At most fund-raisers, the arrivals desk is located in the lobby. At last night's Fashion Centered event at the LGBT Community Center in Greenwich Village, guests checked in on the second floor, in a former bathroom, the better to take in a dazzling black-and-white Keith Haring mural. The late artist was an appropriate guiding spirit for the night. Haring was a key figure in the eighties downtown scene, when art, nightlife, fashion, and gay culture intersected, and the evening was designed expressly to raise awareness and support for The Center within the fashion industry. A host committee that included Kering's Laurent Claquin, Reed Krakoff's Siddhartha Shukla, and Donna Karan's Peter Speliopoulos guaranteed the guest list wouldn't be short on designers, and dotted among the three long tables set for dinner were Stefano Pilati, Proenza Schouler's Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, Olivier Theyskens, Jenna Lyons and Courtney Crangi, and Joseph Altuzarra. Pilati, who will debut his first collection for Zegna later this month, is now based in Berlin. "You can think there," he said. That freedom, he feels, is harder to come by in a claustrophobic fashion capital such as Paris.
In the weeks since it was conceived over a dinner at Acme, the Fashion Centered event took on an extra significance. In May, Mark Carson was fatally shot a few blocks away from The Center, in what police have characterized as a hate crime. Glennda Testone, The Center's executive director, discussed that horrific incident during her speech. The Center became the starting point for a rally demanding an end to anti-LGBT violence.
Testone also elaborated on the work that this Village institution does. The Center provides counseling and support for six thousand people a week, and soon it will undergo a $9 million renovation. One assumes the Haring will remain intact.