Arts and CultureNews

These Were The Most Stunning And Stylish Outfits at Art Bash This Year

The Bay's best newsletter for underground events & news

Last week in San Francisco, the fashion and art crowds collided for the Museum of Modern Art’s annual Art Bash gala — and as usual, City Style for Broke-Ass Stuart was on the scene to catch all the best looks and fashion forward party goers.

Pictured: An uplit psychedelic patterned wall with red lounge furniture and party goers mingling.

The Surrealist Jazz Lounge was just one of many interactive pop up installments featuring live music, DJs, & performance artists.

Every April, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SF MOMA) saturates all seven floors with incredible immersive popup exhibits for party goers to explore. This year‘s special musical guests Amber Mark and Toro y Moi (DJ set) made for an unforgettable experience – not to mention the dancing, open bar and great food.

Upon arrival I slithered up to the fifth floor to the heartbeat of the party and, before I could even hit the Instagram-famous gold beaded curtains for a photo opp, I bumped into this well coordinated trio of beauties.

Pictured: A trio of fashion forward women wearing coordinating tones of black, teal, and red.

Peekaboo! The floral dress (center) featured a high slit up the front which revealed pants and combat boots underneath.

All looking resplendent on their own, the threesome was my first photograph of many couples and groups showcasing an unmissable trend that evening: color coordination. Another trend was the rounded toe, jewel tone, chunky satin platform heel made popular recently by Versace, Prada, and the evening’s official fashion sponsor Valentino.

Speaking of, “Valentino Pink” — the house’s signature, Pantone-created hue saturated the gala once the formal dinner let out — covered everything. A little bird even told me the atelier made an astonishing $400,000 in sales to Art Bash attendees alone leading up to the event.

Description: Socialite Maria Manetti Shrem, wearing a pink ombre sequined jacket.

Maria Manetti Shrem dazzled at the event in Valentino with her son on her arm as her escort.

I first met San Francisco Grande Dame Maria Manetti Shrem at the SF Opera’s Centennial Opening Night Gala wearing an opulent gold and white empress inspired Dolce and Gabbana Alta Moda gown I recognized from their epic outdoor runway show held along the canals of Venice earlier in the year. Her glittering ombre Valentino jacket and Cartier jewels were once again hard to miss as she mingled on the dance floor post dinner.

I then ventured outside to the rooftop mezzanine area where, after shoveling a quarter dozen or so sushi rolls in my face, I ran into these lovely muppet-inspired ladies. They were participating in another prominent trend of the evening: making their oversized furry coats a part of their outfit, a very smart thing to do at a hybrid indoor-outdoor event.

Pictured: Two women wearing short cocktail dresses pose wearing colorful oversized furry jackets.

Oversized coats are both statement making and cozy.

I then made a beeline for the photo booth area and quickly became a dictator when I saw well-dressed queers in my immediate vicinity. You’d never know this Chanel clad duo left their meatballs on the table mid-bite as I directed them, airport tarmac style, in front of the nearest statue.

Description: two gentleman wearing tuxedos, one wearing rhinestone high heels.

Matching tuxes & Chanel Camelia pins for this dynamic duo.

The same for this color coordinated group whom I bossypants out of line to pose for City Style. Thankfully they were happy to oblige, in their LOVE of fashion.

Coordinating shades of soft gray & navy with pearl & white accents from this rooftop trio.

Back inside, I ran into these society ladies (there are those chunky satin platforms again) showcasing excellent juxtaposition: a play on oversized men’s wear in Valentino pink plus silk “Pajama Glam” at a formal event. At Art Bash, anything goes.

Description: 2 ladies pose wearing an oversized pink jacket and polka dotted pajamas.

A designer explosion with Valentino, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada, & more all in one photo.

I love this look. It’s the perfect balance of ease, proportion, and restraint. Any shorter and the dress would have taken on a Go-Go Girl costume look; same if her white perforated boots were knee high. (Notice the slits up the back, providing additional visual interest.)  A simple cross body bag and minimalistic hair styling kept this look that could have easily gone into tacky territory, easy-breezy fabulous.

Description: A woman poses in a light blue mini dress made of ostrich feathers and white boots.

Playful ease: Feathers were another trend at Art Bash 2023.

On my way to the bar, I captured this couple’s coordinating look, which I’ll call “Formal Collegiate” or “Preppy Glam”.

Description: A couple poses wearing a prep school style blazer and floor length plaid skirt.

More than anyone, couples really brought the looks this year at Art Bash.

Speaking of bars, my favorite exhibit at this year’s Art Bash was New Eagle Creek Saloon, a real bar that had to obtain a liquor license in order to fully operate on site.

Description: A neon backlit retro stand alone bar surrounded by barstools with "Eagle Creek" in neon hanging above the back shelving.

Sadie Barnett’s New Eagle Creek Saloon is an exact replica of her father’s historical SF queer bar, on display until May 11th. Photo Courtesy of SF MoMA.

“Art Bash also marks the unveiling of Oakland-based artist Sadie Barnette’s The New Eagle Creek Saloon at SFMOMA, an installation that reimagines her father’s bar — the first Black-owned gay bar in San Francisco.” — Art Bash 2023 press release.

Back inside after sneaking a few s’mores bars and strawberry mini donuts, it was time to have my run of the exhibits where I headed straight to my favorite selfie spot: the cracked mirror.

Description: The author of the story poses in a rainbow sequined gown and long red fur coat poses in front of a cracked mirror

Check my BAS coverage of Art Bash 2022 to see last year’s “mirror selfie”.

This is where I stumbled upon an un-bee-lievably handsome couple, who were giving very ROSALÍA and Rauw Alejandro vibes.

Description: A couple, with the man in yellow pants and the woman in a matching yellow dress pose in front of a light sculpture.

Bit O’ Honey! – “Ya yo necesito otro beso…”

After riding the comically full elevators down I immediately saw these four in the converted dinner space. Wearing shades of gray, navy, white, and pink with pearl accents, it seems this coming wedding season will reflect this outrageously sophisticated palette with pearls being a naturally genderless accent.

Description: Four men pose in blue lighting wearing a variety of navy, gray, pink, and white outfits.

N*Synch: Navy, gray, pink, white, and pearls appear again Art Bash.

I even encountered our two BAS Head Honchos Stuart Schuffman and Alex Mack having no fun at all outside on another terrace.

Description: Stuart Schuffman and Alex Mack pose holding cocktails.

Team No Fun.

Descending down the grand staircase I ran into none other than DJ Agana in one of her infamous hand tagged head to toe outfits. You may remember her from the live graffiti demo at last year’s Art Bash where she helped design a boxcar that raced in the MoMA Soapbox Derby just days later.

Description: the author of the article pretends to bite Agana's gold chain necklace, who is wearing a white dress covered in her tag.

DJ Agana passing your author’s Vibe Check.

Finally, despite hanging up my fashion editor’s lens for the night I ran into these two just shy of midnight in, surprise surprise, the Modernism wing.

Description: A couple in a throwback 1960's look, plaid suit and floor length paisley dress and pillbox hat.

Straight out of a Wes Anderson movie, this party goer (& co.)
was just like a walking Blythe doll.

I ended my night at the Surrealist Jazz Lounge and lounge I did after a hysterically glamorous night of art, fashion, music, food, and dancing.

Description: The Author of the article in a rainbow sequined gown, stretched out on a sofa with the back of her palm on her forhead

Your author, thinking about how the Surrealist Jazz Lounge would have looked cool on mushrooms.

The style of Art Bash 2023 was without a doubt all about friends, lovers, couples, artists et all collaborating with each other on outfits, themes, colors, concepts, and more to create intentional looks that were equal parts fashion forward and sentimentally joyful. Just like the city of San Francisco itself.

Previous post

This Expensive San Francisco Restaurant Made Me Hate Myself

Next post

Is Club Deluxe Closing For Real This Time?

Rose Eden

Rose Eden

Rose Eden is a punk rock grown up fashion, culture, music, and satire writer residing in San Francisco on the Upper West Side. She is an Editor at Large at New Noise Magazine, and Out Front Magazine. She additionally contributes to, and, with a fashion column, City Style, on