What is 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 Josh Safdie’s muse in ‘Uncut Gems,'” said Ms. Domingo, who took the stage in a white Toni Maticevski dress and was honored alongside Tory Burch, Darren Walker and the artist Kehinde Wiley, that was a no show.
The dinner, which took place Monday at the Glasshouse in Midtown Manhattan, raised nearly $2.6 million for scholarships. Art, design and fashion graduates of 2020 and 2021 were denied their moment in the sun due to the pandemic, mingled with faculty, honorary members and notable guests including Wes Gordon, Donna Karan, LaQuan Smith and Ivan Bart, the president of IMG.
At 8 p.m. Brad Goreski, the evening’s host, instructed the 400 guests to “finish your air cushion” so the dinner program could begin. The first honor went to Ms. Burch, who wore a color block jersey dress she designed. “We have the best team in the world,” she said. “And it’s no coincidence that many of them went to Parsons.”
Between the 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, the editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar, was asked about the state of her industry. Roger Lynch, the CEO of Condé Nast, recently told the podcast “Sway” that his publishing empire “is no longer a magazine company.”
“I don’t want to comment on what’s happening at Condé Nast,” Mrs. Nasr said diplomatically. “But I would say we are media brands and a magazine is an expression of what we do.”
Mr. Gordon, sitting nearby, agreed. “The lines between entertainment, news, fashion, art, theater, performance and reality have all fused and merged in interesting and confusing ways,” he said.
After an endless auction (including a cognac tasting and a portrait of Mark Seliger), guests were treated to a surprise fashion show featuring recent Parsons fashion graduates, including Kou Yanga and Zoe Whalen, wearing a dress she’d made that day, crafted from white cotton linen with side vents and authentic Victorian-era cuffs and bloomers.
After the show, guests were encouraged to stay for a drink, although the bar was closed. Some of the guests returned to the front room to view the students’ work. Donna Karan, a Parsons graduate and board member, was captivated by the work designed by Zehua Wu, class of 2021. Her collection, titled ‘Artificial Flower’, included barely there buds made of metallic plastic that in the process of being eaten by digital moths.
“When I think of when I went to Parsons and how fair it was, and to see where it evolved into – Oh my God,” Ms Karan said. “I’m old,” she added, turning to leave. “But what’s old is new.”