Sue Wong’s spiritually uplifting Academy Awards Gala, held on Oscar’s greatest night, February 9, 2020, at the Taglyan Complex in Hollywood, presented a living canvas of the international fashion designer’s accomplishments and aspirations. Indeed, the event was a stimulating and enriching experience which honored the glory and glamour of old Hollywood and simultaneously paid homage to the unconquerable human spirit within us all.
The Wong gala was a diverse program, to say the least, featuring daring acrobatics and displays of strength from thirteen flying Shaolin Warrior monks from China; pulsating music from eight Chinese drummers of the American Red Lantern Troupe; live heartfelt and soulful rock and roll music from the likes of Scott Page of Pink Floyd; humanitarian awards; the Oscar ceremonies themselves; and the coup de grace, a spellbinding iconic fashion show from Sue Wong. It was a night where glamour, character, and compassion shined, through the marriage of film, fashion, music, and charity.
The over three hundred guests in attendance enjoyed a cocktail/mixer hour with drinks and hors d’oeuvres and later a sumptuous dinner of chicken cordon blue. Some of the distinguished personalities present were producer/writers Larry Namer and Nigel Daly; news anchor and humanitarian Christine Devine; musicians Scott Page, Chris Pitman, Ronn Moss, Larry and Louisa Dunn, and Steve Perkins; and actors Kelly Hu and Sofia Milos.
Throughout the event a sense of what the French call “bon gout,” or the height of good taste, prevailed. MC Alex Thomas was a beacon of cool as he kept the multiple events of the evening moving along seamlessly.
The events of the Oscars seemed almost tame compared to those of the Wong Gala. First, the female drummers captivated us with their powerful sound and then the flying monks amazed us with their agility and strength. Yet, these fascinating performances served only as a delightful prelude to the piece de resistance of the evening, the abracadabra Sue Wong’s hour long festival of fashion and parade of pulchritude featuring her stunningly beautiful and timeless creations. Twenty four models cantered down the runway in the classic Sue Wong gait to display seventy elegant looks. This beautifully choreographed presentation of a life of magnificent creativity in fashion instilled a sense of overwhelming awe and exhilaration in the audience. In the end, the queen of the night, Sue Wong, had brought down the house yet again!
Wong herself wore an alluring black feathered off-the-shoulders top over a black fish tail skirt and looked simply smashing!
The monks returned later in the evening for more audience-pleasing heroics. In addition, rousing stage performances continued throughout the evening, from such icons as Scott Page of Pink Floyd, Steve Perkins of Jane’s Addiction, Bex Marshall, Debby Holiday, and Maria Elena Infantino. Despite their differing styles, these performers had one commonality: they gave it their all!
Numerous awards for service in the name of humanity were presented. Among those honored for their work were Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Quincy Jones, Honourable Abbot Shi Yan Fan, Christine Devine, Alejandro Solis, and Nigel Daly. Richard Ayoub, CEO of Project Angel Food, was honored by Wong when he was presented the Humanitarian of the Year award. Intent on creating a world where every sick person is fed, nourished and loved, Project Angel Food has steadfastly operated for thirty two years and served over 600,000 meals in that time.
This award presentation clearly indicated the intent of Sue Wong and her executive producer Freya Pruitt to uplift the consciousness of Hollywood through the gala to a new plane of spirituality, ethics, and purpose. This message is most timely as Hollywood is in the midst of attempting to purge itself of the evils and oversights which have plagued it. Sue Wong elaborated: “We are bringing the light of humanity and spirituality through the door via the conduit of beauty and spirituality; only then can we see a transformation of the universal human consciousness.” Freya Pruitt intoned: “Let me say that it was an absolute honor to partner with Sue Wong in the production of her amazing gala and that we will continue to create events that advance the cause of creativity and humanity.”
Most certainly Wong has followed her mantra and integrated beauty, magic, and spirituality into every fiber of her work and being. Known throughout her more than fifty year career as a fashion designer for her creativity, integrity, honesty, diligence, decency, and philanthropy, Wong has expanded her horizons in the last five years and is now in the process of writing three books, developing a motion picture about her life, and entering the world of hotel design, both interior and exterior. However, there is always room for fashion and, of course, next year’s gala!
MODEL ON THE FRONT COVER: DUSTIN QUICK; PHOTOGRAPHER: CHARLY CHEN