Dada Bash: (Anti)-Gala Fashion Inspiration

I am lots of things: a fashion writer, a skydiver, an actress with a major film under my belt (OK, so I was an extra with no lines, but it counts), and a proud mama. On May 16, I can add one more title to that list: Dadaist. I will be attending the Contemporary Art Museum's quintessential anti-gala party, the Dada Bash and Ball at the Koken Art Factory. To prepare for the festivities, I got insider info from Dada Ball pro and CAM board member, Dorte Probestein. Here's the scoop on why you should attend, what to wear, and what the spirit of Dada is.

A longtime influencer in the St. Louis Arts community and Director of the new projects + gallery, Dorte (pronounced dort-uh) has been attending the Dada Ball and Bash for the last 10 years. She described the purposes of the event as "fundraising and friend-raising." Proceeds from ticket sales benefit artistic CAM programming. Because the original Dada movement (established in 1916 in Switzerland) was an artistic and literary movement "against the establishment," the Dada Ball and Bash aims to let guests "see the fun side of art in a less intimidating way." (In other words, it is not a stuffy affair - it is a par-tay, complete with avante garde food and stiltwalkers!)

So, what does one wear to an anti-establishment gala that the web site boasts will "embrace art, prize nonsense, and make something happen"? Dorte, who has a propensity for edgy, sculptural pieces and wearing black, suggests an outfit that is "non-traditional and takes risks." She has seen guests wear everything from standard ball gowns to denim jeans to fig leaves. One year, a zany partygoer made his grand entrance on a horse. Although she stressed that Dada Ball is not a costume party, anything unpredictable and unique is highly encouraged. True Dada spirit, she added, would be to hand-make your outfit or accessories, like creating a clever dress out of duct tape. This year, Dorte will be decked out in custom designs from innovative local designers Michael Drummond and Hyper Haute.
Dorte Probstein at projects + gallery
4733 Mcpherson Ave., 314-696-8678
Hideki Seo's exhibit "On My Own"
projects + gallery features artists who merge art and fashion
Based on this helpful info, I came up with a couple of fun outfits I would totally wear: 

If you want to see my actual outfit (which will tentatively include a handmade headdress), you'll have to come to the Dada Ball and Bash - hope you can make it! 


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