On Tuesday evening, Sarabande returned to the Standard, High Line, to celebrate a new generation of artists and designers. The rain that showered New York City earlier in the afternoon gave way to clear, spring weather. Creatives and benefactors from both sides of the pond filled the hotel’s plaza. 

Not twelve hours before, the Met Gala after-party finally wound down at the Boom Boom Room. The panoramic nightclub, like several other hot spots, was filled with revelers until the sun rose over Manhattan. More than a few guests, as they arrived for a cocktail reception, bore shadows under their eyes. Despite the fatigue, the energy of Sarabande and its mission was electric.

In 2006, Lee Alexander McQueen established Sarabande to support the creative minds of the future. McQueen, the son of a taxi driver and school teacher, studied at Central Saint Martins due to the generosity of an aunt. He knew well the difficulties of receiving a creative education without parental or governmental support. Upon his death in 2010, the designer left the majority of his personal estate to the cause. In the 13 years since his death, Sarabande has changed the lives of more than 150 artists and designers. Scholarships and heavily-subsidized studio space provide young talents the opportunity to flourish.

As she addressed the crowd, Trino Verkade, the program’s director, said, “We have a rule at Sarabande that an artist can come from anywhere, at any age, in any discipline because that’s what creativity stands for.”

Attendees, including Thom Browne and Daniel Roseberry,  experienced works by two Sarabande artists, Andrew Davis and Rosie Gibbens. Davis displayed Warp and Weft: life-sized sculptures made entirely from Scotch Tape.  The scarcity of materials during the pandemic inspired the young artist, who was born in Minnesota and is based in London, to make the works that will remain on view until May 21.

Spectators gathered inside the elegant lounge to watch Gibbens’ performance entitled Auto Erotic Assimilation. Dressed like the subject of a Richard Prince painting, Gibbens applied makeup with power tools. The enraptured and occasionally queasy audience felt the power of her provocation.

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