Last night New York City’s iconic Plaza Hotel hosted the annual El Museo del Barrio Gala. A mix of fashion and art world personalities gathered to honor Ruben and Isabel Toledo and MAC Cosmetics for contributions to the arts. Drawing inspiration from the illustration of Antonio Lopez- whose show ‘Future Funk Fashion’ opens at El Museo on June 14th – the evening was an exercise in flamboyant elegance. The old world charm of the terrace room was an understated backdrop for the extravagance of the some 400 guests.


Juan Carlos Fernandez, Peter Marino, Isabel Toledo, Ruben Toldeo
Juan Carlos Menendez, Peter Marino, Isabel Toledo, Ruben Toldeo,


The rich cultural presence of El Museo attracted a beautiful, diverse array of people, and reflected the artistic landscape of Latin American culture. El Museo occupies a special place in the New York art environment, both geographically and culturally. Indeed, the scene felt like a break from the typical art world event – the room was dynamic, and pulsed with the collective charisma of the people within it. The sensuality and the warmth of the evening was invoked by Ruben Toledo during his address: ‘El Museo understands that art is the language of the soul. This is something we take very seriously…’


Guests present included Ágatha Ruíz de la Prada (whose avant-garde silver balloon dress was the most striking of the evening), Andres Serrano, and Alexandre Arrechea.


El Museo del Barrio's Gala honoring: Ruben & Isabel Toledo and MAC Cosmetics celebrating Antonio Lopez
Zach Hilty,


As the gala progressed, the crowd was joined by the House of Xtravaganza – a legendary vogueing house. The Terrace Room was made over as an intimate underground club – the chandeliers glowed red, and the guests danced to music from Antonio Lopez’s personal collection of vinyl. In the final moments of the evening, as the dancers – in metallic headdresses, white leather suits and bondage style masks – moved to the sounds of reggaeton, bachata and house, one was left with a sense that Latin culture, and the culture that El Museo promotes, in an integral, vital part of the New York art scene.


Juan Carlos Menedez, Joey Arias, Peter Marino
Juan Carlos Menedez, Joey Arias, Peter Marino,