By Karen Rempel | Fashion Editor
Everyone who loves fashion knows that The First Monday in May is the highlight of the year, when the glitterati put on their most fantabulous creations and head up the red carpeted steps into the Met. (Check out the wonderful film Ocean’s 8—which premiered at Alice Tully Hall in 2018—to see how it’s done behind the scenes.) The official theme for this year’s gala fundraiser at the Metropolitan Museum of Art was About Time: Fashion and Duration. Although the gala event was cancelled, the Costume Institute’s exhibit is scheduled to open on October 29, 2020. My birthday! Fingers crossed! This year’s theme is meant to show how fashions from different eras weave in and out, combining and influencing each other.
Since the gala was cancelled, a group of twitter fashionistas @HFMetGala decided to host a virtual event that we could all participate in. Using items found in our closets! To be environmentally friendly and to protect our peeps, buying new clothes was frowned upon. This was a chance to play dress-up like a kid. Having dreamed of attending the Met Gala, but knowing it is out of reach to this humble fashion writer, I was delighted to throw off my home isolation routine and put together a Met-worthy outfit. Though the stakes were not as high, and in fact formal attire was not required!
Combining harmonious numbers with my wish to cause a collision between time periods, I contrasted a 70’s look with shoes that are reminiscent of an earlier century (1770’s maybe?). The dress is actually a scarf, draped to look like a dress by tucking it in my bra! (And it’s open at the back!) This is the illusion of style… Fantasy all the way.
The scarf is a creation of New York design house Cityzen by Azin. Does the purplish line curving down the dress look familiar? It is the East River! I am actually wearing an aerial view of New York, with Manhattan on the left and Brooklyn on the right! This scarf is one of a stunning collection of wearable art featuring beautiful cities from around the world. The collection is also available as framed art. The scarves come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Mine is a blend of modal and cashmere. Modal is a super-soft fiber from beechwood trees, made into fabric using an environmentally-friendly chemical process.
Aerosoles have long been known for their comfort and style. These vivid purple suede shoes with latticework across the vamp are especially appealing. The shape of the shoe with its blocky curving heels reminds me of King Louis XIV’s aristocratic court shoes. Our current consumer habits are non-sustainable for the planet, and the fashion industry is especially guilty of planned obsolescence, so I was glad of a fancy dress-up event that allowed me to raid the closet (again) for existing treasures.
On May 4, as the DIY Met Gala lit up the Twittersphere, I loved watching other style genii posting their creations all day long. So inspiring and over the top! Check out the fabulous fashion at #HFMetGala and #HFMetGala2020. For more details and photos of my Met Gala outfit, including 70s makeup and tattoo, see karensquirkystyle.com and connect @karensquirkystyle.
Goldenrod, pumpkin, and mulberry modal and cashmere scarf, draped into a dress. Cityzen by Azin, New York-based, online only. Gift from a friend.
Indigo-purple suede shoes with lattice cut-outs. Aerosoles, 63 E. 8th Street.
Copper open-collar necklace with cubes. Barre3 West Village Studio, 63 W. 8th Street.
“Versailles Paris Lumière” hair color by L’Oréal Paris Superior Preference, self-applied. From a box!
We’re all wearing face coverings these days. Ever fashion-conscious, Manhattanites aren’t content to wear the standard-issue medical blue mask. Oh no! We open the color box and find a new way to express our artistic creativity. In response to my “Incognito Bandito” look in last month’s Karen’s Quirky Style, readers wrote in to share their own ultra-unique facial adornments.
Lew McFarland wrote: “Loved Karen’s beautiful “incognito bandito” style!”
Lew McFarland selfie.
KQS: Thanks Lew! I love your bandito style as well, with a New Yorker twist–Yankee cap and New York designer Azin Valy’s gorgeous Cityzen pocket square. Love it!!
Patricia Duffy wrote: “Hi Karen–The “incognito bandito” mask is really fun! In fact, it’s great to see the diversity of masks New Yorkers wear–I am making a series of colorful, sparkly or bejeweled masks–including a “synesthesia mask” full of color. I’ve been giving “sparkly colorful masks” to inspiring front-line workers here in the nabe (in my local supermarket, for example) as a way to say ‘thank you’!”
Patricia Duffy selfie.
Karen Rempel has been contributing to WestView News since 2017. She is a photojournalist, technical writer, model, and artist. She has published words and pictures in BC Woman, Intercom, Room, TV Week Magazine, Vancouver Sun, and many other publications. Her artwork is currently on exhibit at the Revelation Gallery in the West Village. Visit her blog at loveaffair.nyc and her YouTube channel.