I am on record as saying that my favorite film festival party of the year is opening night of the New York Film Festival. It’s like the prom but with (slightly) better food, fewer zits, better tuxes (more on that, later) and you get to go every year. Oh, and you don’t have to spike the punch.
It’s also black tie and I love that. Black tie parties are a chance for everyone to dress up and look snazzy and are really for the women. The men are supposed to all look relatively the same in tuxedos and the women get to shine. That’s all history, now. These days standards have been lowered slightly, so that “black tie” can mean a nice suit for men, in place of a tux. I’m not in favor of this, but that’s not really the point.
The point is, and I am sad to say this, the standards of dress at this party have been declining steadily over the past 8 years or so and have now gone far beyond a “nice suit and tie” into the realm of sovenly. The thing is, this isn’t Cannes and well, the Film Society of Lincoln Center isn’t going to send people home if they show up without a tux, nor should they. Additionally, the event has become increasingly inclusive of the independent film crowd and that’s fantastic. Not everyone owns a tux, and a nice suit and tie are fine. That said, there were quite a large number of people dressed, well, rather less formally. Unlike this nattily dressed gentleman:
indieWIRE’s editor in chief Eugene Hernandez leaving Tavern on the Green.
Interestingly enough, one of the problems might be communication or lack thereof. Apparently, a significant number of invitees pick up their tickets at the door to the party and thus, might be unaware of the black tie “rule.” However, there might be at least a partial solution. I had a nice chat with someone from the Film Society, who shall remain nameless and they suggested maybe that when people are being invited via email or phone, it could be made clear that the event is black tie. See? LOL star C. Mason Wells and Benten Films co-founder Andrew Grant, get it:
Like I said earlier, I’m ok with some variance in the dress code. A nice suit is fine. You know what’s not fine? A leather jacket over a t-shirt. Sneakers and jeans? Hell no. You can be a little “anti-establishment-hipster-won’t-wear-a-suit-ever-schmuck” 364 days a year. This one night? Shave, take a fucking shower and wear a suit and tie or stay the fuck home, full stop. The world isn’t your personal sandbox to look like crap in. The invitation says “Black Tie” and that does not equate to “slob.”
Here’s some pix of people who know how to dress well:
Oksana Lada (“The Sopranos”) looking radiant in red!
Diana Holtzberg of Films Transit, Koch-Lorber’s Richard Lorber and Kodak’s Anne Hubbell lookin’ swanky!
I have no idea who this guy is, but my lord he certainly has style and you should have seen him dance!