Frick Young Fellows Gala 2011: Bal de Chinoiserie

by Ailsa Forlenza · March 11, 2011

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The annual Young Fellows Ball hosted their 2011 gala last night at the stunning fifth avenue mansion that holds The Frick Collection. This year's theme was inspired by the chinoiserie era, Eastern inspired artwork found since the 17th century in the homes of Western collectors. Step inside...

Upon entering, guests were transported by the scent of cherry blossoms (symbolic in China for passion and happiness), red urns, dramatic lighting, and various paintings depicting dragons, exotic birds, lanterns, and pagodas, instilling the Asiatic theme for the evening.

After passing through the garden court, adorned by draped silkscreened toile organza by De Gournay and a scheme of illuminations featuring shadow projections (all with a dragon and cherry blossom motif), guests were lured into the Music Room by DJ Anton.

Rachel Roy, Judith Leiber, and Baccarat were the lovely sponsors of the night, and adorned many members of the event committee. Guests came in chinoiserie chic, wearing draping gowns of crape de chine and satin, kimonos, and 1930's inspired dress, mostly in pale golds, navy blues, exotic prints, and dramatic crimsons. Other elegant sartorial choices were worn by the men- fur lined lapels and samurai inspired suits.

In recent years, through The Young Fellows, a lively young generation of art enthusiasts gather each year in honor of Henry Clay Frick's Collection, one of New York City's greatest culture treasures. Guests were allowed the special privilege of a private viewing of his collection. It was an East meets West evening, recalling the sophistication of Shanghai nightclubs and hotels.

Guests included Alexis Clarke, Allison Ecung, Lydia Fenet, Allison Aston, Julia Flynn, Clare McKeon, Catherine Jones, Alexandra Lebenthal, Alexis Light, Blair Husain,  Caitlin Davis, Sloan Overstrom, and Joann Pailey.

Once the night took over, guests left with The Frick Collection's Chinoiserie Market Tote, which included products from Dior Beauty and Frederic Fakkai, Parker Pens, and Financier Coffee & Sweets.

Horticulturist and Special Events Designer, Galen Lee,  developed the decadent scheme for the Bal de Chinoiserie in conjunction with Colleen Tierney, Head of Special Events.

Proceeds from the event provided support for The Frick Art Reference Library, a comprehensive art research center of the Western world, and the Frick's education program, which offers support across all five boroughs.