It seems like not a night goes by in New York without a red carpet rolled out somewhere, whether for a movie premiere, a grand opening, a charity fundraiser, or a black-tie gala. A quick peek at Patrick McMullan’s weekly event photos proves us right: New Yorkers love to get dressed up for a fancy night out. With so many to choose from, it can be difficult to figure out which ones to break out your dancing shoes (and wallets) for. We’ve rounded up the best of the best to make your decision a little bit easier.
Photo Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala
Also known as the “Met Gala” or “The Oscars of the East Coast,” the opening ball for the annual Costume Institute exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is the place to be to rub elbows with Hollywood celebrities, fashion icons and media tycoons alike. Co-hosted by Vogue Magazine, this is undoubtedly the most glamorous event of the year with the red carpet event being covered from coast to coast. Naturally invitations to this ball are quite coveted; you could either be a guest of a sponsoring brand or fork over five figures for an individual ticket. Hey, it’s all in the name of art, right?
Photo Courtesy of New Yorkers for Children
New Yorkers for Children Annual Fall and Spring Galas
Though a bit more subdued than the Met Gala, the New Yorkers for Children Annual Fall Gala is no less fashionable. The guest list reads like a “Who’s Who” of the city’s social set, all wearing gowns worthy of any red carpet. Held at some of the most beautiful venues in the city, from the Mandarin Oriental to Cipiriani, this is a must-attend event with all proceeds benefiting Children’s Services and child welfare.
Photo Courtesy of the American Ballet Theater
American Ballet Theater Gala
The amazing thing about New York is that there is never a shortage of arts and culture to support. The American Ballet Theater Gala opens the annual ballet season while supporting the Company’s programs, productions and performances. In 2009, First Lady Michelle Obama was the honorary chairman and many celebrities from Sarah Jessica Parker to Renee Zellweger come out to support this cause. Held at Lincoln Center, the evening starts with a ballet performance, usually followed by dinner and dancing at a nearby landmark hotel; last year it was The Pierre.
Photo Courtesy of Frick Collection
The Frick Collection Young Fellows Ball
Held at the Frick Collection’s mansion-museum, this annual gala kicks off the spring social season with all proceeds supporting the Frick's education program which serves New York City's public schools in all five boroughs. Guests are invited to roam the entire museum and garden after hours while feasting on caviar and Champagne. Over 600 people attended this year's "Dance of Time" themed gala which was sponsored by Donna Karan.
Photo Courtesy of Littleny/Shutterstock
Friends of the High Line Benefit
For the well-heeled downtown New Yorker, the Friends of the High Line annual spring benefit is the party of choice. The beautiful urban park is transformed for a night of cocktails, dinner and dancing for a vibrant party under the stars. This year the benefit honored actor and longtime Chelsea resident, Ethan Hawke. All proceeds from the night go to maintaining the park and making sure it offers an extraordinary experience for all visitors.
Photo Courtesy of MSKCC
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Annual Spring Ball
This spring gala raises money for cancer research and care for patients at New York’s famed Memorial Sloan-Kettering. With sponsors such as Harry Winston and Gucci, the event helps to raise the profile of the Cancer Center while attracting New York’s most fashionable residents for an important night out. Last year Grammy Award Winner, Rob Thomas performed, while this year’s gala featured jazz vocalist Diana Krall. The event raised over $1.5 million.
While fashion is always at the forefront of New York’s culture, donating to charity has always been just as important. With no shortage of events to fill social calendars, New Yorkers will have plenty of opportunities to wear their best Louboutins while giving back to their favorite organizations.