This year, Gainesville’s student-run arts and culture magazine, Rowdy Magazine, hosted a viewing party for the fashion world’s equivalent of the Oscars, the Met Gala.
The nation’s largest student-run magazine hosted the event Sept.13 at Crybaby’s, a boutique bar located at 1 W University Ave. Inside Crybaby’s, a projector was streaming the Met Gala for all to watch, along with drinks and socializing.
According to Rowdy co-editor-in-chief Gabi Moreno, the turnout for the event was expected to have sparked a lot of interest among the Gainesville community.
“I kind of knew that there was going to be a turnout, but I didn't know it was gonna be such a big turnout. We literally had people on a waitlist, which is so weird to me. Like even our own staff was on a waitlist outside,” she said.
Ana Escalante, fourth-year journalism major at UF and former editor-in-chief at Rowdy, came up with the idea for this fashionable watch party.
During her time as editor-in-chief, there were no in-person events due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I think that everyone post-COVID wanted some sort of escape,” Escalante said. “Or to have some sort of reconnection with each other to be dressed up in this fun, sort of formal camp-y way.”
The ‘Met Gala’ theme this year was “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion” which celebrated American designs and designers.
Escalante was virtually covering the event for her internship at PAPER Magazine, so when she arrived at the event later in the night, she described the attendees as “dressed to the nines.”
“I think this event really brought the arts community together, which is something that Rowdy really does try to do in every single aspect of its production,” Escalante said.
During her time covering New York Fashion Week, Escalante actually ran into Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue Magazine and the person responsible for the invite list to the Met Gala every year, while she was dressed like her. She described her outfit as a white and red tweed set with a newspaper print turtleneck shirt underneath.
“The reason I wore that was because during my time at Rowdy there was always this running joke that I was like Anna Wintour because my name is Ana Escalante.” she said. “I really ran into Anna Wintour. I literally was standing next to her in my Anna Wintour cosplay.”
Moreno described this event as “showcasing what the arts could do” as she mentioned how UF is not an art school and prominently leans more towards STEM majors.
“I think it was the perfect way for not only the Rowdy staff to meet each other, but also for everyone in the smaller community of Gainesville that has a passion for the arts or not even just like a passion for something to get together and just share this moment,” Moreno said.
Moreno, a 19-year-old UF political science second-year, also mentioned how important it was for the Rowdy staff to reach out to local Gainesville designers 333, 444 and Nature’s Dye.
“It was really cool because it's kind of some of the same Met Gala aspects, but more of a Gainesville style and a Rowdy style. So either way, it still brings the whole point of bringing everyone together,” Moreno said.
To fit the theme of the event, “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,” Moreno wore a vintage black dress from her mom and black gloves. Her inspiration for the night was Audrey Hepburn.
“When I think of something that's iconic. I always think of her. And something that symbolizes New York. I always think of her,” she said.
Isabella Escudero, a 19-year-old UCF marketing second-year, came to Gainesville for the night just to attend Rowdy’s viewing party. She heard about the event through a friend who works at Rowdy.
“I am a marketing major. So I kind of am interested in how things are presented and how they can be executed.
Escudero’s outfit for the event paid tribute to the ‘80s punk rock fashion trends.
“For this event, it was cool that we got to go to more of a college scene, but dress up,” Escudero said. “I think Rowdy should for sure continue to do more events like this.”
Contact Alexis at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @alexis_carson99
Alexis Carson is a third-year journalism major and staff writer with the Avenue. In her free time, she loves watching horror movies and going to concerts.