Wednesday, July 6, 2016

La Jolla Fashion Files | July 1, 2016

Avant Garde Costume Gala

Vanguard Culture presented the second annual Avant Garde Costume Gala at the Mingei International Museum on June 25. Guests were encouraged to wear their wildest costumes showing off their Avant Garde style. Attendees arrived to this Balboa Park event dressed as Steampunkers, Cosplay fans, and Fashionistas adorned with crazy makeup.

Vanguard Culture presented this art coverage and cultural programming with a fun filled evening of visual, performing, and culinary arts. Culinary Chair was Chef Mario Medina who curated all the chefs. Stations were set up in the museum with yummy samplings, which were provided by over a dozen chefs who took part in the festivities. Additional stations were set up with participating beverage providers such as wine, craft beers and cocktails.

During the evening many amazing dance companies performed for the audience. The line up included Chard Gonzalez Dance Theater, Aurora Lagattuta, The California Ballet, and the PGK Dance Project. Everyone was encouraged to visit the Avant Garde Photo Station to show off their imaginative costumes.

This most anticipated Fashion Show highlighted Los Angeles designer Merlin Castell. This designer was born in Honduras and creates high-end garments crafted from luxurious fabrics. Castell has worked magic for such celebrities as Paris Hilton, Paula Abdul, and Priscilla Presley. The featured styling’s were from Michael Bui who is a master educator/platform artist for Hair Salon Educators. The models came down the long staircase in the museum to the main floor. They were wearing designs in wild colors topped off by Michael Bui hair styling’s. The hair was styled with huge wigs in rainbow colors reminiscent of the Marie Antoinette era.

Guests were able to mingle and sample the latest exhibits at the Mingei International Museum. Currently there is an exhibit call Mingei of Japan with arts of Japanese daily life. My favorites were the indigo-dyed textiles such Kimono’s and Kimono belts made from recycled material. The exhibit runs from April 2 to October 2. For more information visit

The evening culminated with a Costume Contest. TV Personality Leonard Simpson announced the winners. Vanguard Culture does an extraordinary job integrating Dance, Culinary and Fashion. To follow their schedule during the year, visit:

 Upcoming Events

Thursday, July 7th, 2016- 2nd Annual Haute 2 Trot Del Mar Plaza Deck from 6pm-9pm. This pre-opening day party will feature a Fashion Show, Hat Contest, Racetrack Fashion Shopping, Food, and Live Entertainment. For tickets visit:

Sunday July 24th, 2016-Ambush Hope hosted by Hassina will be at the Museum of Contemporary Art from 7pm-11pm. There will be Performance, Dance, and Haute Couture Fashion Show. For tickets visit:

Friday, July 29-30, 2016- La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival at Museum of Contemporary Art.

July 28th -Unveiling of Art Installations at 6pm, July 29th -Screenings & After Party at 8pm, and July 30th -Seminars & panel, Matinee screening, Red Carpet, IFFA Award Presentation, & Gala after Party beginning at Noon.

This article originally appeared in La Jolla Today on July 1, 2016. Diana Cavagnaro is an internationally renowned Couture Milliner based in the Historic Gaslamp Quarter. Learn more about our Hat Designer, Teacher & Blogger at

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