On Sunday evening, the welcoming smell of a fire-pit wafted down a pier in Red Hook, Brooklyn, beckoning guests into Pioneer Works’ second annual Village Fete. This year’s outdoor affair attracted a healthy mix of art and fashion luminaries—as the laid-back prequel to Monday evening’s Met Gala. A clique of gala-bound It Girls including Poppy Delevingne, Alexa Chung and Sienna Miller sprawled across the picnic table looking like a chic British delegation amidst New York’s diehard art crowd—if not a little out of place. Dustin Yellin, the evening’s host, took his duties seriously. “Hello again,” he said, smiling warmly before dashing outside to the garden—where artists like Shirin Neshat and Zoe Buckman sipped Bombay Negronis to the tunes of a roaming Mariachi band.
Over a dinner of roasted pig and spring vegetables, guests texted in their donations to Pioneer Works’ education fund as Benjamin Bronfman, Yellin, and auctioneer Alexander Gilkes implored them all to go that extra step. With the sun streaming into the blooming banquet hall, even Solange Knowles couldn’t resist standing up to snap a photograph of the immense dinner, which raised more than $840,000. “Dustin knows how to put good people together,” remarked artist Fab 5 Freddy of the evening. “I don’t come out here often, but I’m never disappointed.”