Tuesday, April 24, 2018

In the Market Report by Marilyn Kirschner

Publicolor's 2018 Stir, Splatter + Roll Gala

Honorees Philip Glass and Chris Ward
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Photo: Annie Watt

What could be better than a colorful event that combines fashion, art, and design, and is all for a good cause? On Monday evening Publicolor held its 22nd annual fundraising benefit, Stir, Splatter + Roll, arguably one of the most colorful, high spirited and unique events on the calendar. Honored for their longtime support of Publicolor and its programs were Chris Ward - AECOM VP and CEO, Metro New York, and former Executive Director of Port Authority - and boundary-breaking composer, Philip Glass, who received the Catalyst for Change Award.

Ruth Lande Shuman and Jeffrey Banks
Photo: Marilyn Kirschner 

The not-for-profit organization was founded in 1996 by the uber creative Ruth Lande Shuman and from the start, its mission has been to fight poverty by aggressively addressing the alarming dropout rate and low levels of educational attainment and youth employment in New York and to “engage students in their education, targeting the most undeserved communities and under performing schools with the most seriously disadvantaged middle and high school students in New York City”.

Publicolor students
Courtesy Publicolor

Using the power of color, collaboration and community the organization helps to engage at risk students in their education by teaching them painting and life skills. In fact, their motto is: “From Paint Can to College - Publicolor students don’t drop out”. Central to the mission is the beautification and revitalization of public and civic spaces and while the venue for this event had long been the Martin Luther King Jr. High School on Amsterdam Avenue between 65th and 66th Streets, which is a ‘publicolored’ school of course, for the past several years, the location has been the Metropolitan Pavilion on west 18th Street.

Color table settings
Photo: Marilyn Kirschner

The loft like space with high ceilings was literally bathed in color down to the colorful cocktails, which guests, including artist Chuck Close, Knoll’s Liz Needle, Designer Gerard Yosca, Pratt’s Bruce Hanna, Interior Designer Vincente Wolf, Architect Robert Siegal (of Gwathmey Siegel), Publisher Jane Lahrs, Paul Binder (founder of Big Apple Circus), Joan Hornig, Paul Haigh, Takaaki Matsumoto, and former model Barbara Flood could enjoy while painting alongside some of the city’s leading artists architects, and fashion designers (Nicole Miller and Milly’s Michele Smith) in one of the approximately 20 painting stations set up (Tyvek jumpsuits were provided).

Painting station
Photo Marilyn Kirschner

Art was all around, and there was a live auction that included a Chuck Close portrait and a graphic painting by Michael Hambouz, the Brooklyn based multimedia artist. Over $200,000 was raised last night but the live auction ends on Wednesday morning so that number will obviously be higher.

Jeffrey Banks, a huge supporter of Publicolor and a past honoree (2013), reprieved his role as Master of Ceremonies for the festive gala dinner for the third time. One delightful treat was the live performance by Philip Glass.

Tziporah Salamon and Marilyn Kirschner

The dress code for the evening was “colorful festive attire” and there were a few women who obviously took this to heart. It was a perfect excuse for me to wear my vintage fuchsia satin Yves Saint Laurent trousers. Tziporah Salamon, known for her colorful eccentric dress, and a study in green, is another woman similarly inspired by a good theme.

Leckie Roberts
Photo: Marilyn Kirschner 

Leckie Roberts, a style influencer and blogger (www.westvillagewasp.com)  looked wonderful in a leggy three tiered orange dress which she told me was $76 and purchased on www.asos.com. As someone who loves a bargain, I delighted in hearing that. No you don’t need to spend a fortune to look fabulous.

Anna Handy
Photo: Marilyn Kirschner

As for a bargain, nothing could beat Publicolor’s Manager of Strategic Initiatives, Anna Handy. Her paint splattered dress could not have been more perfect given the art themed evening. It reminded me of a group of paint splattered dresses on the Oscar de la Renta spring 2018 line but hers was a mere $17, scored on amazon.com (I am a believer that you can buy anything on Amazon!).

Katherine Subasic
Photo: Marilyn Kirschner

That being said, the coolest most inventive woman in the room was Katherine Subasic. She joked that the pants she was wearing were from Yeezy’s last collection but she actually took one of the Tyvek jumpsuits being given out last night for painting, put them on half way and tied them around her waist - so I guess you can say they are an original “Katherine Subasic for Publicolor” creation. In any case,  she wore it convincingly and it looked great with her slouchy plaid TOV Los Angeles blazer and her protective boot covers that looked straight off the recent runways. I was not surprised to hear that the recent law school graduate wants to work in the field of art law.

- Marilyn Kirschner

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