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Not your ordinary gala

The first annual MINT gala, part 1 of 2


On June 2nd at 7 p.m., the first-ever MINT gala will take place in Paul Brest Hall. This event is cosponsored by the Student Organizing Committee for the Arts, Stanford Arts, Cardinal Nights, the Stanford Concert Network and Stanford Women in Design, and supported by VFILES, Bloomingdale’s, Norma Kamali and Lancôme. The theme of the gala is “Metamorphosis: Fashion Change.”

Eilaf Osman, the gala coordinator, talked about what this means — this gala embodies a few different metamorphoses: One is the change in creative direction of MINT magazine itself over time — and the others deal with how technology and activism (and the intersection between those two things) have begun to change the landscape of fashion. Osman listed the #MeToo movement as an example of these changes. (Aimed at supporting survivors of sexual violence, #MeToo is a form of social activism, which began on Twitter and has influenced the sphere of fashion.) During award shows such as the Golden Globes, nominees wore black to show solidarity with the movement. Designers such as Victoria Beckham and Brandon Maxwell have also spoken about the effects of the movement on their work. MINT, the student-run magazine, which focuses on Stanford’s fashion, culture and art scenes has been thinking about these changes in fashion.

Osman and the event team have been busy planning and creating, in the words of Osman, “a space for the fashion and the arts communities to come together and be inspired.” This gala will be more than a sit-down dinner with keynote speakers (although those things will be happening). The featured guests include Julie Anne Quay, the founder and CEO of VFILES (an online space for creatives to engage with cultural products like music, fashion and more), and Barbara Tfank, a Stanford alumna and fashion designer, well-known for creating pieces for Uma Thurman, Adele and, most frequently, Michelle Obama. There will also be live music performances by Hajar Alzerma, Cat Davis and more.

More than that, Osman has designed the gala to be an engaging and unique “artistic experience.” In order to ensure that it is, she has programmed for Paul Brest to turn into a gallery space, featuring the artworks of six student artists. There will be a fashion show by Danyele Brown ‘18, titled “Don’t Be Scared//For The Children.” The pieces that Brown will be showcasing are sublimated printed items, which are concerned with the subjects of “Black gender sexual violence, Gay and trans creativity, and childishness.” Brown’s pieces are in conversations with the works of other artists/writers, such as Darnell Moore, Miss Major, Ron Simmons, James Baldwin, Cathy Cohen and Charlene Carruthers. Brown’s show will consist of all Black models. There will also be an interactive light piece by StudioYork (the work of Jonathan York, a member of the Stanford Class of 2013 and a current Stanford Law School student). Some of the other art installations include “an interactive LED laser GRID, [made in collaboration with ArtX], a Floral Jungle Entrance, flower wall [and] video booth.”

One of the ways the MINT team promoted the event was through a social media campaign, which occurred in three stages. Each stage corresponded to a different part in a butterfly’s life cycle, so the first was the chrysalis stage, in which the caterpillar is enveloped in the cocoon undergoing metamorphosis, the second was the process of transformation itself and the last represented the finished product: the newly emerged butterfly. So far, the event has gained a lot of traction. The first round of tickets sold out in 10 minutes, and the second round of tickets within one hour.  

For the second part, Hale will attend the MINT gala, where she plans to learn more about these different metamorphoses, engage with the artworks and speak with various attendees about their interpretations of the theme.


Contact Chasity Hale at cah70352 ‘at’