Night of Fashion and Art with David Choe

David Choe

Article by Wun Kuen Ng
Photo courtesy of alice + olivia

American painter, muralist, graffiti artist and graphic novelist of Korean descent, David Choe joined forces with fashion designer Stacey Bendet of Alice and Olivia to present a Night of Fashion and Art at 450 West 14th Street on November 20th. The theme of the evening was the Kindness Project. On the wall in the main room scrawled in black ink, “Being kind can change the world”. The music was by Hannah Bronfman and burlesque performance by Hazel Honeysuckle.

Nicky Hilton

Choe was dressed in a bold red silk suit with red tie to match. The lapel and breast pocket sparkled with white and red gems. A fabric with kaleidoscope of red, green, blue colors peeked out of the breast pocket. The same fabric pattern would be used on the dress Bendet was wearing and a skimpy cover used by the Burlesque dancer Hazel Honeysuckle. Choe’s face had black marking on his forehead and cheeks with small red lines. Choe saw fashion and art as a natural fit. The art designs on the dresses made his artwork accessible to the public whereas before his artwork would just sit in the gallery with limited viewings. Choe loves any form of art and painting woman. There was no particular message of the evening’s design. They were watercolors and very expressive. As for his future projects, they change everyday.

Selita Ebanks

The moment Bendet saw Choe’s paintings, images of beaded dresses started flying out of her mind. The collaboration was inevitable. The dresses she designed speak of the modern woman who is global, beautiful, powerful, independent individual. Bendet’s dress of the evening was the same fabric design as Choe’s handkerchief. It is a sleeveless dress with kaleidoscope of colors like lime green, red, pink, sky blue, navy, and yellow. Over her shoulder was a mossy green fur coat; hair held up by two head headbands with big round colored beads and a floral pin. With a fuchsia beaded clutch she was ready to host the evening.

As one entered the venue, there were two large art posters hanging on one side of the wall. The poster is of a woman with long black hair peacefully napping in a colorful gown next to a monkey. Throughout the night, celebrities, models, and fashion bloggers would stand in front of the art posters and be photographed in one of Bendet’s dresses or outfits. Chloe Bridges of Carrie Diary, Zosia Mamet of Mad Men, Nicky Hilton, Cayman-model Selita Ebanks, Canadian-model Alana Zimmer, American-model Cory Kennedy, Kelly Rutherford of Gossip Girl, DJ Kitty Cash , Model/Peacemaker Kyleigh Kuhn, Louise Tabbiner, Margot, DJ Mia Moretti, and Vashtie stopped by. Bridges was stylish in a dark red tweed jacket with black short dress with a gold belt at the waist, knee-hi boots and fishnet hose. Her outfit in tone darks stood out against the colorful art poster. Hilton looked the part of a saucy schoolgirl with a white round collar, black tie grey sweater, and short mini black skirt. Her hair was in braided with loose strands. Ebanks was glamorous in a blush pink sparkly dress and black fur coat. Her silver shoes with a thin strip in the middle gave an edgy glam to the whole outfit. Mamet was in black with a red patterned jacket with a fur trim. Her hair was parted in the middle. There is a serious urban chic to the ensemble. Cash wore a crème floral lace on black dress with long sleeves. It made her look mature despite her baby face. Kennedy wore a turquoise blue dress with black stripes at the bottom skirt portion. It had mid-length sleeves where the shoulders are see-through black lace. The dress seemed busy with a mix match of fabric and horizontal pattern. There was one-eye catching black lace dress, because of its round backless design. The model never turned around, so not sure who wore it but it was elegant with a twist.


Guests proceed into the main area behind the silver foil curtains. There was a black and white tile dance floor with disco balls. Hanging among the disco balls in the ceiling is a white sleeveless dress with the image of the same peaceful napping woman. Around 9 O’clock, the featured entertainment, burlesque performance by Hazel Honeysuckle, began. In a white diamond collar black dress with silver beaded geometric shapes of triangle, trapezoid and the like, she teased the audience with a white boa. Slowly stripping down to a red tiny bikini and a covering of two strips of fabric for the front and the back. The fabric had the same pattern as the Bendet’s dress and Choe’s handkerchief. Then Hazel Honeysuckle finished off with nipple tassel twirling. It should be pointed out that the chameleon tattoo on her back was not part of the outfit. “I just got it last week,” she said. She danced in front of a huge empty picture frame. The empty frame would later be a favorite for audience members to gather on stage for pictures.

On the left corner of the main area were three models in A-line white dresses with black circles and lines. A blot of red shape accents the entire dress. The model’s legs and arms were painted with various shapes and lines. They stood on round white blocks.

On the right there was an entrance with blue curtains, which said “Enter.” Once one ventures in, there is writing on the black wall that said, “Welcome to Purgatory.” There is a series of black rooms to wander through. Two candles and two silver disco balls in the corner lighted each small room. If one bumps into a dark figure, it is not the devil, but another lost soul trying to find his or her way out of the darkness devoid of art and fashion.

In contrast, there was another room that was wildly on the far left side of the main area.  Glow in the dark paint of bright pink and green gave the funky atmosphere.  Two models in white A-line dresses, with a blonde wigs and sunglasses, anchored the line of vision.  Bright colored tattoos were on their arms and legs.  One model had smiley faces, triangles, and wavy lines on her legs.  This would be the room of Heaven and psychedelic fun.

There were drinks at the bar and men walking around with trays of lemon.

“Being kind” seems counterintuitive to the competitive and cutthroat business of art and fashion.  Hope it is not just some savvy marketing campaign but also a pledge to a way of life.  Since not everyone wins the genetic lottery, the art and fashion world being what it is, filled with super egos and superficial standards of beauty, kindness does make a difference.  A few and far-in-between fashionistas and models at the party seem to believe and live it.

Hannah Bronfman

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