Museum’s ‘Art Meets Fashion’ stars a dynamic design duo

PHOTO BY JOSHUA KODIS

Designers Mark Badgley and James Mischka delighted an audience of Vero’s fashion-forward women and men at the sixth annual Fashion Meets Art fundraiser at the Vero Beach Museum of Art.

Brady Roberts, VBMA CEO, noted that Leslie Bergstrom and Gregory Allan Ness, the event’s new co-chairs, had a stellar committee working with them to create an outstanding experience for the sell-out crowd.

“Also, our sponsors have been amazingly generous to make this event possible. We’ve actually broken a sponsorship record this year, so another exciting development,” said Roberts, particularly thanking Windsor as presenting sponsor, and prime sponsor Ocean Drive Plastic Surgery and Dermatology.

A video presentation revealed that the designers began their label with glamorous evening gowns and red-carpet fashions inspired by old Hollywood and 1940s elegance, before diversifying into new categories to become a true lifestyle brand.

“We’re so very proud that this is the hardest and most fun ticket to get in town. I’d also like to take a moment to express especially sincere gratitude to Karen Loeffler and Melinda Cooper, who had the vision and creativity to imagine a world-class event for our museum, and the expertise and perseverance to make that dream a reality,” said Bergstrom.

“Here we are in our sixth year, thanks to these gracious, timeless, stylish and canny women. Of course, beyond our love for all things art and all things fashion, the real reason that we are here today is because of the important programs that it supports,” she added.

Ness noted that the fundraiser would support the museum’s plethora of community-oriented programs.

“Leslie and I believe so strongly that arts enriches and enhances all of our lives, so we thank you for making this happen today,” said Ness, before welcoming to the stage the moderator, Tiffany Corr, a former NBC sports journalist, and the dynamic Badgley Mischka duo.

Their careers began in the mid-1980s in New York City, “the fashion city,” after meeting while attending Parsons School of Design, and they were mentored by industry legends Bill Blass and Oscar de la Renta.

Asked when they knew they had found fame, Badgley quipped that Mischka would say it was when they were the answer to a Jeopardy question, but for him, it was seeing their clothes in all the windows at Bergdorf Goodman. “And when you’re a designer, that’s a big deal,” said Badgley.

“I think the first Vogue cover was a big deal, too. That was super important. And our first Oscars was really a defining moment for Badgley Mischka,” added Mischka.

As they spoke, examples of their many designs played across the screen, including some from the fall line that recently showed at New York Fashion Week.

“This was a really fun collection for us to work on because Badgley Mischka is always based on romanticism. Our clothes have to bring joy to our customers, so we had a really fun time with these clothes that make our customers happy,” said Mischka.

“We’ve always been about glamour. We’re like magpies, we love anything that twinkles,” said Badgley. He said they feel it is the duty of every piece of apparel they design to bring pleasure to whoever is wearing it.

“And if we don’t do that, we didn’t do our job right.”

Judging from the response from the audience, they absolutely are.

Photos by Joshua Kodis

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