What to Wear to the MAD BALL!

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THE MAD BALL conjures up an evening of fantasy, fun and frolics! It is the Museum of Art and Design’s annual feast of the senses and this year promises to be more exhilarating than ever as the institution celebrates its 65th anniversary.

The Museum began at The Museum of Contemporary Craft in 1956 with the purpose of recognizing the craftsmanship of contemporary American artists.  The name was changed in 2002 to recognize the widening scope of its mission as it celebrates the creative process through which materials are crafted into works that enhance contemporary life.


MAD on Columbus Circle.


There will be excitement on every floor of this New York City icon, which was reclad and reimagined in 2008.  The transformation was not without its controversy as some had come to love the original structure designed in 1964 by Edward Durell Stone, a prolific modernist architect of his time.  This is a town of strong architecture and stronger opinions  — of course there was developmental drama!


Then and now.

This inventive, reimagined celebration will have something for every devotee of the arts, from the conversation at 5 p.m., to live music in the galleries, rocking out to Timo Weiland, a lively artist and designer, to dinner at the famed Robert’s Restaurant with stunning views of Columbus Circle and Central Park.



For our what to wear moment, I decided on a Little Black Dress to show off all of the fabulous jewelry and accessories, some of them one of a kind, available both in the Gift Shop and online. You can find a MAD cap collection of bits and baubles, so unique to the shop. It is on the first floor so pop in to find gifts and collectibles too.


Dresses: Emporio Armani Pleated Dress, $895 / Theia Kimono Sleeve Satin Dress, $550. Jewelry: Joan Hornig Wish Earrings, $2150 / Bird in Hand Clay Cameo Earrings, $495 / Sea Flora Cuff Bracelet, $495 / Billet Bracelet, $110. Purses: Twilight Woven Clutch, $198 / Ostrich Feather Bag, $246. Shoes: Brother Vellies Suede Pumps, $615.

We were first introduced to MAD by Barbara Tober, a steadfast patron of the arts who was Chairman of the Board when the museum opened in its present location.  Barbara’s infectious enthusiasm brought us to many events and openings.  One of our first What to Wear articles for New York Social Diary was about LOOT, an internationally curated jewelry show that showcases some of the top designers in the field.



Hilary is on board with a great LBD.  “Karen and I are on the same page.. as usual .. for this event .. a little black dress is the perfect canvas to show off a fabulous piece of jewelry or accessory. I prefer short with a bit of texture, faux leather, ruched or pin tucked ..with a high heel and stand out bag. Though called a Ball, a simple and chic look will guarantee that you have a Ball!”


Trove Asha Ruched Poplin Mini Dress, $795 / Staud Milla Puff Sleeve Faux Leather Mini Dress, $295 / Self Portrait Puff Sleeve Crepe Mini Dress, $510 / Oscar De La renta Impatiens L Gold Tone Earrings, $425 / Simone Rocha Black Crystal Flower Earrings, $410 / Saint Laurent Crocodile Embossed Leather Clutch, $675 / Jimmy Choo Tatiana Crystal Satin Clutch, $995 / Aquazzura Soiree Suede Pumps, $995 / Schutz Crystal Embellished Sandals, $138.

SCENES FROM THE  2019 MAD BALL (last year’s was virtual) …


Brian Brost, Larry Milstein, Elizabeth Kurpis, Alexander Hankin, and Timo Weiland.
Anthony Akinbola and Saji Gabriel.
Mia Moretti.
TK Wonder.
L. to r.: Chloe and Brooke Wise; Isolde Brielmaier and Athena Calderone.
Indira Allegra.
Jessica Joffe.
Noor Tagouri.
Barbara Tober.
Kelsey Rudin, Rawley Bornstein, Lauren Zagorski, Andi Potamkin, and Rachel Holtzman.
Michele Cohen, Nikolai Haas, Simon Haas, and Chris Scoates.


For the grand finale of the evening, MAD will present the finalists of the Burke Prize, given to a “U.S. based artist who is age 45 or under and works in the expansive fields of glass, fiber, clay, metal, or wood.” You can discover all of the 16 artists at MAD Museum Burke Prize.



The MAD BALL Auction is open for business. Collect one-of-a-kind works from your favorite artists. Every purchase provides vital support for MAD’s exhibitions and educational programs. Start bidding now!



Funds raised at the MAD Ball, including the proceeds from this auction, help support the Museum’s exhibitions and educational programs. For (last minute) tickets and information, contact MAD BALL.

Watch a fascinating, architectural tour of Columbus Circle and the history of Mad Museum. Hear from the architect Brad Cloepfil of Allied Works Architecture as he reveals his inspiration as well as many dedicated voices who have combined their vision, creativity and energy to shepherd this premiere institution of the arts.



Photographs by Joe Schildhorn/BFA.com (2019 MAD BALL). 

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