Nicole Ari Parker Takes the YoungArts New York Gala in Valentino Purple
It’s a Monday night at the Met and And Just Like That... star Nicole Ari Parker is in attendance for a gala. No not that one. Instead, Parker and the rest of the attendees have gathered for the annual New York Gala for YoungArts, the 42-year-old organization that identifies and supports teenage artistic talent across disciplines and counts Timothée Chalamet and Viola Davis as alums.
Parker came dressed in an on-trend loose-fitting suit in the truest shade of purple. “This is Valentino,” she offers. Which of course leads the discussion to the bright red couture dress complete with an elaborate feathered head piece from the brand she was seen wearing on set for the AJLT... second season earlier this year. “Maybe,” she replies when asked if her character Lisa Todd Wexler was headed to a gala. “A little déjà-vu, tonight.” Without speaking too much in specifics, she has high praise for the costuming of the upcoming second season.
“[Costume Designer] Molly Rogers just took the whole show to another level this season,” she says. “The jewelry, the things inside of my purse. Every detail: sunglasses, key chains, my rings, my shoes, my bra. It's just delicious. I know I'm gushing, but it's a gusher of a season.”
“You know, this season will mark the 25th anniversary of Sex and the City, so the buzz and energy is crazy. I just wish I was part of it longer,” she says, being sure to credit the original four actresses for the “empire” they built. “This June is going to be really special.”
Tonight, however, we’re celebrating YoungArts. “They're actually doing what they say they're doing,” says Parker of the organization. “They're really mentoring, really supporting, really ushering this next wave of talent.”
Parker was just one of the bold-faced names assembled that night. Mikhail Baryshnikov, another member of the SatC extended universe, was on hand, as were the artists Mickalene Thomas, KAWS, Kenny Scharf, Zoe Buckman, and Daniel Arsham. Agnes Gund served as honorary chair alongside co-chairs Sarah Arison, Gillian Hearst and Sandra Tamer, while the Grammy-winning opera singer Rebecca L. Hargrove provided a memorable aria-meets-poetry duet with young writer Nyah Hardmon.