N.Y. Scene July 2011: NewFest, McQueen at The Met, Invasion of the Pines, Diva on the Shore and Pop Up Chapels in Central Park


Savage Beauty Exhibit / Alexander McQueen at the Met, Post NYC Pride Party, July 20, 2011

Functionally impossible, flamboyant and often grotesque, Alexander McQueen‘s creations never fail to make a spectacle. From May 4th to August 7th, The Metropolitan Museum of Art hosted an exhibition of the late designer’s works, from his Central Saint Martins postgraduate collection of 1992 to his final collection, unveiled posthumously in Paris in March of 2010. While the line to the exhibit normally moved slower than the drive to the Fire Island ferry on Friday evenings, on July 20th The Met invited a few select LGBT organizations to a post Pride private viewing of the exhibit. As the wine flowed, so did the traffic to view the 100 or so exquisite pieces upstairs.  

One of the organizations which were invited to the private viewing was OP.Prime, Out Professionals’ group for young professionals, which holds regular networking and cultural events in the city.

Photo courtesy of OP.Prime co-chair Kristen Singer‘s iPhone, which is, unfortunately, an iPhone

One of the more recognizable collections in the exhibit was McQueen’s Plato’s Atlantis line, which was unveiled in Paris in Fall of 2009. Lady Gaga debuted her single “Bad Romance” during the runway show, and her wardrobe in the “Bad Romance” music video consisted of pieces from the collection, including the ridiculously high armadillo head stilettos seen below.

While the exhibit is over, you can still see some of the breathtaking pieces on The Met’s website.

Wish Me Away @ Newfest, NYC’s LGBT Film Festival, July 21-28th, 2011

On July 22, Wish Me Away, a documentary about singer Chely Wright‘s struggle to come to terms with her sexuality in the country music world (an industry that is generally unwelcome to artists who do not adhere to the values of the Bible Belt, at least publicly) debuted at Newfest. If the Dixie Chicks were boycotted for a brief side comment that painted Dubya in a negative light, how could a best selling country singer come out as  gasp  a lesbian and hold onto her friends, associates, and career?

The film follows, among other things, her meticulously coordinated public coming out. Her team of supporters include her spiritual advisor, who warned her, “There’s nobody quite as mean as people being mean for Jesus.” Even working with avowed liberals in New York was no walk in the park. Her book editor, Victoria Wilson, an old school feminist, chastised her for wearing revealing clothes in her promotional materials, accusing her of playing to a straight male audience. Tearing up and cursing up a storm in her video diary, Wright insisted that being gay does not mean one cannot be feminine and mainstream-sexy. No offense Victoria, but Ms. Wright was clearly in the right.

Wish Me Away premiered to a packed house, and a lively question and answer session followed, in which Wright relayed the hardships she experienced post-coming out. Even country stars who went on record stating they loved their gays fans gave her the cold shoulder. She mentioned Mary Chapin Carpenter as one of the few artists who gave her support and encouragement.

For more information about the film, including upcoming screenings, check out the official site at www.wishmeawaydoc.com.

Pop Up Chapel, July 30, 2011 – Central Park

On July 30, two temporary chapels were built in Central Park near Columbus Circle. Twenty-four same-sex couples were married free of charge to commemorate the passage of marriage equality in New York, including this totally adorbs couple below. 

Check out the full gallery in Time Out New York.

July was a busy month, and in August, there will be more reports from the city as well as the Jersey Shore, because we keep it classy on AfterEllen.com.

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