Parsons Honors Tory Burch and Other Design Patrons
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 being Josh Safdie’s muse in ‘Uncut Gems,’” said Ms. Domingo, who took to the stage wearing a white Toni Maticevski dress and was honored alongside Tory Burch, Darren Walker and the 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. Art, design and fashion graduates from 2020 and 2021, denied 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 night’s host, instructed the 400 guests to “finish your air kisses” so the dinner program could begin. The first honoree was Ms. Burch, who wore a color-blocked 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 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 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,” Ms. Nasr said diplomatically. “But I would say we’re media brands and a magazine is one expression of what we do.”
Mr. Gordon, who sat nearby, agreed. “The lines between entertainment, news, fashion, art, theater, performance and reality have all blended and merged in interesting and confusing ways,” he said.
After an interminable auction (items included a cognac tasting, and a portrait by Mark Seliger), guests were treated to a surprise fashion show that featured recent Parsons fashion graduates including Kou Yanga and Zoe Whalen, who wore a dress she had made that day, made of white cotton-linen with openings on the side, and authentic Victorian-era cuffs and bloomers.
After the show, guests were encouraged to stay for drinks, though the bar was closed. Some guests returned to the anteroom to survey the students’ work. Donna Karan, who graduated from Parsons and is a board member, was taken with work designed by Zehua Wu, class of 2021. Called “Artificial Flower,” her collection included barely-there tops, constructed from metallic plastic that seemed to be in the process of being eaten by digital moths.
“When I think of when I went to Parsons and how straight it was, and to see where it’s evolved to — Oh my God,” Ms. Karan said. “I’m old,” she added, turning to leave. “But what’s old is new.”