Artists riff on posh Met Gala with their own soiree in Union Square

Organizer Michelle Joni (front, white hoop skirt), MC Christopher Hardwick (standing, sunglasses, top hat) and a whole bunch of fabulous people.
Photo by Bob Krasner

If you’ve got $30,000 to spare, then the Met Gala is an option for getting dressed to kill and strutting your stuff. If your budget is considerably less than that, there’s the Metro Gala — no ticket necessary.

“This is for all of you whose invitation to the Met Gala got lost!” Metro Gala organizer Michelle Joni announced before turning the mic over to MC Christopher Hardwick. This year’s gala, held outside the subway entrance in Union Square Park, was the second such event organized by Joni. “My mission,” she explained, “is to bring the glam usually found in VIP settings to the street.”

With a sound system pumping out the dance tunes, the glam on the budget red carpet ran from super creative to super trashy — one outfit was fashioned from discarded party decorations and another from empty junk food bags. There were political messages, such as “Eat The Rich” and “End US imperialism,” as well as performance art, some impressive gymnastics, and a teen who happened by and decided to walk the runway wearing her unicorn horn.

This couple was lit.Photo by Bob Krasner
The celebs applaud Michelle Joni (far right), Space Commander Mike Schwab and their lovely child Skylo Jazber, who experienced his first red carpet.Photo by Bob Krasner
Sidney Oolongo with a tribute to Lil Nas X.Photo by Bob Krasner
Tilly D. Wolfe gets political.Photo by Bob Krasner
Moss shows us how it’s done, MC Christopher Hardwick reminds the kids not to try this at homePhoto by Bob Krasner
Elisa Blynn as Miss American Pop PornPhoto by Bob Krasner

Vintage clothing dealer Marie Suchan was totally in her element, wearing a combo that she threw together just before the main event. “All dress is costume, but this version is the most fun!” she exclaimed. “I want to fill the world with pattern and color.”

Valentina, who continued to dance around the square long after her runway trek, found the evening “awesome” and expressed exactly how she felt about the event: “It just makes me feel fabulous.”

Follow @michellejoni and @glindathegoodbus on instagram for upcoming events.

The Mole Man and the bike he rode in on.Photo by Bob Krasner
Miss Frizz Dazzle (aka Marie Suchan) threw together her outfit from her vintage stashPhoto by Bob Krasner
Valentina kickin’ it on the carpetPhoto by Bob Krasner
Photo by Bob Krasner
Model wearing a piece from the “Trash Collection of Maximo Il Garbago”Photo by Bob Krasner
Elisabeth Belomlinsky nods to AOC on the red carpetPhoto by Bob Krasner
Mandy Kitana, Robert Franzese, Joey KitanaPhoto by Bob Krasner