the Age of Technology, I found the perfect outfit: an 18-foot long fishtail skirt handmade of 65,000 black straws by my friend Conrad Booker.
The Met describes Manus x Machina as an exploration of "how fashion designers are reconciling the handmade and the machine-made in the creation of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear" and the "ongoing dichotomy, in which hand and machine are presented as discordant tools in the creative process, and question the relationship and distinction between haute couture and ready-to-wear."
Well, what could be more fitting than couture creations made of the most mundane of man-made objects? In Conrad's hands, straws form a skirt, bamboo skewers a headpiece, garbage bags and bubble wrap a dress, door hinges a belt; yet all look lux enough for the red carpet -- or a museum exhibit.
Luckily, you don't have to await Ms. Wintour's invitation to see Conrad's work. You can see his fashion flights of fancy up close this Saturday, May 14th, at the closing party for "The Plastic Circus," an exhibit with Rich Wexler at JOG Gallery in Philadelphia.
It's free, and they serve good beer.
THE PLASTIC CIRCUS Rich Wexler | Conrad Booker
JOG Gallery 723 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, through May 14th
You may remember Conrad Booker from previous features on Style Maniac.
A few years ago, as a Brand Ambassador, I helped him launch his accessory collection. Since then Conrad was selected as a Philadelphia Fashion Incubator designer and has seen his creations walk the red carpet at New York Fashion Week. See more of Conrad's work at ConradBooker.com.
Rich Wexler is a View-Master artist and photographer. Utilizing original 1950's View-Masters, Rich Wexler shows viewers a world of eclectic counter-culture in his dynamic 3D photographs. richwexlerviewmaster.weebly.com
WHAT I WORE TO
THE PLASTIC CIRCUS OPENING PARTY
Doreen Creede / Style Maniac captured wearing
Betsey Johnson minidress and a conradbookerCOLLECTION Tassel Clutch,
on the arm of husband Kevin as part of Rich Wexler's exhibit, which combines nostalgia and modernity through the use of old Polaroids, View-Masters and on-the-spot Instax pics.
MANUS X MACHINA
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC, through August 14th
tickets + exhibit info
THE MET GALA
From 1999, when Anna Wintour took over as chair, through 2014, The Met Gala raised $125 million to fully fund operating expenses of The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute.
In 2014 the exhibit space was re-christened
the Anna Wintour Costume Center.
Collage and all other photos by Doreen Creede
"Use the good china for breakfast."