The highest honor that the Imperial Court of New York bestows every year is our Diamond Award. When you have an audience like ours, the microphone and the eyes of the country’s Imperial Court System on you, it’s a great chance to pay tribute to some of the brave and courageous leaders of the LGBTQ movement. A listing of some of their names is a history lesson for the young ones who need to know how far we’ve come:
Irving Cooperberg (1991), Michael Callen (1993), The Hon. Tom Duane (1994), The Hon. Deborah Glick (1995), Joan M. Garry ...
Okay, I'll admit to a certain amount of bias: it was very cool being on stage with Taylor Dayne and almost being in a selfie with her. (My custom Tiger Gown from Planet Pepper was excellent, and big...lol.) Night of a Thousand Gowns has always been a place to see amazing performers on and off the stage, and while I don't yet know who we might see this year, there's always something magical about seeing one of your favorite performers a foot in front of you. (We do know that Ian McKellen and Dustin Lance Black will be among the guests this year, but more on ...
We refer to Night of a Thousand Gowns as a Coronation Ball, when in fact, most of it is celebration and recognition of a reign that's coming to an end. And yet, the final event of the night is always one of the most colorful, one of the most elaborate, and one of the things people will talk about forever and ever: The Coronation of the new Emperor and Empress.
It’s Called Night of a Thousand GOWNS.
Night of a Thousand Gowns is a charity ball. It’s a coronation ceremony. It’s a chance to honor members of our community.
But it’s also a fashion show.
There have been years when “a thousand gowns” has been less of a title than an actual description as dresses and gowns of every shape and size fly up and down in the pneumatic tube elevators at the Marriott Marquis for the world to see and enjoy.
(Sidebar: There are actually YouTube videos of the elevators. Here's one!)
Some of New ...
One of the grandest moments at any Night of a Thousand Gowns comes when His Royal Highness, the Grand Duke Swanson opens the curtains on the glittering assemblage of monarchs and courtiers of the Imperial Court of New York. It’s a showstopping moment of huge gowns, huge jewels and it’s also the moment that the members step up to play the most regal and most ridiculous part of this game we play: protocol.
Part of what makes the Imperial Court of New York different from other fundraisers in New York is our attention to formalized whimsy. Whimsy because ...
The ladies of the Imperial Court of New York aren't the only ones who turn it out: the men of the Imperial Court also bling home the bacon!
They say that a Broadway opening number sets the tone for the two and a half hours to follow. At Night of A Thousand Gowns, the Imperial Court of New York tries to do the same thing! For 24 of the last 30 years, members of the ICNY have poured their heart and souls into creating an opening that will grab the attention of the audience and hold onto it.