On Saturday, March 26, the Student Council hosted its first Big Red Gala. The event, planned by Vice President of Social Life Delaney Musgrave ’22, Arts Representative Scarlett Tapiero ’22, and Director of Student Life Ian August, aimed to give students a fun social activity while celebrating visual arts at Lawrenceville.
Inspired by the Metropolitan Museum’s annual Met Gala, Musgrave first proposed the gala on her platform as VP of Social Life. Along with the timely announcement that the School’s mask mandate was lifted, Musgrave believed the event’s novelty “made students really excited.” The Big Red Gala took place in GCAD’s Flex Room, where an art gallery of student artwork compiled by Tapiero and Muse, Lawrenceville’s visual arts council, was on display. For Musgrave, “it was really refreshing to see…such colorful and amazing artwork.” Musgrave continued, “to have a social event devoted to representing our visual artists…has never been done before, so it was very exciting to recognize our visual artists’ work.”
Tapiero agreed, saying “we could do a better job of showcasing our artists,” since it’s easy to “hide artwork in classrooms. I had so much fun going through the gallery with Rania Shah [’23] and Angel Zhang [’22], the heads of Muse, and picking through different pieces. We have so many phenomenal artists.”
In addition to the art gallery, the Big Red Gala hosted a fashion show in collaboration with LMag, Lawrenceville’s fashion magazine. Individuals from each House were selected to strut the runway and were judged by a panel of Student Council members. Tapiero was “shocked by how many people” showed up. She said, “It was really exciting because [all the models] were amazing and blew it out of the water, even though I know some of [the models] were nervous beforehand.”
Anoushka Sharma ’23, the model for the McClellan House, took to the runway with a self-described “Indian fusion moment,” accessorized with bold jewelry and gold embroidery. Sharma commented that “the balance between the art and the fashion” replicated “the Met’s annual art exhibit, in addition to the fashion show itself.” As a model, Sharma had initially felt “terrified,” but the crowd’s energy and support helped her “get out of [her] comfort zone… and truly be [her]self on the runway.”
For the Hamill House model Alex Mykhantso ’23, going onto the runway felt deeply personal and important to him: “it was certainly a very nervous and exciting experience,” he recounted. His outfit, a hand-stitched traditional Ukrainian shirt paired with a camouflage jacket and pants, was his “silent, nonverbal answer to the question ‘how are you?’” Through his militaristic outfit theme, Mykhantso wanted to demonstrate that “everyone who identifies as Ukrainian right now is also a soldier or fighter in their own way, whether it means volunteering on the front lines or just fundraising from abroad.” Ultimately, Mykhantso “really felt a connection between the models and the audience; we were all united by the same idea and purpose to serve those walks and have fun together.”
Tapiero added that “often, it's hard to try new events on campus because when it comes to social life, people [can be] very judgmental. I think it's fun to try different and new ideas for social life in general.”
Musgrave agreed, saying that the “best part” of the Big Red Gala was that “it’s new and unlike any other event we’ve had this year.” She hopes the gala will be an annual event continued by future generations of the Student Council.