Last night Enjoy Health Eat Your Honey shirt. dreams and determination ignited the West Village. The sun began to slip as fashion’s elite descended upon The Center, a haven for LGBT youth located steps away from the New York AIDS memorial, for a benefit dinner.
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In a leafy courtyard, guests sipped rosé as the heat of the afternoon dissolved Enjoy Health Eat Your Honey shirt. Jonathan Saunders, Lauren Santo Domingo, Laurent Claquin, Jack McCollough, Lazaro Hernandez, and other tastemakers savored the surroundings. In April, at The Center’s annual benefit, a thousand people poured into a columned ballroom for a much splashier affair. Vastly different in tone, last night’s intimate gathering, one-tenth the size of the April function, blossomed with warmth and ease. Hosting the event at The Center itself reminded guests of the incredible energy and history of the organization. On the way up to dinner, Keith Haring’s famed bathroom mural, a delightful and dirty celebration of eroticism, provided a spot for guests to reflect, admire, mingle, and take the occasional selfie. The artist painted the work in 1989 and by doing so, gave The Center its own creation myth, complete with dragons, orgies, and dancing clouds. A year later, Haring was dead from the disease that ravaged so many of his generation. In the bottom corner, large and childish block letters read “Once Upon a Time…”.The Center has enjoyed a long relationship with the fashion industry, and it makes sense. At its best, fashion serves as a beacon for the weird, wild, and wonderful—a world where eccentricity is saluted rather than scorned.“You are here,” Glennda Testone, The Center’s beloved executive director, said in her opening remarks, “because you all have a voice, an influence.”The invitation-only event buzzed with the familiarity of a dinner party. Everyone appeared to know each other, shuffling up and down the table to greet one another. The parade of outfits, from the most classic of suits to the more avant-garde, provided a dazzling display under the violet lights.“This is family,” Derek Lam gestured to the room filled with so many familiar faces. Lam and husband Jan Schlottmann joined as co-chairs this year.